An Analysis of Rumor and Counter-Rumor Messages in Social Media

  • Dion Hoe-Lian Goh
  • Alton Y.K. Chua
  • Hanyu Shi
  • Wenju Wei
  • Haiyan Wang
  • Ee Peng Lim
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10647)


Social media platforms are one of the fastest ways to disseminate information but they have also been used as a means to spread rumors. If left unchecked, rumors have serious consequences. Counter-rumors, messages used to refute rumors, are an important means of rumor curtailment. The objective of this paper is to examine the types of rumor and counter-rumor messages generated in Twitter in response to the falsely reported death of a politician, Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore’s first Prime Minister. Our content analysis of 4321Twitter tweets about Lee’s death revealed six categories of rumor messages, four categories of counter-rumor messages and two categories belonging to neither type. Interestingly, there were more counter-rumor messages than rumor messages. Our results thus suggest that, at least in the context of our study, online users do make an attempt to stop the spread of false rumors through counter-rumors.


Rumor correction Counter rumor Social media Death hoax Content analysis Twitter 



This work was supported by the Ministry of Education Research Grant AcRF Tier 2 (MOE2014-T2-2-020).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dion Hoe-Lian Goh
    • 1
  • Alton Y.K. Chua
    • 1
  • Hanyu Shi
    • 1
  • Wenju Wei
    • 1
  • Haiyan Wang
    • 1
  • Ee Peng Lim
    • 2
  1. 1.Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and InformationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.School of Information SystemsSingapore Management UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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