An Assessment of Users’ Response to Fake News on Social Media: The Case of Popular Bloggers and Social Media Influencers

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Addis Ababa University


Today's news production and consumption are not the same as in the past. The growth of media technology is one of the key drivers of this transition. Social media, for example, allows us to freely communicate and share any massage we have with friends via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, among others, in text, audio, and video formats. The goal of this study is to examine or measure Ethiopian social media users' reactions to fake news. This study's specific purpose is to identify the most common false news topics. Examine the types of responses provided by users. Describe how bloggers and social media influencers contribute to the propagation of fake news. Investigate the influence of bogus news on customer trust in social media. The researcher mostly adopts a mixed method approach. It is the design and observation of quantitative and qualitative research. The researcher sent a request to Ethiopian prominent bloggers, activists, and random social media users who have a large following and are active in social media activism to provide information and do face-to-face interviews. Many other social media users and participants respond to the questions posed online. Based on data from questionnaires, social media posts, and interviews, the findings indicate that fake news is widespread in Ethiopia. Politically motivated false information is the most common type of fake news among Ethiopians. The next most popular sort of fake news practiced by Ethiopians is religious-based fake news. Ethnicity, hurting a person's or entity's reputation, false pages of well-known people fake news are all significant among Ethiopians. According to the data, ethnic politics, a tense political climate, political suppression, low levels of digital literacy among users, the advent of social media, fake news providers produce fake news to promote ideas or people they favor, often by discrediting others, elites with political motives, a lack of professionalism among the media, and religious foundations lacking strength are all factors. Activists circulated hate speech and bogus news that might cause ethnic strife; some did so purposefully to attract attention. The research recommends that to build a better news ecosystem, with a well-informed audience, quality, and accuracy in journalism, we need to construct and follow a strategy with an aim at educating the users on spotting and curbing fake news. Empowering users with the tools and the knowledge to very information distributed online could lead to a better online society with the less fake news.



Fake news, social media, Ethiopian users, disinformation, social media influencers, bloggers, Traditional media, Platform, technological determinism