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Journal Article

Citation

Seiter CR, Brophy NS. Health Commun. 2021; ePub(ePub): ePub.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2021, Informa Healthcare)

DOI

10.1080/10410236.2021.1886399

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, use of social networking sites (SNSs) surged in many countries, including the United States. This content analysis of a convenience sample of English language conversations examined how users sought and provided social support on three Western-dominated SNSs, Reddit (N = 100), YouTube (N = 100), and Facebook (N = 100), during the week following the declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic. In addition to analyzing social support, this study examined aggressive communication, which often leads to undesirable mental health outcomes, on Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook during this period. According to the Social Identity Model of Individuation Effects (SIDE), anonymous environments which codify civil communication norms are more likely to yield prosocial behavior.

RESULTS indicate that Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook varied significantly in supportive and aggressive communication prevalence. Reddit users more frequently provided social support than did YouTube and Facebook users. Additionally, Reddit users engaged in aggressive communication significantly less than both YouTube and Facebook users. These findings support predictions from the SIDE model, as Reddit both offers users greater anonymity than YouTube and Facebook and codifies supportive, civil communication norms in a rules system called, "Reddiquette."


Language: en

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