Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date



Conversations on social media networks that discuss a crisis incident as it unfolds have become a norm in recent years. Left to its own devices, such conversations could quickly degenerate into rumor mills. Little research has thus far examined the correction of rumors on social media. Using the thirdperson effect as a theoretical underpinning, we developed a model of collective rumor correction on social media based on an incident surrounding the death hoax of a political figure. Tweets from Twitter were collected and analyzed for the period when a spike of circulating rumors speculating the demise of Singapore's first prime minister was detected. Corrections of the rumor also went viral on the same day. Our study reveals that corrective behavior during a death hoax situation on Twitter is characterized by affirmative and rational rebuttals verifiable by credible sources. While the inclusion of credible sources is essential for both rumor diffusion and corrections, correcting a rumor differs from its diffusion in that unambiguity and low emotional levels are crucial. Key characteristics of collective rumor correction identified by this study have implications for both theory and practice. We discussed these implications together with the study's limitations and suggestions for future research.


Death hoax, Political figure, Rumor correction, Third-person effect, Twitter


Communication Technology and New Media | Social Media

Research Areas

Data Management and Analytics


Proceedings on the 20th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems: PACIS 2016, Chiayi, Taiwan, 2016 June 27 - July 1




Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems

City or Country

Chiayi, Taiwan

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.