Social Media? It's Serious!: Understanding the Dark Side of Social Media
European Management Journal, 36(4), pp.431-438. 2018
29 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 28, 2018
Research and practice have mostly focused on the “bright side” of social media, aiming to understand and help in leveraging the manifold opportunities afforded by this technology. However, it is increasingly observable that social media present enormous risks for individuals, communities, firms, and even the whole of society. Examples for this “dark side” of social media include cyberbullying, addictive use, trolling, online witch hunts, fake news, and privacy abuse. In this article, we aim to illustrate the multidimensionality of the dark side of social media and describe the related various undesirable outcomes. To do this, we adapt the established social media honeycomb framework to explain the dark side implications of each of the seven functional building blocks: conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation, groups, and identity. On the basis of these reflections, we present a number of avenues for future research, so as to facilitate a better understanding and use of social media.
Keywords: Social Media, Dark Side, Unintended Consequences, Bullying, Fake News, Trolling Cyber Bullying, Trolling, Online Witch Hunts, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube Online Stalking, Dark Side of Social Media
JEL Classification: M
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation