AAAI Publications, Eighth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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Anonymity in Social Media: Effects of Content Controversiality and Social Endorsement on Sharing Behavior
Kaiping Zhang, René F. Kizilcec

Last modified: 2014-05-16


The amount of information shared via social media is rapidly increasing amid growing concerns over online privacy. This study investigates the effect of controversiality and social endorsement of media content on sharing behavior when choosing between sharing publicly or anonymously. Anonymous sharing is found to be a popular choice (59% of shares), especially for controversial content which is 3.2x more likely to be shard anonymously. Social endorsement was not found to affect sharing behavior, except for sports-related content. Implications for social media interface design are discussed.


Anonymity, Social Media, Controversiality, Social Endorsement

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