Social Media as Information Source: Recency of Updates and Credibility of Information


  • Accepted by previous editor Maria Bakardjieva



Social media are increasingly being used as an information source, including information related to risks and crises. The current study examines how pieces of information available in social media impact perceptions of source credibility. Specifically, participants in the study were asked to view 1 of 3 mock pages that varied the recency with which tweets were posted and then to report on their perceived source credibility of the page owner. Data indicate that recency of tweets impacts source credibility; however, this relationship is mediated by cognitive elaboration. These data suggest many implications for theory and application, both in computer-mediated communication and crisis communication. These implications are discussed, along with limitations of the current study and directions for future research.