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Abstract

The present study seeks to explore social media users’ reactions to religious disinformation in Bangladesh. Public comments were collected from the relevant Facebook posts related to an online religious disinformation that took place in April 2019 and analyzed following a qualitative content analysis method. The three key findings of this research are: (a) Social media users react to disinformation more emotionally than reasonably; (b) more users show diverse forms of destructive reactions when they encounter disinformation; and (c) although more users have strong reasoning skills, only a few users show constructive reactions after encountering disinformation. These results indicate the presence of hate spin that tend to marginalize religious minorities in both social media and society. This study has limitations related to the data analysis and generalization problem of the findings. The research findings would help both academics to understand the multifaceted online religious disinformation and users’ engagement with it, and policymakers to take effective measures to control interreligious discontents.

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