Rumor has it : The effects of virality metrics on rumor believability and transmission on Twitter

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

2 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4807-4825
Journal / PublicationNew Media and Society
Issue number12
Online published18 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


This study examines the effects of virality metrics on the judgment of a rumor on Twitter. In an online experiment (N = 203), a tweet about the rumor related to the issue of food safety was presented with the variations of virality metrics (i.e. the number of retweets, likes, and replies). The results showed that exposure to high virality metrics resulted in greater perceptions of descriptive norms and injunctive norms of sharing the tweet message, and in turn, increased message believability and viral behavioral intentions. Overall, findings demonstrated the normative influence of virality metrics. Implications of the current findings are discussed in light of social norm theories and online rumor literature.

Research Area(s)

  • Message believability, rumor, social norms, Twitter, viral behavioral intentions, virality metrics