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CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems ; 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1759464


Understanding how and why people share negative emotions and thoughts on social media has received much scholarly attention. Scholars have identified a variety of factors that affect disclosure behavior, but as platforms offer a wider range of affordances that enable more diverse user behaviors and nuanced audience segmentation, these influencing factors are increasingly intertwined. However, little is known about the interrelatedness of platform, affordance, and audience. Drawing on survey data of 470 American adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study examines the interplay and relative strength of the factors influencing distress disclosure on social media. We introduce the concept of social media disclosure ecology as an analytical lens to understand online disclosure. The results suggest that perceived affordances (i.e., anonymity, persistence, visibility control) and relational closeness to audience separately and interactively predict the depth of distress disclosure, which in turn affects satisfaction with disclosure. This study contributes to the literature on online-disclosure and privacy, while providing implications for the design of social media to better support people in distress.