Rumors on Social Media Networking Sites and their Impact on Emirati Youth

Alya Saleh Alhajeri ,Dr. Kumural Zaman bin Haji Yusoff


The growth of rumors in social media has become a significant issue across the globe. Even the youth is well-aware of the wide dissemination of unverified information online and is additionally affected by them. The purpose of this study is to explore the impacts of rumors present across different social media platforms on Emirati youth. To meet this goal, qualitative research was conducted which was drawn from the constructivist paradigm. The target population were Emirati youth who were between the ages of 15 and 24 years old. Using convenience sampling, a total of ten participants were involved in the study. In order to collect the needed information for the research, a semi-structured interview was conducted to every participant using a 10-item questionnaire which consisted of open-ended questions. Using content analysis, findings then revealed two themes: (1) Emirati youth contribute to spreading rumors on social media; and (2) Rumors on social media have a negative impact on Emirati youth’s social security. In other words, participants were involved in spreading unverified information online at least once in their life. These rumors were centered on celebrity news and activities in their communities. Also, findings suggested that the participants acknowledged the negative effects of the growth of online rumors on them and their social security. Consequently, it is recommended that Emirati youth learn how to recognize and detect rumors and to dig deeper into the issue before posting them online in order to verify the information. Also, the national government needs to work on implementing a national security strategy intended to reduce rumors online.