What makes people believe in rumors during a social crisis?

Tuesday, 12 October 2021, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CVA 932 and Zoom

Paul Lee of the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong will examine the factors behind the belief in rumors during a social crisis. Using the Anti-Extradition Movement 2019 in Hong Kong as a case, five sets of variables are identified. They are demographics, use of media, political orientation, support for the current social movement, and trust in political authorities. A representative sample of 1,969 respondents were interviewed by telephone in 2020. The hierarchical regression shows that one’s political orientation has a very strong influence on belief in unverified information and rumors. Age, support for the current social movement, and trust in political authorities are also important. However, the use of social media, education, and trust in the HKSAR government are found to be insignificant. The talk will discuss the implications of this study.

PAUL SIU NAM LEE is Professor at the School of Communication, Hang Seng University. He received his PhD in Communication from the University of Michigan. His research interests include International & Intercultural Communication, Information & Communication Technologies, Telecommunications Policy, Social Media, and Political Communication. Before joining Hang Seng University, hetaught at the School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong for about three decades. He served as School Director (1998–2005) and Dean of Social Science (2005–2014) in the period. Professor Lee has published more than 100 papers and book chapters, in addition to 14 authored and edited books. His works are published at major international venues including Journal of Communication, Telematics and Informatics, Telecommunication Policy, Media, Culture & Society, and Asian Journal of Communication. He was the founding editor of the Chinese Journal of Communication published by Routledge since 2007.

Organized by Centre for Media and Communication Research, School of Communication and Film and Research Post Graduate Studies Program. Enquiries.