Social media, fake news and fake COVID-19 cures in Nigeria

Temple Uwalaka, Bigman Nwala, Amadi Confidence Chinedu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates the impact of social media ‘fake news’ and fake cures headlines on how Netizens viewed and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. Using data from an online survey (N=254), this study reveals that social media was overwhelmingly the most used type of media for news consumption generally, and the most important source of news about the pandemic. Data further reveal that the impact of extensive exposure to fake news headlines about the pandemic was dangerous and could have a deleterious impact. Crucially, this study finds that recalling and believing fake news headlines and using social media as the main source of news, significantly decreases the likelihood of believing credible and real news stories. Finally, this study offers theoretical and empirical background to frame the debate about factors that influence the believability of fake news headlines by contributing and extending the theorization of the amplification hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-449
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of African Media Studies
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

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