Why do people share online? Online disinhibition effect in the context of the virtual community of Reddit

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dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor.author Koivu, Salla
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-04T13:21:24Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-04T13:21:24Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/18477
dc.description.abstract For the past two decades, the growth of Internet has been truly exponential. Although there is nothing deterministic about the effects of this technological revolution, it is evident that the Internet is changing our behavior in fundamental ways. One recent expression of the Internet culture is the website reddit.com, which describes itself as "the front page of Internet". In their personal stories the users of Reddit share everything from their financial problems to their illegal venture. And to every touching story about struggling with depression there is a startlingly rude joke about the said depression. What motivates people to share their stories in Reddit even though not necessarily a single user will remember their username? One of the biggest influencers on how we behave online is the online disinhibition effect. To unerstand the site and its communications in a fundamental way, I decided to study the online disinhibition effect in the virtual community of Reddit through netnography. For a period of one year, I participated in the community, aiming to document the experiences of others and myself on the site. According to my research the characteristics typical to Reddit communications: anonymity, lack of cues, and text-basedness affect change the way we communicate on the site, compared to how we communicate face-to-face. When communicating on the site, redditors are able to dissociate themselves from their daily life and identity and assume instead communications' culture, values and morals associated with the virtual community of Reddit. Thus, online disinhibition effect in Reddit means not abandoning all norms but conforming to new ones. All of this is meaningful for the community members because disinhibited behavior gives redditors feelings of empowerment or perceived capabilities in coping with various challenges and overcoming obstacles. Online disinhibition can create empowering experiences through venting, finding similar others, and heightened feelings of self-efficacy as well as receiving emotional support. Thus, people behave disinhibitedly online to feel more powerful and capable. My research contributes to the field of consumer research, although I borrow concepts and ideas vastly from the fields of social psychology and communications studies. Through understanding the phenomena of online disinhibition better, I hope to contribute to the discourse on virtual communities and brand communities en
dc.format.extent 100
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Why do people share online? Online disinhibition effect in the context of the virtual community of Reddit en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.school Kauppakorkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Markkinoinnin laitos fi
dc.contributor.department Department of Marketing en
dc.subject.keyword Online Disinhibition Effect
dc.subject.keyword Netnography
dc.subject.keyword Virtual Communities
dc.subject.keyword Consumer Culture
dc.subject.keyword Identity
dc.subject.keyword Empowerment
dc.subject.keyword Computers as mediators of Communication
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201511055048
dc.type.dcmitype text en
dc.programme.major Marketing en
dc.programme.major Markkinointi fi
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Pro gradu tutkielma fi
dc.subject.helecon markkinointi
dc.subject.helecon marketing
dc.subject.helecon yhteisöt
dc.subject.helecon communities
dc.subject.helecon virtuaalitodellisuus
dc.subject.helecon virtual reality
dc.subject.helecon internet
dc.subject.helecon internet
dc.subject.helecon sosiaalinen media
dc.subject.helecon social media
dc.subject.helecon kuluttajakäyttäytyminen
dc.subject.helecon consumer behaviour
dc.subject.helecon identiteetti
dc.subject.helecon identity
dc.subject.helecon voimaantuminen
dc.subject.helecon empowerment
dc.ethesisid 14151
dc.date.dateaccepted 2015-10-19
dc.location P1 I

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