Is it weird to still be a virgin? Anonymous, locally targeted questions on facebook confession boards

Jeremy P Birnholtz, Nicholas Aaron Ross Merola, Arindam Paul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

People have long sought answers to questions online, typically using either anonymous or pseudonymous forums or social network platforms that primarily use real names. Systems that allow anonymous communication afford freedom to explore identity and discuss taboo topics, but can result in negative disinhibited behavior such as cyberbullying. Identifiable communication systems allows one to reach a known audience and avoid negative disinhibition, but can constrain behavior with concerns about privacy and reputation. One persistent design issue is understanding how to leverage the benefits of anonymity without suffering its drawbacks. This paper presents a case study analysis of question asking on Facebook confession boards (FCBs), a tool popular on some college campuses. FCBs present a unique configuration in which members of an offline community (e.g., a university) anonymously submit content to a moderator who posts it to a Facebook page where others in the community can view it and respond. Response is via identifiable Facebook comments and likes. Our results show users asking about taboo and stigmatized topics with local others, and receiving relevant responses with little cyberbullying or negativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2015 - Proceedings of the 33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationCrossings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages2613-2622
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331456
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 18 2015
Event33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Apr 18 2015Apr 23 2015

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Volume2015-April

Other

Other33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015
CountryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period4/18/154/23/15

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Facebook
  • Identity
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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