Conference Paper

Strangers on Your Phone: Why People Use Anonymous Communication Applications

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Abstract

Anonymity online is important to people at times in their lives. Anonymous communication applications such as Whisper and YikYak enable people to communicate with strangers anonymously through their smartphones. We report results from semi-structured interviews with 18 users of these apps. The goal of our study was to identify why and how people use anonymous apps, their perceptions of their audience and interactions on the apps, and how these apps compare with other online social communities. We present a typology of the content people share, and their motivations for participation in anonymous apps. People share various types of content that range from deep confessions and secrets to lighthearted jokes and momentary feelings. An important driver for participation and posting is to get social validation from others, even though they are anonymous strangers. We also find that participants believe these anonymous apps allow more honesty, openness, and diversity of opinion than they can find elsewhere. Our results provide implications for how anonymity in mobile apps can encourage expressiveness and interaction among users.

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... It is also important to clarify that we do not wish to imply that all content on Yik Yak is negative or hurtful; indeed, as recent empirical research has shown, the majority of yaks are trivial and benign (Black, et al., 2016) and posting behavior might not be all that different from non-anonymous feeds such as Twitter (Saveski, et al., 2016). The anonymity feature of Yik Yak motivates some users seeking a space for honest expression and exposure to diverse opinions (Kang, et al., 2016). Schlesinger, et al. (2017find that the combination of the platform's anonymity, ephemerality, and hyper-locality — which they refer to collectively as " situated anonymity " — can provide a forum for sharing honest opinions, a space for trying on individual identities, a " support structure for coping " with minor or major psychosocial challenges[1], and encouragement for " participants to commit to an online community by giving them an active role in the creation of an emergent, iterative group identity "[2]. ...
... On the Internet, the lack of visual and auditory cues, the asynchronous and ephemeral nature of communication, and the isolation from one's communication partners contribute to create a very particular communication environment. Given the fluid, multifaceted nature of personal identity (McRobbie, 1994;Hall, 1987), researchers have been interested in what motivates and affects the ways people display themselves differently online (boyd, 2014;Cover, 2015), particularly when participating anonymously (Ellison, et al., 2016;Kang, et al., 2016). Studies show that there is a propensity for anonymous online users to suspend their consciousness of consequences and thus adopt a sense of disinhibition in their expressions (Mason, 2008;Sproull and Kiesler, 1991;Suler, 2004). ...
... Combined with the asynchronous nature of online communications, anonymity in CMC seems to lead to a series of behavioral outcomes that are drastically different from face-to-face communication, as research has demonstrated across various online platforms or digital applications (Bernstein, et al., 2011;Rogers, 2010;Schoenebeck, 2013;Sproull and Kiesler, 1991). Studies have shown that anonymity, as well as the disinhibition it leads to, can result in either positive or negative behaviors depending on context (Christopherson, 2007;Kang, et al., 2016;Suler, 2004); when the disinhibition is " toxic, " it encourages cyberbullying behavior (Mason, 2008). In general, anonymity was found to foster a sense of impunity, a loss of self-awareness and a likelihood of acting upon normally inhibited impulses in a way that is markedly inconsistent with a person's off-line self (Siegel, et al., 1986). ...
Article
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Yik Yak, a location-based, anonymous social media app, has been gaining negative attention as a platform that often gives voice to bullying, racism and sexism on college campuses across the country. Integrating research on digital anonymity and cyberbullying, this paper analyzes the key features of Yik Yak and discusses the ethical dimensions of technology design, as illustrated by the Yik Yak case study. Based on this analysis and integrating previous research findings on interaction in digital spaces, we conclude by providing a set of guidelines for integrating ethical considerations into the process of designing social apps, and offer a few directions for further research in this area.
... There are two lines of research closely related to this study: anonymous online expression and online communities for women. Anonymous expression on the Internet describes the ability to interact online without having to use identifying markers, e.g., birth names or age [6]. Sometimes, women can feel more confident in sharing their experiences in online spaces designed for or frequented by them, anonymously or not. ...
... Anonymity is a preferred feature of online communication at times, which could encourage expressiveness and interaction among users, and allow more honesty, openness, and diversity of opinion [6]. People share various types of content in anonymous communication applications, ranging from deep confessions and secrets to lighthearted jokes and momentary feelings. ...
... People share various types of content in anonymous communication applications, ranging from deep confessions and secrets to lighthearted jokes and momentary feelings. Important motivations for participation and posting are to get social validation from others, even though they are anonymous strangers [6], or just out of boredom and for fun [7]. Although researchers often regarded user identity and data permanence as central tools in the design of online communities, a study of 4chan, an anonymous English-language imageboard website, found that over 90% of posts were made by fully anonymous users [8]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gender issues faced by women can range from workplace harassment to domestic violence. While publicly disclosing these issues on social media can be hard, some may incline to express themselves anonymously. We approached such an anonymous female community on Chinese social media where discussion on gender issues takes place with a qualitative content analysis. By observing anonymous experiences contributed by female users and made publicly available by an influencer, we identified 20 issues commonly discussed, with cheating-partner, controlling parents and age anxiety taking the lead. The results are placed into context with Chinese culture and expectations about gender. By describing the results in context with the social challenges faced by women in China, and understanding how these issues are anonymously and openly discussed by them, we aim to motivate more policies and platform designs to accommodate the needs of the affected population.
... Anonymous social media (ASMs) like Ask.fm, Yik Yak, Secret, and Sarahah have brought changes to that practice by allowing people to express their thoughts and opinions anonymously. Several studies have been conducted to identify the motivations of using anonymous applications [22,26,56]. These studies show that some people prefer ASM for achieving protection against their socially disapproved behaviors, including online harassment [26,56], while some may seek it to share anything on the internet without the fear of social retaliation [22]. ...
... Several studies have been conducted to identify the motivations of using anonymous applications [22,26,56]. These studies show that some people prefer ASM for achieving protection against their socially disapproved behaviors, including online harassment [26,56], while some may seek it to share anything on the internet without the fear of social retaliation [22]. Hence, anonymous social media provide their users with a rostrum for safely expressing their opinions. ...
... For example, while some applications provide options for managing the level of anonymity (like Ask.fm) to a certain extent, some applications have the default option of anonymity implemented in them (like Sarahah, Whisper). These anonymous applications allow people sharing messages with other users hiding their actual identity [56]. With anonymity, people can discuss or share unconventional or unwanted messages with others that may receive stricter scrutiny if discussed on other traditional platforms [26]. ...
Conference Paper
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Prior research on anonymous social media (ASM) has studied the issue of sexual harassment and has revealed its connections to stereotyping, aggression, interpersonal relationships, and mental health among others [16, 24, 60]. However, the characteristics of such harassment in the context of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the global south has not received enough attention in the literature. This paper presents our findings on the use of ASM in Bangladesh based on an anonymous online survey of (n= 291) participants and semi-structured interviews with (n= 27) participants. Our study shows a wide prevalence of sexual harassment on anonymous social networks in Bangladesh, the relationship between a closely-knitted communal culture and anonymous harassment, and the lack of infrastructural support for the victims. We also propose a set of design and policy recommendations for such anonymous social media to extend the current ICTD literature on ensuring a safer online environment for women, especially in an LMIC.
... Progressively, citizens perform more activities on the Internet such as surfing on the Web, establishing Voice over IP communications, sending and receiving instant messages (e.g. through WhatsApp Messenger), which facilitates that different entities such as Internet Service Providers, websites, advertisers, and governments can obtain more information on their activities and can create users' profiles [1,2,3,4,5,6] or surveillance them. ...
... This kind of systems are fundamental to preserve freedom of speech and avoid censorship [14,2,15]. Indeed, they are the cornerstone to define and develop different kind of systems that need to preserve privacy and anonymity such as electronic voting system, anonymous payment systems, anonymous Voice Over IP (VoIP) communications based on SIP [16,17,18], and electronic auctions [19,11,5]. ...
... Shirazi et al. [51] indicate how to measure resilience, Kang et al. [5] calculate the compromise rate for high bandwidth malicious nodes to know the effect of malicious nodes on Tor security, and in [48] they define how to gather client statistics from anonymity network egress nodes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Privacy is an important research topic due to its implications in society. Among the topics covered by privacy, we can highlight how to establish anonymous communications. During the latest years we have seen an important research in this field. In order to know what the state of the art in the research in anonymous communication systems (ACS) is, we have developed a systematic literature review (SLR). Namely, our SLR analyzes several issues: activity performed in the field, major research purposes, findings, what the most ACS study, the limitations of current research, how is leading the research in this field and the most highly-cited articles. Our SLR provides an analysis on 203 papers found in conferences and journals focused on anonymous communications systems between 2011 and 2016. Thus, our SLR provides an updated view on the status of the research in the field and the different future topics to be addressed.
... In the first category, we assess why users post in social media, i.e., the user's driving intent of a post as interpreted by the human annotator. In our schema, we use eight possible intents that we base upon a prior work's [10] taxonomy, derived from semi-structured interviews with social media users. Table 1 shows the list of intents I, e.g., if a user is sharing information or is seeking for information. ...
... Iterative schema development. We based the initial version of the schema on prior work ( [10] for the intents and [5,16,26] for the topics), that we have iteratively refined and adapted in multiple classification campaigns, each based on a small random samples of Jodel posts. Qualitative coder feedback was in line mentioned works, we do not find any specifically toxic environment. ...
... That is, we find evidence for: [23]. Also Jodel as an anonymous platform promotes sensitive content and provides a sphere where people are free in expression and more likely engage controversial discussions & opinions-one main reason using the application as concluded from interviews [10]. ...
Preprint
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In this paper, we study what users talk about in a plethora of independent hyperlocal and anonymous online communities in a single country: Saudi Arabia (KSA). We base this perspective on performing a content classification of the Jodel network in the KSA. To do so, we first contribute a content classification schema that assesses both the intent (why) and the topic (what) of posts. We use the schema to label 15k randomly sampled posts and further classify the top 1k hashtags. We observe a rich set of benign (yet at times controversial in conservative regimes) intents and topics that dominantly address information requests, entertainment, or dating/flirting. By comparing two large cities (Riyadh and Jeddah), we further show that hyperlocality leads to shifts in topic popularity between local communities. By evaluating votes (content appreciation) and replies (reactions), we show that the communities react differently to different topics; e.g., entertaining posts are much appreciated through votes, receiving the least replies, while beliefs & politics receive similarly few replies but are controversially voted.
... Anonymous social media (ASMs) like Ask.fm, Yik Yak, Secret, and Sarahah have brought changes to that practice by allowing people to express their thoughts and opinions anonymously. Several studies have been conducted to identify the motivations of using anonymous applications [22,26,56]. These studies show that some people prefer ASM for achieving protection against their socially disapproved behaviors, including online harassment [26,56], while some may seek it to share anything on the internet without the fear of social retaliation [22]. ...
... Several studies have been conducted to identify the motivations of using anonymous applications [22,26,56]. These studies show that some people prefer ASM for achieving protection against their socially disapproved behaviors, including online harassment [26,56], while some may seek it to share anything on the internet without the fear of social retaliation [22]. Hence, anonymous social media provide their users with a rostrum for safely expressing their opinions. ...
... For example, while some applications provide options for managing the level of anonymity (like Ask.fm) to a certain extent, some applications have the default option of anonymity implemented in them (like Sarahah, Whisper). These anonymous applications allow people sharing messages with other users hiding their actual identity [56]. With anonymity, people can discuss or share unconventional or unwanted messages with others that may receive stricter scrutiny if discussed on other traditional platforms [26]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the findings on the use of Anonymous Social Media (ASM) in Bangladesh based on an anonymous online survey of 291 participants and semi-structured interviews with 27 participants. Our study shows a wide prevalence of sexual harassment on anonymous social networks in Bangladesh, the relationship between a closely-knitted communal culture and anonymous harassment, and the lack of infrastructural support for the victims. These findings advocate for a safe and supportive online environment for its users, especially for women who are the primary victims of profanity or defamation in Bangladesh.
... There are two lines of research closely related to this study: anonymous online expression and online communities for women. Anonymous expression on the Internet describes the ability to interact online without having to use identifying markers, e.g., birth names or age [6]. Sometimes, women can feel more confident in sharing their experiences in online spaces designed for or frequented by them, anonymously or not. ...
... Anonymity is a preferred feature of online communication at times, which could encourage expressiveness and interaction among users, and allow more honesty, openness, and diversity of opinion [6]. People share various types of content in anonymous communication applications, ranging from deep confessions and secrets to lighthearted jokes and momentary feelings. ...
... People share various types of content in anonymous communication applications, ranging from deep confessions and secrets to lighthearted jokes and momentary feelings. Important motivations for participation and posting are to get social validation from others, even though they are anonymous strangers [6], or just out of boredom and for fun [7]. Although researchers often regarded user identity and data permanence as central tools in the design of online communities, a study of 4chan, an anonymous English-language imageboard website, found that over 90% of posts were made by fully anonymous users [8]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Gender issues faced by women can range from workplace harassment to domestic violence. While publicly disclosing these issues on social media can be hard, some may incline to express themselves anonymously. We approached such an anonymous female community on Chinese social media where discussion on gender issues takes place with a qualitative content analysis. By observing anonymous experiences contributed by female users and made publicly available by an influencer, we identified 20 issues commonly discussed, with cheating-partner, controlling parents and age anxiety taking the lead. The results are placed into context with Chinese culture and expectations about gender. By describing the results in context with the social challenges faced by women in China, and understanding how these issues are anonymously and openly discussed by them, we aim to motivate more policies and platform designs to accommodate the needs of the affected population.
... Recent years have seen a rise in the use of social media platforms that a ord anonymous communication such as ASKfm and Formspring [5,37] and mobile applications that allow anonymous sharing like YikYak and Kik [18]. While anonymous online communication has existed for decades (e.g., Usenet, anonymous chat rooms) [27], platforms like ASKfm are novel because they allow users to anonymously communicate with known recipients (i.e., semi-anonymous communication). ...
... is study contributes new insights into the bene ts and drawbacks of online anonymity, as well as how adolescents and young adults navigate an online space that can be fraught with negativity and harm. Based on our ndings, we push the discussion of anonymous interactions [18] beyond the standard focus on negative and bullying messages to consider the range of positive and negative outcomes associated with site use. While we acknowledge the importance of minimizing user risks, our study highlights how and why these sites are useful to young people, i.e., by providing an outlet for interactions that may be perceived as stigmatizing in less anonymous environments. ...
... Kang et. al. contend that ephemerality is an intrinsic part of anonymous communication application [18]. However, semi-anonymous social web applications like ASKfm do not embrace the same ephemerality as other fully anonymous social web applications since posts are recorded on user pro les. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
ASKfm is a social media platform popular among teens and young adults where users can interact anonymously or semi-anonymously. In this paper, we identify the modes of disclosure and interaction that occur on the site, and evaluate why users are motivated to post and interact on the site, despite its reputation for facilitating cyberbullying. Through topic modeling - supplemented with manual annotation - of a large dataset of ASKfm posts, we identify and classify the rich variety of discourse posted on ASKfm, including both positive and negative forms, providing insights into the why individuals continue to engage with the site. These findings are complemented by a survey of young adults (aged 18-20) ASKfm users, which provides additional insights into users' motivations and interaction patterns. We discuss how the affordances specific to platforms like ASKfm, including anonymity and visibility, might enable users to respond to cyberbullying in novel ways, engage in positive forms of self-disclosure, and gain social support on sensitive topics. We conclude with design recommendations that would highlight the positive interactions on the website and help diminish the repurcussions of the negative interactions.
... This adds a new dimension to the existing issues surrounding college speech. It is found to be a key driver of and an exacerbating factor behind harassment, bullying, and other violent incidents targeting vulnerable students, often making people feel unwelcome in both digital and physical spaces [48,79], and even causing psychological and emotional upheavals, akin to its offline counterpart [63,86]. ...
... Apart from understanding online hateful language, some, although limited studies have also examined its effects on the online activities of individuals [5]. [48] showed that victims of online abuse leave the platforms, [86] found that the victims feel increased prejudice, and [19] found that the ban of Reddit communities which incited hateful content was effective towards reducing the manifestation of hateful content on the platform. Similarly, other work found that exposure to online hate among young social media users is associated with psychological and emotional upheavals and heightened distancing from family members [63].Further, [91] studied how various minority groups are targeted with hate speech through various modes of media (both online and offline) and how they are affected because of the exposure to hateful content. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background. Hateful speech bears negative repercussions and is particularly damaging in college communities. The efforts to regulate hateful speech on college campuses pose vexing socio-political problems, and the interventions to mitigate the effects require evaluating the pervasiveness of the phenomenon on campuses as well the impacts on students' psychological state. Data and Methods. Given the growing use of social media among college students, we target the above issues by studying the online aspect of hateful speech in a dataset of 6 million Reddit comments shared in 174 college communities. To quantify the prevelence of hateful speech in an online college community, we devise College Hate Index (CHX). Next, we examine its distribution across the categories of hateful speech,behavior, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance, race, religion, andsexual orientation. We then employ a causal-inference framework to study the psychological effects of hateful speech, particularly in the form of individuals' online stress expression. Finally, we characterize their psychological endurance to hateful speech by analyzing their language -- their discriminatory keyword use, and their personality traits. Results. We find that hateful speech is prevalent in college subreddits, and 25% of them show greater hateful speech than non-college subreddits. We also find that the exposure to hate leads to greater stress expression. However, everybody exposed is not equally affected; some show lower psychological endurance than others. Low endurance individuals are more vulnerable to emotional outbursts, and are more neurotic than those with higher endurance. Discussion. Our work bears implications for policy-making and intervention efforts to tackle the damaging effects of online hateful speech in colleges. From technological perspective, our work caters to mental health support provisions on college campuses, and to moderation efforts in online college communities. In addition, given the charged aspect of speech dilemma, we highlight the ethical implications of our work. Our work lays the foundation for studying the psychological impacts of hateful speech in online communities in general, and situated communities in particular (the ones that have both an offline and an online analog).
... It can hide covert traffic in a large amount of overt communication traffic. Many researches show that the use of network covert channel can protect user privacy and guarantee users' right to free access to Internet [6][7][8]. e secure transmission of secret messages in the communication process refers to two aspects: one is the communication content security [9] and the other is the communication connection security [6,10,11]. Network covert channel can effectively improve the security of these two aspects. ...
... Many researches show that the use of network covert channel can protect user privacy and guarantee users' right to free access to Internet [6][7][8]. e secure transmission of secret messages in the communication process refers to two aspects: one is the communication content security [9] and the other is the communication connection security [6,10,11]. Network covert channel can effectively improve the security of these two aspects. ...
Article
Full-text available
In order to protect user privacy or guarantee free access to the Internet, the network covert channel has become a hot research topic. It refers to an information channel in which the messages are covertly transmitted under the network environment. In recent years, many new construction schemes of network covert channels are proposed. But at the same time, network covert channel has also received the attention of censors, leading to many attacks. The network covert channel refers to an information channel in which the messages are covertly transmitted under the network environment. Many users exploit the network covert channel to protect privacy or guarantee free access to the Internet. Previous construction schemes of the network covert channel are based on information steganography, which can be divided into CTCs and CSCs. In recent years, there are some covert channels constructed by changing the transmission network architecture. On the other side, some research work promises that the characteristics of emerging network may better fit the construction of the network covert channel. In addition, the covert channel can also be constructed by changing the transmission network architecture. The proxy and anonymity communication technology implement this construction scheme. In this paper, we divide the key technologies for constructing network covert channels into two aspects: communication content level (based on information steganography) and transmission network level (based on proxy and anonymity communication technology). We give an comprehensively summary about covert channels at each level. We also introduce work for the three new types of network covert channels (covert channels based on streaming media, covert channels based on blockchain, and covert channels based on IPv6). In addition, we present the attacks against the network covert channel, including elimination, limitation, and detection. Finally, the challenge and future research trend in this field are discussed. 1. Introduction With the rapid development of information technology, Internet has penetrated into every aspect of people’s lives. However, when people enjoy the convenience brought by the network, there have been many issues of information leakage and user privacy breaches [1]. For example, there have emerged malicious attacks which aimed at stealing confidential government data, such as GhostNet [2], ShadowNet [3], and Axiom [4]. On the other hand, repressive governments have deployed increasingly sophisticated technology to block the disfavored Internet content [5]. So, many users cannot access Internet freely. The network covert channel can covertly transmit secret messages. It can hide covert traffic in a large amount of overt communication traffic. Many researches show that the use of network covert channel can protect user privacy and guarantee users’ right to free access to Internet [6–8]. The secure transmission of secret messages in the communication process refers to two aspects: one is the communication content security [9] and the other is the communication connection security [6, 10, 11]. Network covert channel can effectively improve the security of these two aspects. In terms of communication content security, encryption technology is widely used to protect the communication content of both sides, such as SSL (secure sockets layer), digital signature, and other technologies. The Google transparency report “HTTPS Encryption in Chrome” (available under https://transparencyreport.google.com/https/overview) states that, in October 2019, 95% of Chrome webpages enabled encryption. In addition, according to Netmarketshare (a website for Market Share Statistics for Internet Technologies, available under https://netmarketshare.com/report.aspx?id=https), the percentage of encrypted web traffic in October 2019 has exceeded 90%. However, with the continuous development of the encrypted traffic analysis technology, even in the case of encryption, certain activities of users can still be discovered [12, 13]. So, the privacy of users cannot be well protected. On the other hand, the increasing computing power and attacks on encryption algorithm also make it possible to crack encrypted traffic [14, 15]. The covert channel can prevent the encrypted traffic from being discovered due to its covert transmission characteristics. In this environment, if the attacker does not know the covert channel construction method, he cannot perform the attacks on encrypted traffic, even if he has a strong ability to analyze and crack encrypted traffic [7]. So, the network covert channel enhanced the communication content security. In terms of communication connection security, the meta-data (message source IP address, destination IP address, etc.) and communication mode (interval of packets, etc.) cannot be hidden by encryption [10]. The communication participants may expose identity information to the network eavesdroppers [16]. Further, they can infer the sender and receiver of the message and find the ongoing communication connection, leading to significant risk of privacy leaks and being blocked. But, the network covert channel is an unconventional communication method, and the eavesdroppers cannot determine whether the user is actually performing covert communication and thus cannot find both sides of communication. So, the identity concealment of both parties can be protected [17]. On the other hand, because the traffic of the covert channel is mixed in a large amount of overt traffic, even if the eavesdroppers use some methods to obtain the identity of both parties, it is difficult for them to determine whether the two parties are sending or receiving messages, that is, the communication behavior is unobservable [18]. So, the covert channel can provide a strong guarantee for the security of communication connection. The use of covert channels strengthens the content security of encrypted traffic and fills the shortcomings that encryption cannot protect the security of communication connection. So, the demand to construct network covert channels is increasing, and many technologies are proposed. The most common technology is to use information steganography to build a network covert channel [17]. The information steganography can hide secret messages in the temporal behavior of the traffic or the storage fields in the network protocol, which composes CTCs (covert timing channels) and CSCs (covert storage channels) accordingly [7]. Besides the information steganography, many covert channels perform covert transmission by changing the transmission network architecture. There are two typical representatives: proxy technology [19, 20] and anonymous communication technology [11]. The proxy can be divided into two categories: end-to-end proxy (such as HTTP proxy [21]) and end to middle proxy (such as Telex [22]). In addition, anonymous communication technology can also conduct a new covert transmission path. There are many mature anonymous communication systems such as Tor [23], I2P [24], and Loopix [11]. On the other side, some research work promises that the characteristics of emerging networks may better fit the construction of the network covert channel. With the development of emerging networks, many network covert channels in the new network environment (streaming media network, blockchain network, and IPv6) have been proposed. The covert channels based on streaming media network hide secret messages in audio and video traffic and use popular streaming media applications as the carrier. There are three typical covert channels: Facet [25], CovertCast [26], and DeltaShaper [27]. The blockchain network has the characteristics of participant-anonymity, flooding propagation, and tampering resistance [28]. The covert channels based on blockchain network can utilize participant-anonymity and flooding propagation to increase the concealment of communicating parties. The tampering resistance can also be used to guarantee the robustness of covert channel. In this context, the models of covert channels based on blockchain network are proposed [10, 28] and three covert channels (Zombiecoin [10], Botchain [29], and Chainchannels [30]) have been actually deployed in blockchain network. The IPv6 network is also a compelling platform for constructing covert channels. The IPv6 header and its extensions have many reserved fields or other fields which can embed information, thus leading to many possible covert channels [31]. However, because the network covert channel is a good method to cope with repressive government, it has also received the attention of censors [32]. Compared with ordinary eavesdroppers, the national-level censors have a global traffic view and have a stronger ability to analyze traffic. More and more attacks against the covert channel have appeared, which has an impact on channel concealment, robustness, and transmission efficiency [33–35]. Although there are many studies on covert channels, there is no comprehensive survey for the construction technologies they use and corresponding attacks. In addition, there is also less research on the covert channels in the new network environment. Compared with the already published studies, the main contributions of this paper are as follows:(1)Previous studies only considered the network covert channel based on information steganography, but not the covert channel based on the changing network architecture. According to different principles of covert channel construction technologies, we divide covert channels into two levels: communication content and transmission network, which can comprehensively include existing covert channels. And, we conduct a comprehensive analysis on the covert channels under each construction technology.(2)The characteristics of the new network create many convenient conditions for the construction of network covert channels. However, they are not considered in other reviews. We present the covert channels in the new network environments including streaming media, blockchain, and IPv6, which makes up for deficiencies in existing work. It would highly facilitate for the researchers to understand the research status and provide research ideas for the subsequent design of covert channels in those new network environments.(3)We emphasize the challenging problems facing the construction of covert channels: the IP blocking or other blocking technology reduces the channel availability; the use of ML and DL technology makes the covert channel easier to expose. We discuss how to improve the ability to resist those problems, such as using adversarial examples, constructing reversible network, covert channel. In order to improve the readability, we list the abbreviations used in our article in Table 1. Abbreviation Full name SSL Secure sockets layer Tor The second-generation onion router DPI Deep packet inspection I2P Invisible internet project ML Machine learning DL Deep learning CTCs Covert timing channels CSCs Covert storage channels URL Uniform resource locator E2M End-to-middle C&C Command and control IPDs Internet packet delays BER Bit error rate PDU Protocol data unit ICMP Internet control message protocol ECDH Elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman TCP ISNs TCP initial sequence numbers PPTP Point-to-point tunneling protocol L2TP Layer two-tunneling protocol VTP VLAN trunking protocol IPSec IP security DHT Distributed hash table ESP Encapsulating security payload SDN Software defined network IoT Internet of things ICS Industrial control systems DGA Domain generation algorithm
... Among negative consequences are deviant behaviour and online trolling (Fichman & Peters, 2019;Seigfried-Spellar & Lankford, 2018), identity deception and manipulations (Donath, 1999), or violent language and aggression in general (Kasakowskij et al., 2018). On the other hand, positive benefits of anonymity in online spaces can include people having intimate and open conversations (Kasakowskij et al., 2018), seeking social validation from others (Kang et al., 2016), finding a venue for discussing sensitive topics (Peddinti et al., 2014) or disclosing personal information in a safe space (Joinson, 2001;Qian & Scott, 2007). ...
... This is a point made by several authors suggesting that other affordances, besides anonymity, play a central role in how people present themselves and relate to each other in anonymous online spaces. For instance, Kang et al. (2016) point out how the ephemerality that exists on anonymous applications affects the posting habits of users who tend to post very momentary feelings, because they know posts will not live long on the feed. Also, users seldom go back and look up previous shared posts. ...
... It can hide covert traffic in a large amount of overt communication traffic. Many researches show that the use of network covert channel can protect user privacy and guarantee users' right to free access to Internet [6][7][8]. e secure transmission of secret messages in the communication process refers to two aspects: one is the communication content security [9] and the other is the communication connection security [6,10,11]. Network covert channel can effectively improve the security of these two aspects. ...
... Many researches show that the use of network covert channel can protect user privacy and guarantee users' right to free access to Internet [6][7][8]. e secure transmission of secret messages in the communication process refers to two aspects: one is the communication content security [9] and the other is the communication connection security [6,10,11]. Network covert channel can effectively improve the security of these two aspects. ...
Preprint
In order to protect user privacy or guarantee free access to the Internet, the network covert channel has become a hot research topic. It refers to an information channel in which the messages are covertly transmitted under the network environment. In recent years, many new construction schemes of network covert channels are proposed. But at the same time, network covert channel has also received the attention of censors, leading to many attacks. e network covert channel refers to an information channel in which the messages are covertly transmitted under the network environment. Many users exploit the network covert channel to protect privacy or guarantee free access to the Internet. Previous construction schemes of the network covert channel are based on information steganography, which can be divided into CTCs and CSCs. In recent years, there are some covert channels constructed by changing the transmission network architecture. On the other side, some research work promises that the characteristics of emerging network may better fit the construction of the network covert channel. In addition, the covert channel can also be constructed by changing the transmission network architecture. e proxy and anonymity communication technology implement this construction scheme. In this paper, we divide the key technologies for constructing network covert channels into two aspects: communication content level (based on information steganography) and transmission network level (based on proxy and anonymity communication technology). We give an comprehensively summary about covert channels at each level. We also introduce work for the three new types of network covert channels (covert channels based on streaming media, covert channels based on blockchain, and covert channels based on IPv6). In addition, we present the attacks against the network covert channel, including elimination, limitation, and detection. Finally, the challenge and future research trend in this field are discussed.
... Results showed that obtaining social validation from others was an important driver for participation and posting. Anonymous apps allowed more honesty, openness and diversity of opinion compared with others apps [22]. ...
... When users obtain the satisfaction of EA through a series of usage, the continuing usage intentions will increase. Similarly, we can see that social validation, obtaining connection with people, sharing information are common intentions for using ASM compared with the studies in [21,22]. ...
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By iheriting online natural properties, anonymous social media (ASM) applications have become popular and have attracted large amounts of mobile users (e.g., the youth) who can construct new identities for role-play and show themselves in anonymous ways. In order to investigate the influencing factors toward usage intention (UI) and platform swinging (PS) behavior among anonymous social applications, we choose one of the most active ASM App “Soul” as the example in China and then conducte a semi-structured interview with 23 valid Soul users using qualitative methods. The results show that the factors, i.e., perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived privacy riskiness, perceived anonymity, subjective norms, emotional attachments, and perceived interactivity, indeed affect UI among Soul users via online communication. Moreover, we find that PS behavior is ubiquitous among interviewees and mainly depends on diversified needs, which consist of nine dimensions including different position and function among apps, usage comparison, friend migration, etc. Nearly 80% of interviewees believe that there exists a relationship between UI and PS, which can be described as a inverted U-shaped curve, i.e., the higher or lower UI, the less probability of PS. For the individuals’ social media usage behavior, a closed loop “Attitude–Intention–Behavior” is summarized. By conducting qualitative research, we intend to provide some insights and deepen the understanding of UI among ASM users in daily life.
... In online environments, one's identifiability depends on both the affordances of the particular platform as well as the wishes of the individual user [50]. Instances in which users perceive themselves to be hard to identify-whether through the use of pseudonymity or other meansare associated with disclosure of information perceived to be more sensitive, more intimate, or more controversial in other contexts [5,8,35,71,72,75]. This online disinhibition effect [72] may be 1) harmful, in cases where individuals feel more protected from the consequences of their actions and therefore freer to contribute to a climate of harassment and toxicity [5,8,25,30,33,51,72,78,85], or 2) helpful, as individuals feel more secure engaging with others with less risk of encountering stigma and negative encounters [5,8,35,40,72]. ...
... Instances in which users perceive themselves to be hard to identify-whether through the use of pseudonymity or other meansare associated with disclosure of information perceived to be more sensitive, more intimate, or more controversial in other contexts [5,8,35,71,72,75]. This online disinhibition effect [72] may be 1) harmful, in cases where individuals feel more protected from the consequences of their actions and therefore freer to contribute to a climate of harassment and toxicity [5,8,25,30,33,51,72,78,85], or 2) helpful, as individuals feel more secure engaging with others with less risk of encountering stigma and negative encounters [5,8,35,40,72]. In their exploration of the use of multiple profile management as part of online boundary work, Stutzman and Hartzog [71] write that "[p]seudonymity both conceals information and encourages disclosure. . . As a result of the disassociation with the primary identity, individuals can disclose with less reservation, knowing that the pseudonymous profile is 'invisible' to search engine queries on the individual's name, for example." ...
Article
Video game players face a fundamental challenge in managing their competing desires for both privacy and publicity, for being both apart from, and a part of, the communities in which they play. In this paper, we argue that "gamertags" are important tools for protecting gamers' privacy as well as creative outlets for expressing meaningful aspects of identity. Based on 30 semi-structured interviews focused on players' usernames, we find through the pseudonyms under which they play, gamers both hide identifying information such as their offline names and addresses while bringing attention to information that is deeply meaningful to them, such as their family nickname or favorite music. By deemphasizing some parts of their identity and by emphasizing others, players not only shape how they are perceived by other gamers, but they also attempt to preclude accidental disclosure of more identifying information. We argue that gamertag practices thus constitute an important form of boundary work through which gamers actively seek to draw lines between their offline and multiple online worlds in the ways that they wish. We argue that gamers use these names to both protect and project aspects of their identities--at times even seeking protection through projection--as a way of addressing their competing desires to both conceal and reveal different aspects of their identities. As boundary work, players' efforts to carefully protect personally-identifying information and intentionally project personally meaningful information to their communities help them better manage their online identities, relationships with others, and overall data privacy.
... This proposal is supported by literature on anonymous communication applications. According to Kang, Dabbish, and Sutton (2016), online communities view anonymity as a coping strategy to manage converging and burdensome social boundaries; anonymity provides a way to circumnavigate or even abnegate these responsibilities without repercussion, if only for a limited time period. ...
Article
The role that visual communication plays in the maintenance of a cult of personality should not be underestimated. This is especially relevant in the case of eSwatini, the last kingdom in postcolonial Africa with an absolute monarch. This article explores the relationship between the factors that inform and build the cult of personality around King Mswati III but also questions the surprising mix of colonial and postcolonial sensibilities that create the visual communication to achieve this. The argument shows that despite the Swazi embracing of a modern, technological future, myth, tradition, and immateriality feature strongly in the national identity, represented by Mswati himself. Selected heraldic, pictorial, and commercial artefacts are used to demonstrate how the approach to this visual communication is a hybrid of colonial and postcolonial graphic influences, where the resultant message is more concerned with symbolic value than design aesthetics and brand coherency. The colonial era graphic influences are clearly insignificant to Swazis: this is superseded by the imperative to represent the stature and significance of the monarch by any means.
... This adds a new dimension to the existing issues surrounding college speech. For instance, it has been reported to be a key driver of and an exacerbating factor behind harassment, bullying, and other violent incidents targeting vulnerable students, often making people feel unwelcome in both digital and physical spaces [11,30], and even causing psychological and emotional upheavals, akin to its offline counterpart [20,32]. ...
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Background. Hateful speech bears negative repercussions and is particularly damaging in college communities. The efforts to regulate hateful speech on college campuses pose vexing socio-political problems, and the interventions to mitigate the effects require evaluating the pervasiveness of the phenomenon on campuses as well the impacts on students' psychological state. Data and Methods. Given the growing use of social media among college students, we target the above issues by studying the online aspect of hateful speech in a dataset of 6 million Reddit comments shared in 174 college communities. We devise a measure of College Hate Index (CHX) and examine its distribution in college subreddits across the categories of hateful speech, behavior, class, disability, ethnicity, gender, physical appearance, race, religion, and sexual orientation. We then employ a causal-inference framework to study the psychological effects of hateful speech in these college subreddits, particularly in the form of individuals' online stress expression. Finally, we characterize their psychological endurance to hateful speech by analyzing their language-we examine their discriminatory keyword use with Sparse Additive Generative Model (SAGE), and their personality traits with Watson Personality Insights API. Results. Our findings suggest that hateful speech is prevalent in college subreddits, and 25% of these subreddits show greater hateful speech than non-college subreddits. We further find that exposure to hate leads to greater stress expression. However, everybody exposed is not equally affected; some show lower psychological endurance than others. Low endurance individuals are more vulnerable to emotional outbursts, and are more neurotic than those with higher endurance to hate. Discussion. Our work bears implications for policy-making and intervention efforts to tackle the damaging effects of online hateful speech in colleges. From technological perspective, our work caters to mental health support provisions on college campuses, and to moderation efforts in online college communities. In addition, given the charged aspect of speech dilemma, we highlight the ethical implications of our work. Our work lays the foundation for studying the psychological impacts of hateful speech in online communities in general, and situated communities in particular (the ones that have both an offline and an online analog).
... This proposal is supported by literature on anonymous communication applications. According to Kang, Dabbish, and Sutton (2016), online communities view anonymity as a coping strategy to manage converging and burdensome social boundaries; anonymity provides a way to circumnavigate or even abnegate these responsibilities without repercussion, if only for a limited time period. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article documents the research methodologies and subsequent multifaceted outcomes of a two-year visual study of lies and truth. By reviewing numerous artefacts created within the context of this research, the dual modalities of distraction and discomfort were discovered to provide a quasi-dyadic coalition to creative strategy, which significantly informed, led, and challenged the creative practice. Accordingly, this article discusses how, when, and where these modalities were implemented, by leveraging from two established academic models that demonstrate the various stages of the creative process. The visual study was structured into two imbricating layers: foremost, an online, anonymous confessional platform, iliekit.com; and secondly, the creation of an art book, “The Big Book of Bullshit.” Typographic, illustrative, and photographic artefacts were subsequently created, inspired by these anonymous confessions of dishonesty. This article analyses six cases from this visual study and presents connections between the modalities of distraction and discomfort and effective creative production. In conclusion, this article reviews the potential for further research to develop the dual modalities of distraction and discomfort as both pedagogical frameworks and as practice based creative strategy.
... Examples of such communities are the thousands of sub-reddits on Reddit, Facebook Confession Boards (FCBs), or the hashtags on twitter. Members like sharing stories with the other anonymous, but like minded people, united by their shared interest(s) [5]. The key advantage of such communication, as noted by Schlesinger et al. [10], is that it reduces social inhibition, leading to more effective and personal story sharing (than in case of bondbased commitment). ...
Conference Paper
Through this article, we introduce the novel concept of place-based social networks, as a way to enable effective, personal story-sharing for communities. We present our explorations of utilizing Starbucks at an American University to establish such a network for the student community. We show how anonymity between the community members, combined with the shared, spatiotemporal grounding provided by the place (Starbucks,) leads to prosocial behavior among the students.
... Given the lack of ongoing interpersonal relationships and offline contact, online mentoring may take different forms to help individuals manage career challenges. For example, people may receive confirmation and acceptance, a form of socio-emotional support, from strangers who cannot directly affect their current employment conditions [31]. People may also seek informational support through coaching online, in order to overcome challenges while managing exposure and protecting their careers. ...
Conference Paper
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Although people frequently seek mentoring or advice for their career, most mentoring is performed in person. Little research has examined the nature and quality of career men-toring online. To address this gap, we study how people use online Q&A forums for career advice. We develop a taxon-omy of career advice requests based on a qualitative analysis of posts in a career-related online forum, identifying three key types: best practices, career threats, and time-sensitive requests. Our quantitative analysis of responses shows that both requesters and external viewers value general information , encouragement, and guidance, but not role modeling. We found no relation between the type of requests and features of responses, nor differences in responses valued by requesters versus external viewers. We present design recommendations for supporting online career advice exchange. CCS CONCEPTS • Empirical studies in HCI; Empirical studies in collab-orative and social computing;
... The anonymity of the Internet drives self-disclosure about negative experiences (Kang, Dabbish, and Sutton 2016). For example, sexual minorities who tended to be unacceptable by society at that time of publication of the paper (McKenna and Bargh 1998) recovered self-esteem through anonymous communication communities on the Internet (newsgroups) (McKenna and Bargh 1998). ...
Article
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Avatar communication through the Internet has great potential to be an appropriate environment for self-disclosure and social support. Anonymity and ease of access drive selfdisclosure of even the most serious problems. Rich nonverbal communication, co-presence, and real-time interaction increase emotional closeness. However, there has not been much research with regard to examining social support in avatar communication. In this paper, we aim to facilitate self-disclosure and social support for bullied people through avatar communication. For this purpose, we analyzed verbal and nonverbal communication about bullying experiences through an avatar communication service. We demonstrate that people who emotionally disclosed their bullying experiences received better social support. In addition, people who provided social support used emotional expressions to convey emotional empathy. These were observed in conversations with a few acquaintances in closed spaces. Our findings reveal areas where we can improve upon the design of avatar communication spaces for effective social support.
... This level of anonymity can help users better manage their identity (Ellison et al., 2016). Users may choose anonymous and pseudonymous platforms as it allows them to avoid social risk, especially when they are dealing with stigma (Kang, Dabbish, & Sutton, 2016). Some Reddit users even create "throw-away" accounts that they use to disclose stigmatizing information, so that it is not linked to their primary Reddit account (Andalibi, Haimson, De Choudhury, & Forte, 2016). ...
Article
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Substance abuse remains an important and dangerous societal issue. In this study, we build on previous literature that identified online social support communities that encouraged unhealthy behaviors, by investigating a platform that provides social support related to engaging in illicit drug use. Three days’ worth of posts, amounting to almost 400 pages of written data, was collected and analyzed to identify what types of support were being requested and provided by users. The analysis identified 19 total topics for support, with 14 of those topics relating to action-facilitating support, and five of them relating to nurturant support. The results show that the website is primarily used to discuss topics like drug effects and drug dosages. This raises questions as to whether these discussions increase safety by allowing users to dose accurately, or whether they give users a false sense of security related to their continued substance use.
... Readers' perceptions over the information provided may vary based on the extent to which they are close with the sender of the information and the sender's identity is available. Indeed, people find anonymous messages as more honest (Kang et al., 2016) and believe that others with no tie to themselves provide more novel information (i.e., including positive and negative feedback about a product) than those that they have weak or close personal ties (Morris et al., 2014). Moreover, impression management literature also supports this contention that individuals are motivated to conform to societal norms if they feel visible to others over self-image concerns (Lapinski and Rimal, 2005). ...
Conference Paper
The first social media site was launched in 1997. The era of social media had dawned. Users could create a profile and add others as their virtual friends. Blogs and forums also started to attract considerable following, as they allowed people to communicate more frequently and on a larger scale than ever before. More innovation in the social media space soon followed with the launch of Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, among others. Social media in all its iterations has become a major pillar of society – the implications for marketing and the business enterprise are almost endless. Not only has the proliferation of different social media platforms increased the volume of online chatter, but it has also contextualized word-of-mouth (WOM) in the digital domain.We posit that WOM exhibits heterogeneity across social media platforms. This study examines how different social media platforms can drive or inhibit firm sales through this contextualizing effect, in the domain of the motion picture industry. We investigate whether all social media platforms are equal in the transmission of digital WOM to actual customer purchase behavior. We theoretically contextualize WOM based on systematic differences between platforms and empirically evaluate the impact of those differences on an objective variable of particular interest to academics and practitioners: movie sales. Empirical results from a panel data analysis suggest social media WOM influences box office revenues more when it stems from non-identity social media platforms such as forums and review sites, than when it comes from identity-focused ones (i.e. Twitter, Facebook).
... An understanding of community norms is generally gained through experience [4]: observing posts and comments posted on the subreddit, peer feedback in the form of votes or replies to comments, and interactions with mods. This work of enforcing norms is important to both communities and platforms: people may leave sites and communities after being the victims of norm violations [26]. Importantly for the present work, norm enforcement by mods also creates a record of norm violations across disparate communities. ...
Article
Norms are central to how online communities are governed. Yet, norms are also emergent, arise from interaction, and can vary significantly between communities---making them challenging to study at scale. In this paper, we study community norms on Reddit in a large-scale, empirical manner. Via 2.8M comments removed by moderators of 100 top subreddits over 10 months, we use both computational and qualitative methods to identify three types of norms: macro norms that are universal to most parts of Reddit; meso norms that are shared across certain groups of subreddits; and micro norms that are specific to individual, relatively unique subreddits. Given the size of Reddit's user base---and the wide range of topics covered by different subreddits---we argue this represents the first large-scale census of the norms in broader internet culture. In other words, these findings shed light on what Reddit values, and how widely-held those values are. We conclude by discussing implications for the design of new and existing online communities.
... Being anonymous, people actively disclose themselves [52], taking risks [108], or revealing their thoughts and opinions strongly without caring of criticisms [6,126]. Kang et al. [56,58] discussed tradeoffs of whether people 1 3 used Internet as being anonymous. These survey reported the reasons why people aim to be anonymous. ...
Article
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Social media—particularly services such as Twitter where most content is public—present an interesting balance between social benefits and privacy risks. Twitter users have various usage objectives to gain social benefits. As to privacy risks, we introduce the concept of “anonymity consciousness” as users’ intention to avoid being identified and reached by strangers when engaging in public space. In this study, we present a cross-cultural study to investigate self-disclosure in Twitter profiles, usage objectives on Twitter, and anonymity consciousness and examine how self-disclosure is influenced by usage objectives and anonymity consciousness. Specifically, this study targets Twitter users in the United States, India, and Japan. We find: (a) Indian users are more likely to disclose their personal information and have weaker anonymity consciousness than US and Japanese users, (b) users in every country are less likely to disclose their real name if they have stronger anonymity consciousness, and (c) US users tend to disclose their web-page link and Japanese users tend to disclose their affiliation when advertising themselves on Twitter.
... As such, and as we shall show, users are potentially reachable by and identifiable to one another. Kang et al. (2016) found that people use anonymous social media to gain social validation from an anonymous crowd despite the lack of cohesive and persistent identifiers, similarly to earlier online pseudonymous communities. They also report that participants feel these apps allow for greater honesty, openness, and diversity of opinion. ...
Article
This study focuses on the perceptions and practices of anonymous communication with friends enabled by tie-based anonymous apps. Based on qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with users of the application Secret, the strategies deployed by interviewees in order to de-anonymize other users are emphasized and placed within the broader context of the real-name web. The article shows that Secret was not only based on pre-existing social networks but also drew on the network as a structure of thought. The concept of networked anonymity is introduced to account for the ways that anonymous actors imagine one another as “someone,” rather than as an unknown “anyone.” As such, the survivability of this communicative model is inherently limited by competing forces—the drive to connectivity, on the one hand, and to anonymity, on the other.
... In that respect, there is some degree of continuity between such live video streaming and the 'webcam girls' which used to display themselves live, looking for online fame (Senft, 2008). Like these precursors, the live video display in Periscope streams is addressed to an audience of strangers, and must also be understood within the larger domain of 'anonymous communication' (Kang et al., 2016). ...
Article
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In this study, we use a conversation analysis framework to understand the systematic organization of interactions in Periscope live video streams, and its crucial features: (a) the talking heads orientation for the video stream, in common with video-mediated communication; (b) the expectation that the streamer should attend to all messages as much as possible; (c) the ‘loose’ organization of viewers’ responses to streamers’ turn-at-talk, as in multi-party chats. We also identify a distinctive design for streamers’ responses to messages, the ‘read-aloud and respond’ practice. These distinctive features are oriented to the highly asymmetrical communicative affordances of Periscope streams. Without precluding other forms of Periscope-based activities, this systematic organization of talk and messages, coupled with the affordances of the application, favors a basic mode of topic initiation resting on a typical and minimal adjacent pair: viewer’s noticing/streamers’ reading and responding. We argue that the particular salience of this organization of topic initiation may account for the emergence of the dominant kind of use for Periscope streams, that is, the online public exposure of youth to strangers in order to elicit some conversation.
... Ephemerality also facilitates spontaneous interactions between users, encourages experimenting with different personas, and reduces concerns about self-presentation [5,47,57]. Another line of research of anonymous communication points out the ephemerality of identity and how it allows people to explore the full range of their identity but subject people to the consequence of de-anonymization [50], raising the question of whether people can accurately estimate data persistence [28]. The answer to this question, however, is that people tend to expect data persistence from platforms with default options being saving rather than deleting [51], and come up with saving strategies to deal with content, meaning, and context losses [7,10]. ...
Article
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Online community moderators are on the front lines of combating problems like hate speech and harassment, but new modes of interaction can introduce unexpected challenges. In this paper, we consider moderation practices and challenges in the context of real-time, voice-based communication through 25 in-depth interviews with moderators on Discord. Our findings suggest that the affordances of voice-based online communities change what it means to moderate content and interactions. Not only are there new ways to break rules that moderators of text-based communities find unfamiliar, such as disruptive noise and voice raiding, but acquiring evidence of rule-breaking behaviors is also more difficult due to the ephemerality of real-time voice. While moderators have developed new moderation strategies, these strategies are limited and often based on hearsay and first impressions, resulting in problems ranging from unsuccessful moderation to false accusations. Based on these findings, we discuss how voice communication complicates current understandings and assumptions about moderation, and outline ways that platform designers and administrators can design technology to facilitate moderation.
... Though most of the work within social computing research that builds on Donath's framing has focused on their application to asynchronous environments (e.g., [14,17]), this framing can easily be applied to synchronous environments as well; as Donath notes, biology and game theory already study realtime co-located signaling in animals and humans. In this work we focus on social status signals, which on Twitch take the form of badges appearing next to usernames indicating a user's rank -moderator, subscriber, or regular user. ...
... Anonymous social media platforms have been used by employees as outlets to express their support or to praise their company and management (Krishna and Kim, 2015). Furthermore, the honest and open nature of anonymous channels (Kang et al., 2016) allows employees to voice their dissent or release negative emotions, such as frustration, anger, or dissatisfaction (Ravazzani and Mazzei, 2018), because of the low perceived risk (e.g. embarrassment) of sharing relatively sensitive or problematic issues (Scott and Rains, 2005). ...
Article
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Purpose Given that an increasing number of social media platforms allow employees to share company-related information, the present study seeks to understand their complicated motivations for social media behaviors. Specifically, this study explores the antecedents of employees' positive and negative company-related information-sharing intentions on two distinctive social media platforms, personal (e.g. Facebook) and anonymous social networking sites (e.g. Glassdoor). Design/methodology/approach An online survey was conducted with 419 full-time employees in the United States from various industry sectors. Findings Individual (enjoyment, venting negative feelings, and self-enhancement), interpersonal (bonding and bridging ties), and organizational (organization–employee relationship and perceived external prestige) factors are considerably and distinctly associated with employees' behavioral intentions on different social media platforms. Originality/value This study is among the first to understand employees' communicative behaviors on social media (sECB) by linking diverse levels of motivational factors: individual, interpersonal, and organizational using a theoretical framework of socioecological model (SEM). This study also provides significant practical guidelines for organizational leaders and platform operators by explicating the dynamics of employee motives in engaging in a variety of social media platforms.
... For example, Tor uses onion routing mechanism to hide the identity of the sender and receiver, where each router only knows its successor and predecessor. Furthermore, people are also inclining towards concealment of their identity over cellular communication and are using smartphone applications which allows anonymity [16]. Unfortunately, these aforesaid solutions are designed for the Internet traffic and are not useful for time-sensitive applications and enterprise networks. ...
Article
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The emergence of Software Defined Networking (SDN) has revolutionized the management of an enterprise network. The SDN-based design provides flexibility in network management which spans over multiple applications e.g., routing, switching, forwarding, and controlling. It reduces the reliance on vendor-specific devices and middlebox solutions like firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), etc. Furthermore, due to the integration of different technologies, privacy is one of the core issues faced by the enterprise. Host anonymity is one of the techniques to safeguard against privacy attacks; however, the existing anonymization solutions provide better anonymity, but at the cost of higher latency and are most suited for internet traffic. To tackle this issue in an enterprise network, in this research, we propose an SDN-based communication framework using Enterprise Integration Patterns (EIP) that offers anonymous communication in an enterprise environment. Host anonymity is achieved by replacing the real IP address with the spoofed IP address during the transmission of data packets inside the network. Unlike the traditional networks, SDN can modify the header fields of packets as they traverse in the network from source to destination. In addition to the host anonymity, this framework also provides context-aware communication by leveraging the SDN global visibility characteristic, where application services are discoverable on the network without disclosing the addresses of the application servers. Moreover, context-aware services enable network traffic to be routed based on the application layer services rather than the network layer information. In the end, evaluation of the proposed framework is carried out with respect to the performance of anonymous communication, computational complexity and security of the complete proposed framework. In addition, we also highlighted that the proposed framework is more suitable for heterogeneous network environments such as IoT-based solutions.
... In the same vein, Dosono et al. found that college Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) students were more comfortable sharing personal crises related to impression management (e.g., physical injuries) with family and counselors instead of their ROTC peers [28]. In general, anonymous interactions have been shown to help in overcoming social stigma and may be more appropriate for private exchanges where more openness is desired [28,47]. ...
Conference Paper
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The emergence of camera-based assistive technologies has empowered people with visual impairments (VIP) to obtain independence in their daily lives. Popular services feature volunteers who answer questions about photos or videos (e.g., to identify a medical prescription). However, people with VIPs can (inadvertently) reveal sensitive information to these volunteers. To better understand the privacy concerns regarding the disclosure of background objects to different types of human assistants (friends, family, and others), we conducted an online survey with 155 visually impaired participants. In general, our participants had varying concerns depending on the type of assistants and the kind of information. We found that our participants were more concerned about the privacy of bystanders than their own when capturing people in images. We also found that participants were concerned about self-presentation and were more comfortable sharing embarrassing information with family than with their friends. Our findings suggest directions for future work in the development of human-assisted question-answering systems. Specifically, we discuss how humanizing these systems can give people a greater sense of personal security.
... In fact, these consequences are compounded because OMHCs cater to sensitive population of individuals (ones possibly struggling with mental health challenges). For instance, diagnosing, suggesting, and adopting drugs and alternative treatments without clinical corroboration can adversely affect individuals [14,45,67]. Further, since OMHCs are largely peer-driven platforms, it is essential to ensure the quality, credibility, and supportiveness of content being shared, so that these communities facilitate positive health and behavior change [12]. ...
Chapter
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Online Mental Health Communities (OMHCs) enable individuals to seek and provide support, and serve as a safe haven to disclose and share stigmatizing and sensitive experiences. Like other online communities, OMHCs are not immune to bad behavior and antisocial activities such as trolling, spamming, and harassment. Therefore, these communities are oftentimes guided by strict norms against such behavior, and moderated to ensure the quality and credibility of the content being shared. However, moderation within these communities is not only limited to ensuring content quality. It is far more complex—providing supportive spaces for disclosure, ensuring individuals’ privacy, etc.—because of the sensitive population that they cater to. By interviewing 19 moderators across 12 such OMHCs on Reddit, this paper studies the practices and structure of moderation in these communities to better understand their functioning and effectiveness. Our research questions primarily revolve around three major themes—moderation, support, and self-disclosure. We find practices of moderation hierarchy, and several distinctions in motivations and responsibilities of the moderators individually and as a group. We also notice that these communities predominantly encourage emotional support, and provide supportive spaces that encourage self-disclosure on stigmatized concerns. Our findings highlight the necessity of awareness corresponding to (currently lacking) privacy concerns, and raises the importance of the presence of mental health experts (counselors and psychiatrists) in these communities. On the basis of the insights drawn from this work, we discuss the implications and considerations for designing OMHCs.
... An anonymous computer-mediated communication environment provides individuals with freedom and privacy protection (Bishop & Levine, 1999;Scott & Rains, 2005). In an anonymous online environment where honest and open communication often occurs (Kang, Dabbish, & Sutton, 2016), individuals are less likely to perceive high risks of sharing sensitive or problematic information (Scott & Rains, 2005), feel vulnerable to disclose themselves, and consider that they are violating social norms (Rost, Stahel, & Frey, 2016) than in other digital channels. Accordingly, employees freely voice their dissent or negative emotions regarding work in such an environment (Ravazzani & Mazzei, 2018). ...
Article
This study focuses on employees’ negative communication behaviors on anonymous social media and explores the effects of organizational antecedents on reducing their motives. Specifically, the effects of organizations’ symmetrical communication and organization-employee relationship (OER) on individuals’ social media usage motives (e.g., vent negative feelings, warn others) and negative behavioral intentions are examined. Results of an online survey of full-time employees in the United States show that the effects of OER on employees’ negative communication behavior intentions are mediated by their social media motives. Symmetrical communication had a large positive effect on OER, which in turn decreased their motives to share negative contents on anonymous social media. Theoretical and practical implications for public relations and employee behaviors are discussed.
... Ephemerality also facilitates spontaneous interactions between users, encourages experimenting with different personas, and reduces concerns about self-presentation [5,47,57]. Another line of research of anonymous communication points out the ephemerality of identity and how it allows people to explore the full range of their identity but subject people to the consequence of de-anonymization [50], raising the question of whether people can accurately estimate data persistence [28]. The answer to this question, however, is that people tend to expect data persistence from platforms with default options being saving rather than deleting [51], and come up with saving strategies to deal with content, meaning, and context losses [7,10]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Online community moderators are on the front lines of combating problems like hate speech and harassment, but new modes of interaction can introduce unexpected challenges. In this paper, we consider moderation practices and challenges in the context of real-time, voice-based communication through 25 in-depth interviews with moderators on Discord. Our findings suggest that the affordances of voice-based online communities change what it means to moderate content and interactions. Not only are there new ways to break rules that moderators of text-based communities find unfamiliar, such as disruptive noise and voice raiding, but acquiring evidence of rule-breaking behaviors is also more difficult due to the ephemerality of real-time voice. While moderators have developed new moderation strategies, these strategies are limited and often based on hearsay and first impressions, resulting in problems ranging from unsuccessful moderation to false accusations. Based on these findings, we discuss how voice communication complicates current understandings and assumptions about moderation, and outline ways that platform designers and administrators can design technology to facilitate moderation.
... For example, research by Tran et al. has shown that contributions from anonymity-seeking Tor users (who are currently blocked from contributing to Wikipedia altogether) have been a source of substantial value in the past [74]. Although anonymous activities can be hard to govern, they can "encourage expressiveness and interaction among users" [44]. The implementation of a prepublication moderation system could prove effective in governing the content made by these less privileged users, fostering a culture that allows diversified voices and open discussion, instead of outright excluding them due to perceived risk. ...
Preprint
Many online communities rely on postpublication moderation where contributors -- even those that are perceived as being risky -- are allowed to publish material immediately without review. An alternative arrangement involves moderating content before publication. A range of communities have argued against prepublication moderation by suggesting that it makes contributing less enjoyable for new members and that it will distract established community members with extra moderation work. We present an empirical analysis of the effects of a prepublication review system called \textit{FlaggedRevs} that was deployed by several Wikipedia language editions. We used panel data from 17 large Wikipedia editions to test a series of hypotheses related to the effect of the system on activity levels and contribution quality within the affected communities. We found that the system was very effective at keeping low-quality contributions from ever becoming visible. Although there is some evidence that the system discouraged participation among unregistered users, our analysis suggests that the system's effects on contribution volume and quality were moderate at most. Our findings imply that concerns regarding the major negative effects of prepublication moderation systems on contribution quality, project productivity, and community sustainability may be overstated.
... Finally, receiving information or opinions from an anonymous source can provide 7 stronger validation due to perceptions that these sources are more likely to be objective or come from more diverse backgrounds compared to one's social network (Kang et al., 2016). ...
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When it comes to receiving support on sensitive topics, online communities can be a great resource. Seeking support in online communities with known others, such as family or friends, might, however, entail sensitive disclosure and reputational hazards, e.g., revealing a health challenge. This study investigates how people provide support in online groups where the group members’ identity is known but individual messages posted within the groups are anonymous. This study was a two-wave laboratory-based experiment in which participants were exposed to support-seeking postings, followed by an online experiment in which they rated the perceived anonymity of support-seeking posts. In Study 1, it was discovered that while audience size and attention to the post were not associated to support, group size (the number of people who saw the post) and group affinity (participant identification with the group) were. In Study 2, it was discovered that group anonymity, which may be related to group size, is linked to support. The study seeks to shed more light on how important anonymity is in online community design, especially when disclosing sensitive support needs.
... In fact, these consequences are compounded because OMHCs cater to sensitive population of individuals (ones possibly struggling with mental health challenges). For instance, diagnosing, suggesting, and adopting drugs and alternative treatments without clinical corroboration can adversely affect individuals [14,45,67]. Further, since OMHCs are largely peer-driven platforms, it is essential to ensure the quality, credibility, and supportiveness of content being shared, so that these communities facilitate positive health and behavior change [12]. ...
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Online Mental Health Communities (OMHCs) enable individuals to seek and provide support, and serve as a safe haven to disclose and share stigmatizing and sensitive experiences. Like other online communities, OMHCs are not immune to bad behavior and antisocial activities such as trolling, spamming, and harassment. Therefore, these communities are oftentimes guided by strict norms against such behavior , and moderated to ensure the quality and credibility of the content being shared. However, moderation within these communities is not only limited to ensuring content quality. It is far more complex-providing supportive spaces for disclosure, ensuring individuals' privacy, etc.-because of the sensitive population that they cater to. By interviewing 19 moderators across 12 such OMHCs on Reddit, this paper studies the practices and structure of moderation in these communities to better understand their functioning and effectiveness. Our research questions primarily revolve around three major themes-moderation, support, and self-disclosure. We find practices of moderation hierarchy, and several distinctions in motivations and responsibilities of the moderators individually and as a group. We also notice that these communities predominantly encourage emotional support, and provide supportive spaces that encourage self-disclosure on stigmatized concerns. Our findings highlight the necessity of awareness corresponding to (currently lacking) privacy concerns, and raises the importance of the presence of mental health experts (counselors and psychiatrists) in these communities. On the basis of the insights drawn from this work, we discuss the implications and considerations for designing OMHCs.
... Andone et al. (2016) observed that younger users of social mobile applications mainly accessed for entertainment purposes and social interactions, compared to older users. Kang et al. (2016) also found that younger users felt entertained when they read sensational posts made by others for amusement and shock value online. ...
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Those who feel better able to express their “true selves” in Internet rather than face-to-face interaction settings are more likely to form close relationships with people met on the Internet (McKenna, Green, & Gleason, this issue). Building on these correlational findings from survey data, we conducted three laboratory experiments to directly test the hypothesized causal role of differential self-expression in Internet relationship formation. Experiments 1 and 2, using a reaction time task, found that for university undergraduates, the true-self concept is more accessible in memory during Internet interactions, and the actual self more accessible during face-to-face interactions. Experiment 3 confirmed that people randomly assigned to interact over the Internet (vs. face to face) were better able to express their true-self qualities to their partners.
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Self-presentation is the use of behavior to communicate some information about oneself to others. The 2 main self-presentational motives are to please the audience and to construct (create, maintain, and modify) one's public self congruent to one's ideal. It is proposed that a wide range of social behavior is determined or influenced by these self-presentational concerns. Research evidence is examined to show the relevance of the self-presentational motives to giving and receiving help, conformity, reactance, attitude expression and change, responses to evaluations, aggressive behavior, self-serving and counter-defensive attributional statements, task performance, ingratiation, and emotion. (149 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
As adolescent Internet use grew exponentially in the last decade, with it emerged a number of correspondent expectations. Among them were the following: (1) that gender predicts usage, i.e., that boys spend more time online, surfing the web and playing violent games, while girls chat or shop online; (2) that Internet use causes social isolation and depression, especially for teens; and (3) that adolescents use the Internet for anonymous identity experimentation. These expectations were based on research with earlier technologies when the Internet was less diffused in the adolescent population. By means of highly detailed daily reports of adolescents' home Internet usage and peer-related adjustment, the present research sought to compare these expectations with the actual experiences of early and mid-adolescents in 2000 and 2001. Participants were 261 7th and 10th graders from suburban California public schools who completed four consecutive end-of-day reports on their school-based adjustment and Internet activity (including detailed logs of instant messages). Results challenge prevailing expectations regarding gender, well-being, and identity play. For the most part, adolescent boys' and girls' online activities have become more similar than different. On average, boys and girls alike described their online social interaction as (1) occurring in private settings such as e-mail and instant messages, (2) with friends who are also part of their daily, offline lives, and (3) devoted to fairly ordinary yet intimate topics (e.g., friends, gossip). No associations were found between Internet usage and well-being. Online pretending was reported to be motivated by a desire to play a joke on friends more often than to explore a desired or future identity, but participants reported a range of pretending content, contexts, and motives.
Article
Bloggers are typically cautious about engaging in self-disclosure because of concerns that what they post may have negative consequences. This article examines the relationship between anonymity (both visual and discursive) and self-disclosure on weblogs through an online survey. The results suggest that increased visual anonymity is not associated with greater self-disclosure, and the findings about the role of discursive anonymity are mixed. Bloggers whose target audience does not include people they know offline report a higher degree of anonymity than those whose audience does. Future studies need to explore the reasons why bloggers visually and discursively identify themselves in particular ways.
Article
Describes some of the issues raised by electronic communication, including time and information-processing pressures, absence of regulating feedback, dramaturgical weakness, paucity of status and position cues, social anonymity, and computing norms and immature etiquette. An empirical approach for investigating the social psychological effects of electronic communication is illustrated, and how social psychological research might contribute to a deeper understanding of computers and technological change in society and computer-mediated communication (CMC) is discussed. A series of studies that explored how people participate in CMC and how computerization affects group efforts to reach consensus is described; results indicate differences in participation, decisions, and interaction among groups meeting face to face and in simultaneous computer-linked discourse and communication by electronic mail. Findings are attributed to difficulties of coordination from lack of informational feedback, absence of social influence cues for controlling discussion, and depersonalization from lack of nonverbal involvement and absence of norms. (103 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Obra que estudia cómo las nuevas tecnologías de comunicación y las redes sociales que a través de ellas se han generado dan soporte a una nueva forma de establecer relaciones entre las personas y, por lo tanto, de nuevas formas de soledad.
Article
Sherry Turkle is rapidly becoming the sociologist of the Internet, and that's beginning to seem like a good thing. While her first outing, The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit, made groundless assertions and seemed to be carried along more by her affection for certain theories than by a careful look at our current situation, Life on the Screen is a balanced and nuanced look at some of the ways that cyberculture helps us comment upon real life (what the cybercrowd sometimes calls RL). Instead of giving in to any one theory on construction of identity, Turkle looks at the way various netizens have used the Internet, and especially MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions), to learn more about the possibilities available in apprehending the world. One of the most interesting sections deals with gender, a topic prone to rash and partisan pronouncements. Taking as her motto William James's maxim "Philosophy is the art of imagining alternatives," Turkle shows how playing with gender in cyberspace can shape a person's real-life understanding of gender. Especially telling are the examples of the man who finds it easier to be assertive when playing a woman, because he believes male assertiveness is now frowned upon while female assertiveness is considered hip, and the woman who has the opposite response, believing that it is easier to be aggressive when she plays a male, because as a woman she would be considered "bitchy." Without taking sides, Turkle points out how both have expanded their emotional range. Other topics, such as artificial life, receive an equally calm and sage response, and the first-person accounts from many Internet users provide compelling reading and good source material for readers to draw their own conclusions.
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