Social Networking and Communities

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    Trust and Closeness: A Mixed Method for Understanding the Relationship of Social Network Users
    ( 2021-01-05) Yang, Lei ; Wang, Xue ; Luo, Margaret Meiling
    Mutual trust among social network users encourages positive communications; it is critical to study trust in the context of online social networks. We built a trust model and crawled data according to a closeness index. Data was collected from Qzone, an SN service (also known as QQ) in China. We identified 150 QQ users and 3 friends from each of the users; data of these users were collected by Python program. The relationship between trust and closeness was constructed using an ordinary least squares regression model, and the factors that influence trust between social network users were constructed using an endogenous switching regression model. We found that user trust and closeness are positively correlated. A user’s trust is positively related to three closeness indicators: comments, @s to QQ friends (a reminder nudge for attention), and messages. Increasing closeness in social networks has a positive effect on trust formation.
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    The Many Facets of Me: Multiple Account Management on Reddit
    ( 2021-01-05) Wohn, Donghee Yvette ; Yuan, Chien Wen ; Siri, John Scott
    In this study, we examined why people have multiple accounts on Reddit and how they are used. Based on interviews with U.S. Reddit users (n=21), we found that having multiple accounts was not always for anonymity purposes. While certain accounts were disposable to engage in stigmatized or deviant activities, other reasons for having multiple accounts included utilitarian purposes, such as storing content, organizing information, or gaming the system for attention. Users also maintained multiple accounts as a form of online impression management to keep distance between different online communities, avoid harassment, and experiment with different identities. Moreover, they helped with boundary regulation, such as disassociating online from offline identity and identity synchronization-- linking identities across different social media platforms.
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    Predicting User Response and Support Activities in Virtual Health Support Communities
    ( 2021-01-05) Manga, Joseph ; Wang, Bin
    Despite growing emphasis on the factors affecting different types of supports users receive from virtual health support communities (VHSC), theoretical knowledge on how social awareness capabilities determine the extent of the support received is yet to be investigated. Adopting social awareness theory and using data collected from the COVID-19 support community on a large VHSC platform, we apply linguistic analysis to measure the impacts of three social awareness variables — social sensitivity, social insight, and social communication — on users’ response and support behaviors. The ordinary least square regression results show that social insight significantly influenced the number of replies to a post. In addition, results from the negative binomial regression also indicate that social sensitivity and social communication significantly predicted the number of support votes and thanks votes a user’s post received. The findings reveal some important research and practical implications on the need to facilitate social awareness in VHSC forums.
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    Fostering Social Resilience via Online Neighborhood Social Networks During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond: Status Quo, Design Dilemmas and Research Opportunities
    ( 2021-01-05) Vogel, Pascal ; Kurtz, Christian ; Grotherr, Christian ; Böhmann, Tilo
    Public health measures are curtailing the COVID-19 pandemic’s spread but also impact individual and societal well-being. Altogether, they test the social resilience of communities, their collective ability to cope with crises. The pandemic highlights the significance of the immediate local community or neighborhood, be it for providing assistance to individuals in need, the sensible sharing of public spaces or a renewed conscience for supporting local businesses. We argue that online neighborhood social networks (ONSNs) represent a viable solution for improving social resilience as they enhance a community’s resistance to disruptions, quicken recovery to a normal level of functioning and can become a platform for creative solutions to strengthening social resilience. We conduct a multiple case study to demonstrate how ONSNs foster social resilience in the focal crisis and beyond. Furthermore, we identify design dilemmas and highlight avenues for IS research with a high impact on local communities and their well-being.
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    Exploring leadership in Facebook communities: personality traits and activities
    ( 2021-01-05) Gazit, Tali
    Leaders of online communities are today becoming key players in social media sites like Facebook. Responsible for the community's participation rules, limits and members’ identities, these leaders represent an important population on which to focus. This paper compares 94 Facebook community leaders to 94 other Internet users (N=188) in order to identify differences among them with respect to five major personality traits ("the BIG 5") as well as their online and offline activities. The results of the online surveys show that Facebook community leaders are more extroverted, open to experience, emotionally stable and active online and offline than are other Internet users. Examining the community categories, the leaders who manage Facebook support communities were found to be more introverted and less active online than leaders of other community types. The results are discussed in the context of the unique role of online leadership in the social media environment.
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    Cultural Affordances and Social Media
    ( 2021-01-05) Sun, Yinan ; Suthers, Dan
    This paper first reviews the development and application of affordances theory in the field of social media studies. Then, it examines the significance and limitations of the original meaning of affordances of the environment that is provided by American psychologist James Gibson. The paper argues that the cultural aspect of affordances has been understated and should be included as part of affordances theory. To enrich theoretical understanding of affordances and further facilitate empirical studies of social media affordances, the paper offers a novel definition of cultural affordances that bridges cultural studies and social media studies. The new definition of cultural affordances includes two layers, which are cultural affordances of technology and affordances of the cultural. Later, the paper provides examples to showcase how this novel definition can be applied in prior empirical studies with a focus on WeChat.
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    Introduction to the Minitrack on Social Networking and Communities
    ( 2021-01-05) Suthers, Dan ; Vatrapu, Ravi