• Susannah B. F. Paletz
  • Brooke E. Auxier
  • Ewa M. Golonka
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Complexity book series (BRIEFSCOMPLEXITY)


As the use of social media platforms has increased, so have they become a new domain in information warfare. Before tackling the roots or spread of misinformation or disinformation, it is important to understand why people share any information on social media at all. This book presents a broad, multidisciplinary review and creation of a theoretical framework of the factors that have been shown to, or might, influence sharing information on social media, regardless of its veracity. The act of sharing information online is made up of several categories of factors: sources of messages, reactions to the original message and messenger, the motivation to share, the ability to share (and perception of the ability to share), and then, of course, actual sharing behavior. In addition, while genuine actors may have reactions to the original message and messenger, there also exist non-genuine actors that have pre-programmed or pre-planned reactions. We also qualitatively examined 20 fake news stories in two different languages as they appeared in social media in order to illustrate factors affecting information propagation and identify potential gaps in the literature.


Social media Fake news Misinformation Disinformation Multidisciplinary Model Qualitative research Russia Information warfare Social media sharing 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susannah B. F. Paletz
    • 1
  • Brooke E. Auxier
    • 2
  • Ewa M. Golonka
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Advanced Study of LanguageUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Philip Merrill College of JournalismUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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