Using the control balance theory to explain online social media deviance

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Conference Proceeding

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Online Social Media Deviance (OSMD) is one the rise; however, research in this area traditionally has lacked a strong theoretical foundation. Following calls to reveal the theoretical underpinnings of this complex phenomenon, our study examines the causes of OSMD from several novel angles not used in the literature before, including: (1) the influence of control imbalances (CIs) on deviant behavior, (2) the role of perceived accountability and deindividuation in engendering CI, (3) and the role of IT in influencing accountability and deindividuation. Using an innovative factorial survey method that enabled us to manipulate the IT artifacts for a nuanced view, we tested our model with 507 adults and found strong support for our model. The results should thus have a strong impetus not only on future SM research but also for social media (SM) designers who can use these ideas to further develop SM networks that are safe, supportive, responsible, and constructive.

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