Credibility Dimensions for Islamic Information in Social Media
A new way of spreading knowledge and collaborating with each other to achieve specific objectives has been introduced with the rise of social media, which is an effective communication tool. A growing number of people are using social media for the search of information relating to religious learning and practices. The younger generation is one of the major users of social media; therefore, many Islamic scholars are reaching out to Muslim youths using this channel. However, as people assimilate themselves to the use of social media in gaining knowledge, questions begin to emerge on the credibility of the Islamic information discovered. Anyone regardless of their background can post or share information or articles on social media, so such information is not always credible or true. Self-proclaimed Islamic scholars could use social media for their own personal gains such as to support and propagate sentiments, misinform, spread rumors, or start up conspiracies. This could confuse social media users, especially the younger generation, whose main information source is social media. Despite the significant importance of this area, limited research has empirically examined the factors that affect the credibility of social media information particularly relating to the Islamic context. In addressing this gap, this study inspects the factors obtained from the literature and classifies the dimensions of social media information credibility. Based on the established credibility theories of the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), Prominence-Interpretation theory, and Social Cognitive theory, a research model is developed to determine Islamic information credibility on social media platforms. It is imperative that the study classifies the credibility dimensions, in order to further validate the factors that influence social media users in confirming the credibility of Islamic information. This study also aims to clear doubts and dispel misinformation regarding the Islamic religion by providing a basis for the society to ascertain Islamic information credibility and authenticity.
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