Investigating “message forwarding behavior” of mobile phone users
Exploring the link between message content, user sentiment, and user intention to forward messages on social media-based instant messaging platforms
Keywords:Information dissemination, Forwarding messages, Misinformation, Social media, University students, WhatsApp, Mobile phones, India
In an online survey, 108 mobile phone users in the age bracket of 18 to 21 in India reported their emotional responses to six humorous, warning, and philosophical messages in real time. Using open coding, researchers coded respondents’ sentiments into positive, negative, and neutral categories and traced their effect on (a) the respondents’ intention to forward the messages, which was captured in real time; and, (b) potential recipients of the forwarded messages. Findings inform the research on electronic word-of-mouth on social media-based instant messaging platforms and mobile phones. Implications in terms of identifying and containing the spread of misinformation on social media are discussed.
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