Content analysis of discussions of false rumors on the Internet

Vol. 27 Iss. 1 pp. 1925 | St. Petersburg State Institute of Psychology and Social Work | ISSN: 1993-8101


The article describes the results of empirical studies of discussions of false conspiracy-type rumors on the Internet. The content analysis of comments on the YouTube video hosting site was used as a research method. In the pilot and basic studies, the hypothesis about the presence of certain roles and the specifics of the relationship between them, which is described by the communicative role-playing strategy of countering false rumors, was tested. The results of content analysis show that, firstly, the key communicative roles of the strategy being developed are amenable to registration in large data sets; secondly, the carriers of these roles enter into the predicted relationships during the discussion; thirdly, changes in the quantitative representation of the «skeptics», «supporters», and «interpreters» allow us to guess at what stage of the «life cycle» the rumors are being studied.


rumors, false rumors, discussions of rumors, communicative roles, role conflict, countering false rumors, content analysis


Citation — Harvard Notation


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