Online Deception in Social Media
Social media sites such as Twitter have become indispensable in the world today. Users employ such platforms to obtain information they need on topics ranging from celebrity news to politics. However, not all information to be found on such platforms is reliable. The posting of inaccurate information has become a problem of concern to general users as well as leaders in the news industry and in the political sphere. This study will focus on the online deception that might face users of social media, especially on Twitter. The study will clarify the characteristics of deceptive information that might be found on Twitter. What are motivations for spreading deceptive information? There might be many reasons for sending deceptive information, and the study will focus on some of them. How frequently do users encounter inaccurate or deceptive information, and how do they react when they encounter it? The study will use a qualitative method, employing interviews to collect data. The random sample is 50 graduate students from the University of North Texas. The theory that the researcher will use is Information Encountering theory by Erdalez (1997), which will be used to determine if the users encountered deceptive information while they were using Twitter to look for information and how they responded. The theory provides a means for describing the choices of users when they encounter information in terms of decisions and then later decisions based on the results of earlier ones. The interviews will focus on how they encountered deceptive information. If the deceptive information is found, how can they distinguish between it and accurate information? What do users do after they have encountered deceptive information? This study is of interest to researchers in the field of information searching behavior.
Keywords - Social Media, Platform, Social Networking, Twitter.