News Censorship in Social Networks: A Study of Circumvention in the Commentsphere

35 Pages Posted: 12 May 2015

See all articles by David Schwartz

David Schwartz

Bar-Ilan University - Graduate School of Business Administration

Gahl Silverman

Tel-Aviv University

Inbal Yahav

Bar-Ilan University - Graduate School of Business Administration

Date Written: May 11, 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, David and Silverman, Gahl and Yahav, Inbal, News Censorship in Social Networks: A Study of Circumvention in the Commentsphere (May 11, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2604910 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2604910

David Schwartz

Bar-Ilan University - Graduate School of Business Administration ( email )

Ramat Gan
Israel

Gahl Silverman

Tel-Aviv University ( email )

Ramat-Aviv
Ramat-Aviv
Tel-Aviv, IL Tel-Aviv District 6997801
Israel

Inbal Yahav (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Graduate School of Business Administration ( email )

Ramat Gan
Israel
97235318913 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.biu.ac.il/~yahavi1

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