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Title:(In)visible cities: an exploration of social identity, anonymity and location-based filtering on yik yak
Author(s):Heston, Matthew; Birnholtz, Jeremy
mobile applications
Abstract:The recent popularity of mobile, anonymous social interaction applications that filter content based on location (i.e., people see what others nearby have posted) has led to concerns about anonymity enabling negative behavior such as abuse or cyber-bullying. Anonymity can also have positive effects, however, and the social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE) suggests that people’s behavior in anonymous online environments can be affected by whether they identify more with the community or more as a disconnected individual. In location-filtered apps, however, online anonymity is combined with a physically local audience. This complicates our understanding of online anonymity because identities users feel can stem both from the online and offline environments. We present an exploratory mixed-methods study of Yik Yak, a popular location-filtered app. Results suggest that people use language to invoke a geographically local group identity via shared references. People’s responses to content, moreover, seem to be related to their identity as members of the online community.
Issue Date:2016-03-15
Citation Info:NA
Series/Report:IConference 2016 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 is held by the authors. Copyright permissions, when appropriate, must be obtained directly from the authors.
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-08

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