News Censorship in Social Networks: A Study of Circumvention in the Commentsphere
35 Pages Posted: 12 May 2015
Date Written: May 11, 2015
We study the interplay between online news, reader comments, and social networks, to detect and characterize a new form of unintentional information leakage - the accidental disclosure of confidential information not intended for public release. The military and judiciary use censorship to maintain security. Non-identification by name is considered necessary protection for certain personnel, witnesses, minors, victims or suspects. Examining 3582 comments made on 48 articles containing obfuscated terms collected from 37 news organization Facebook pages, we find that a systematic examination of comments can compromise censorship. We identify and categorize unintentional information leakage in comments indicative of knowledge of censored information. Our findings support using memory theories regarding familiarity, recall, and ‘feelings of knowing’ in the analysis of comments.
Keywords: censorship, social network, news, comments, information leakage, memory
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