Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Information processing & management

Infodemics are intertwined with the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting people's perception and social order. To curb the spread of COVID-19 related false rumors, fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) is used to find configurational pathways to enhance rumor refutation effectiveness. In this paper, a total of 1,903 COVID-19 related false rumor refutation microblogs on Sina Weibo are collected by a web crawler from January 1, 2022 to April 20, 2022, and 10 main conditions affecting rumor refutation effectiveness index (REI) are identified based on "three rules of epidemics". To reduce data redundancy, five ensemble machine learning models are established and tuned, among which Light Gradient Boosting Machine (LGBM) regression model has the best performance. Then five core conditions are extracted by feature importance ranking of LGBM. Based on fsQCA with the five core conditions, REI enhancement can be achieved through three different pathway elements configurations solutions: "Highly influential microblogger * high followers' stickiness microblogger", "high followers' stickiness microblogger * highly active microblogger * concise information description" and "high followers' stickiness microblogger * the sentiment tendency of the topic * concise information description". Finally, decision-making suggestions for false rumor refutation platforms and new ideas for improving false rumor refutation effectiveness are proposed. The innovation of this paper reflects in exploring the REI enhancement strategy from the perspective of configuration for the first time.

Li Zongmin, Zhao Ye, Duan Tie, Dai Jingqi


COVID-19, Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (FsQCA), Infodemic, LGBM regression model, Rumor refutation effectiveness