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Debunking Rumors in Networks

Luca Merlino, Paolo Pin () and Nicole Tabasso

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Abstract: We study the diffusion of a true and a false message (the rumor) in a social network. Upon hearing a message, individuals may believe it, disbelieve it, or debunk it through costly verification. Whenever the truth survives in steady state, so does the rumor. Online social communication exacerbates relative rumor prevalence as long as it increases verification costs, while the impact of homophily depends on the exact verification process. Our model highlights that successful policies in the fight against rumors increase individuals' incentives to verify.

Date: 2020-10, Revised 2020-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mic, nep-net, nep-pay and nep-soc
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Working Paper: Debunking Rumors in Networks (2019) Downloads
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