Rumors and Rumor Corrections on Twitter: Studying Message Characteristics and Opinion Leadership

Alton Y.K. Chua, Snehasish Banerjee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As rumors often ripple across the cyberspace, posting rumor corrections on social media can bring about social good by spreading the truth. However, rumors and rumor corrections are not easily distinguishable from one another. Therefore, this paper investigates how three message characteristics, namely, the use of emotions, clarity and credible source attribution, can predict message veracity on social media. Message veracity denotes whether a message is a rumor or a rumor correction. In addition, the paper further examines the extent to which opinion leadership moderates the relation between message characteristics and message veracity. Set against the context of the death hoax of Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in March 2015, data for this paper came from Twitter. Analysis involved binary logistic regression. All the three message characteristics predicted veracity. Rumor corrections were characterized by lower use of emotions, higher clarity, and higher credible source attribution compared with rumors. Furthermore, opinion leadership moderated the relation between the use of emotions and message veracity as well as that between credible source attribution and message veracity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 4th International Conference on Information Management (ICIM)
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781538661475
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2018
EventInternational Conference on Information Management - University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 May 201827 May 2018


ConferenceInternational Conference on Information Management
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Bibliographical note

© IEEE, 2018. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • opinion leader
  • rumor
  • rumor correction
  • source credibility
  • Twitter

Cite this