Situated anonymity: Impacts of anonymity, ephemerality, and hyper-locality on social media

Ari Schlesinger, Eshwar Chandrasekharan, Christina A. Masden, Amy S. Bruckman, W. Keith Edwards, Rebecca E. Grinter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Anonymity, ephemerality, and hyper-locality are an uncommon set of features in the design of online communities. However, these features were key to Yik Yak's initial success and popularity. In an interview-based study, we found that these three features deeply affected the identity of the community as a whole, the patterns of use, and the ways users committed to this community. We conducted interviews with 18 Yik Yak users on an urban American university campus and found that these three focal design features contributed to casual commitment, transitory use, and emergent community identity. We describe situated anonymity, which is the result of anonymity, ephemerality, and hyper-locality coexisting as focal design features of an online community. This work extends our understanding of use and identity-versus-bond based commitment, which has implications for the design and study of other atypical online communities. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages6912-6924
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: May 6 2017May 11 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Volume2017-May

Other

Other2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
CountryUnited States
CityDenver
Period5/6/175/11/17

Keywords

  • Anonymity
  • Commitment
  • Community identity
  • Ephemerality
  • Hyper-locality
  • Online communities
  • Transitory use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Cite this

Schlesinger, A., Chandrasekharan, E., Masden, C. A., Bruckman, A. S., Edwards, W. K., & Grinter, R. E. (2017). Situated anonymity: Impacts of anonymity, ephemerality, and hyper-locality on social media. In CHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Explore, Innovate, Inspire (pp. 6912-6924). (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings; Vol. 2017-May). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3025453.3025682