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Reading between the lies: A classification scheme of types of reply to misinformation in public discussion threads

Buchanan, G., Kelly, R., Makri, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-5817-4893 & McKay, D. (2022). Reading between the lies: A classification scheme of types of reply to misinformation in public discussion threads. In: UNSPECIFIED (pp. 243-253). Association for Computing Machinery. ISBN 9781450391863 doi: 10.1145/3498366.3505823


Online misinformation is a fiendish problem. Demonstrably false information propagates faster and more widely than truth and this has heralded a technological arms race. One possible mechanism for addressing misinformation is social: there is evidence seeing misinformation being challenged can ginoculate' a reader against it. To date, no research has examined how discussions sparked by misinformation play out; What are the different ways in which people reply to posts containing misinformation? How does the discussion flow in each case? Are there differences between platforms? We address these questions through an inductive qualitative analysis of discussion threads on three public discussion platforms (Twitter, YouTube and two news sites) and on three topics (COVID, Brexit and climate change). We present a classification scheme of types of replies to misinformation, and show that replies show different patterns between platforms. Knowing how people reply to posts that contain misinformation enriches our knowledge of ghuman misinformation interaction,' and provides an understanding of how socio-technical factors in platform design can reduce the risk of misinformation spreading.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Copyright © 2022 ACM. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published by ACM:
Publisher Keywords: information sharing, Misinformation, echo chambers
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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