Vol. XXVII, n. 60, 3rd quarter, July 1 2019
E-ISSN: 1988-3293 / ISSN: 1134-3478
In this paper, we wish to examine the perceived credibility of news items shared through Social Networking Sites (SNS) –specifically, as a function of tie strength and perceived credibility of the media source from which the content originated. We utilized a between-subjects design. The Facebook account of each participant (N=217) was analyzed. Based on this analysis, our participants were shown a fictitious Facebook post that was presumably shared by one of their Facebook friends with whom they had either a strong social tie (experiment group), or a weak social tie (control group). All recipients were then asked about their perceptions regarding the news source (from which the item presumably originated), and their perception regarding thecredibility of the presented item. Our findings indicate that the strength of the social tie between the sharer of the item and its recipient mediates the effect of the credibility perception regarding the news source, and the perceived item credibility, as well as the likelihood of searching for additional information regarding the topic presented in the shared item.
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