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    Can you really trust social media? Researchers’ surprising opinions you need to see!

    In today’s digital age, social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives and it is a source of information, news, and entertainment. However, the quality of information shared on social media can be questionable, and it can be challenging to determine what to trust.

    The Factors Affecting Trustworthiness of Information on Social Media

    Various factors can affect the trustworthiness of information on social media. One of the significant factors is the source of information. Some sources may be reputable and reliable, while others may not be. It is essential to evaluate the credibility of the source of information and verify the information from other sources before accepting it as true.

    Another factor that affects the trustworthiness of information on social media is the intention behind the information. Some people may share information with the intention of misleading others, while others may share information with the intention of providing helpful and accurate information.

    It is crucial to evaluate the intention of the source of information and determine whether they have any biases or motivations that may affect the information they share.

    While social media can be a valuable source of information, it is essential to approach it with caution and skepticism. Evaluating the credibility of the source of information, verifying information from other sources, and using constructs such as integrity, ability, and benevolence can help determine the trustworthiness of the information shared on social media.

    Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the users to exercise critical thinking and evaluate the information carefully before accepting it as true.

    People use them for various purposes such as sharing information, connecting with others, and entertainment. However, the quality of information shared on social media has been a topic of debate for many years. According to a study, the quality of information on social media can be questionable, and it is essential to understand that the information shared on social media is different from resources used for scholarly research.

    The study called “Can We Trust Social Media?” emphasizes that most social media information is related to social transactions and daily practices. Therefore, the resource evaluation criteria recommended by library information professionals can be applied to information on social media, but they will need to be interpreted and made easily applicable.

    To address this issue, the literature in e-commerce management identifies trust and risk as two related factors that influence social media behavior. Written by Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, the study is published in the Internet Reference Services Quarterly Journal and suggests that trust and risk are two related factors that influence social media behavior. By evaluating the information sources on social media using these constructs, users can make informed decisions about what to trust.

    The Promising Constructs: Integrity, Ability, and Benevolence

    In this study, researcher Ingrid Hsieh-Yee explain that three constructs- integrity, ability, and benevolence are adapted and applied to several types of information sought on social media. These constructs help information users determine if trust is warranted.

    The exercise shows that when assessing information related to daily lives, integrity, ability, and benevolence hold promise in assisting users to determine what to trust on social media.

    Integrity refers to the honesty and truthfulness of the information source. Ability refers to the expertise and knowledge of the source in providing the information. Finally, benevolence refers to the intention of the source to provide helpful and accurate information. By evaluating the information sources on social media using these constructs, users can make informed decisions about what to trust.

    By using these constructs, users can make informed decisions about what to trust on social media.

    The Responsibility Lies with the Users: Exercising Critical Thinking

    Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the users to exercise critical thinking and evaluate the information carefully before accepting it as true. Navigating the quality of information on social media requires a different approach from traditional scholarly research.
    However, by being mindful of the source of information and evaluating it using the constructs of integrity, ability, and benevolence, users can better navigate the vast amounts of information on social media and make informed decisions.

    Gabriela Luigia
    Gabriela Luigiahttps://gherf.com/author/gabriela-luigia-sterie/
    Luigia Gabriela Sterie is Editor in Chief at Gherf. She's a researcher and her focus areas encompass digital marketing, social media, fake news, branding, consumer behavior and user behavior. Her research has been published in emerging journals. Moreover, she obtained a scientific research grant in the fake news sharing studying area. Her passion for research developed from her passion for writing. She is a copywriter and content writer with over 5 years of experience.
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