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Title: Does the platform matter? Social media and COVID-19 conspiracy theory beliefs in 17 countries
Author: Theocharis, Yannis
Cardenal, Ana S.  
Jin, Soyeon
Aalberg, Toril
Hopmann, David Nicolas
Strömbäck, Jesper
Castro, Laia
Esser, Frank
Van Aelst, Peter
de Vreese, Claes  
Corbu, Nicoleta  
Koc-Michalska, Karolina
Matthes, Joerg
Schemer, Christian
Sheafer, Tamir
Splendore, Sergio
Stanyer, James
Stepinska, Agnieszka
Stetka, Vaclav
Others: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Keywords: affordances
conspiracy theories
social media
Issue Date: 9-Oct-2021
Publisher: New Media and Society
Citation: Theocharis, Y. [Yannis], Cardenal, A.S. [Ana Sofía], Jin, S. [Soyeon], Aalberg, T. [Toril], Hopmann, D.N. [David Nicolas], Strömbäck, J. [Jesper], Castro, L. [Laia], Esser, F. [Frank], Van Aelst, P. [Peter], de Vreese, C. [Claes], Corbu, N. [Nicoleta], Koc-Michalska, K. [Karolina], Matthes, J. [Joerg], Schemer, C. [Christian], Sheafer, T. [Tamir], Splendore, S. [Sergio], Stanyer, J. [James], Stepinska, A. [Agnieszka] & Stetka, V. [Václav]. (2021). Does the platform matter? Social media and COVID-19 conspiracy theory beliefs in 17 countries. New Media and Society, (), 1-26. doi: 10.1177/14614448211045666
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Abstract: While the role of social media in the spread of conspiracy theories has received much attention, a key deficit in previous research is the lack of distinction between different types of platforms. This study places the role of social media affordances in facilitating the spread of conspiracy beliefs at the center of its enquiry. We examine the relationship between platform use and conspiracy theory beliefs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Relying on the concept of technological affordances, we theorize that variation across key features make some platforms more fertile places for conspiracy beliefs than others. Using data from a crossnational dataset based on a two-wave online survey conducted in 17 countries before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we show that Twitter has a negative effect on conspiracy beliefs-as opposed to all other platforms under examination which are found to have a positive effect.
Language: English
ISSN: 1461-4448MIAR
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