Fake News Sharing: An Investigation of Threat and Coping Cues in the Context of the Zika Virus

Rohit Valecha, Srikrishna Krishnarao Srinivasan, Tejaswi Volety, K. Hazel Kwon, Manish Agrawal, H. Raghav Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Fake news has become a growing problem for societies, spreading virally and transforming into harmful impacts in social networks. The problem of fake news is even more troubling in the healthcare context. In the healthcare literature, it has been well established that threat situations and coping responses facilitate information sharing and seeking among the public. Along a similar vein, we argue that threat and coping related cues are important indicators of shareworthiness of fake news in social media. We address the following research questions associated with fake news sharing in the context of Zika virus: How do threat- and coping-related cues influence fake news sharing? We characterize threat situations that have threat and severity cues and coping responses that are based on reaction to protection and fear cues. The results indicate the significant positive effect of threat cues and protection cues on fake news sharing. Such an investigation can allow the monitoring of viral fake messages in a timely manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalDigital Threats: Research and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Fake news
  • Twitter
  • Zika
  • fake news sharing
  • fear cues
  • neural network
  • protection cues
  • threat cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems
  • Safety Research


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