Selective avoidance on social media amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19

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Brown, Kristen Danielle
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education
Given the turmoil associated with COVID-19 and the increasing prevalence of social media users, it is important to understand how people react to and handle information about the pandemic on social media networking sites. In the context of crisis situations, previous research has suggested that individuals tend to avoid information about the crisis that does not adhere to their beliefs and even see them as a threat. The present study will be researching selective avoidance through unfollowing/unfriending, blocking, and muting/‘taking a break’ behaviours on social media amidst COVID-19. To extend this research further, the study will identify if people experience a perceived threat when they consume information that does not agree with their beliefs.
selective avoidance , COVID-19 , out-group threat , misinformation , social media , confirmation bias