From Scroll to Misbelief: Modeling the Unobservable Susceptibility to Misinformation on Social Media

Abstract

Susceptibility to misinformation describes the extent to believe unverifiable claims, which is hidden in people’s mental process and infeasible to observe. Existing susceptibility studies heavily rely on the self-reported beliefs, making any downstream applications on susceptability hard to scale. To address these limitations, in this work, we propose a computational model to infer users’ susceptibility levels given their activities. Since user’s susceptibility is a key indicator for their reposting behavior, we utilize the supervision from the observable sharing behavior to infer the underlying susceptibility tendency. The evaluation shows that our model yields estimations that are highly aligned with human judgment on users’ susceptibility level comparisons. Building upon such large-scale susceptibility labeling, we further conduct a comprehensive analysis of how different social factors relate to susceptibility. We find that political leanings and psychological factors are associated with susceptibility in varying degrees.

Publication
arXiv