*Tengku Elena Tengku Mahamad, Nur Syafiqah Ambran, Nur Aziemah Mohd Azman, Daina Bellido de Luna
“Fake news” is a fairly recent term. However, literature demonstrates that the dissemination of fake news on social media has increased over recent years. While existing studies have mostly looked at fake news detection, research on the motives behind why people share fake news has been limited especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applying a thematic analysis on data collected from face-to-face and online interviews, the purpose of this qualitative study is to gain an understanding of how social media users gather and share fake news through the lived experiences of 15 social media users in Selangor, Malaysia. All social media users involved had experienced receiving and sharing fake news with their circle of friends and family.
Keywords: COVID-19, fake news, disinformation, social media