Self- and Social Corrections on Instant Messaging Platforms

Sheryl Wei Ting Ng, Taberez Ahmed Neyazi


The affordances of instant messaging platforms (IMPs) have made them ready conduits for misinformation, with their popularity aggravating the misinformation problem. At present, IMPs have limited systems in place to reduce misinformation, so the burden of correcting misinformation rests on users. This article examines reactions to misinformation and the factors influencing users’ correction of misinformation, both as senders and receivers. Interviews with 35 Singaporean youths aged 21–25 years were conducted, as youths are deemed to have the greatest propensity to correct misinformation. By drawing on politeness theory and impression management theory to understand social-, cultural-, and individual-level factors, our findings reveal a proclivity for self-corrections but a disinclination to social corrections. Recommendations for motivating misinformation corrections are proposed.


misinformation, instant messaging platforms, social correction, self-correction, politeness theory, impression management theory

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