The Means to Justify the End: Combating Cyber Harassment in Social Media

van Laer, T. (2014). The Means to Justify the End: Combating Cyber Harassment in Social Media. Journal of Business Ethics, 123(1), pp. 85-98. doi: 10.1007/s10551-013-1806-z

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Abstract

Cyber harassment can have harmful effects on social media users, such as emotional distress and, consequently, withdrawal from social network sites or even life itself. At the same time, users are often upset when network providers intervene and deem such an intrusion an unjust occurrence. This article analyzes how decisions to intervene can be communicated in such a way that users consider them adequate and acceptable. A first experiment shows that informational justice perceptions of social network users depend on the format in which network providers present the decision to intervene. More specifically, if a decision to intervene is presented in the form of a story, as opposed to an analytical rendering of facts and arguments, decisions to intervene prompt more positive informational justice perceptions. A second experiment reveals that when users relate the experience to themselves, narrative transportation increases, which positively affects perceptions of the justice of decisions to intervene.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-013-1806-z
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cyber bullying; Cyber harassment; Identity; Justice perception; Narrative transportation; Self-referencing; Social media; Storytelling
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/6756

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