Social media affordances and information abundance: Enabling fake news sharing during the COVID-19 health crisis.Health Informatics J. 2021 Jul-Sep; 27(3):14604582211021470.HI
This study modelled factors that predict fake news sharing during the COVID-19 health crisis using the perspective of the affordance and cognitive load theory. Data were drawn from 385 social media users in Nigeria, and Partial Least Squares (PLS) was used to analyse the data. We found that news-find-me perception, information overload, trust in online information, status seeking, self-expression and information sharing predicted fake news sharing related to COVID-19 pandemic among social media users in Nigeria. Greater effects of news-find-me perception and information overload were found on fake news sharing behaviour as compared to trust in online information, status seeking, self-expression and information sharing. Theoretically, our study enriches the current literature by focusing on the affordances of social media and the abundance of online information in predicting fake news sharing behaviour among social media users, especially in Nigeria. Practically, we suggest intervention strategies which nudge people to be sceptical of the information they come across on social media.