Social media users in search of ‘facts’ : the Trade Union House fire case
Zvereva, V. (2021). Social media users in search of ‘facts’ : the Trade Union House fire case. Russian Journal of Communication, 13(1), 11-28. https://doi.org/10.1080/19409419.2021.1893212
Published inRussian Journal of Communication
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
What factors influence users to believe the stories they find in social media, and what role do emotions play for users in concluding that a particular fact is ‘true’? This article examines one aspect of emotionalized communication in social networks in an information war context, namely, how social network users make decisions about the reliability of the information they receive. We employ a qualitative study of a single case – a discussion among Russian-speaking Livejournal.com and Facebook.com users of a tragic incident in Ukraine – the deadly fire that took place in the Odessa Trade Union House on 2 May, 2014. The relevancy of this case consists in how, for all its uniqueness as a tragic event, the communications by users in its immediate aftermath typify important features of social media discussions of ‘shocking events’. This article considers a general model of behavior of users who must try to comprehend the tragic news and are caught in a state of uncertainty amid acute confrontation between actors in an information conflict. ...
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