Human Flesh Search: What Did We Find?
Information & Management, 56(4), 476-492. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2018.09.009
Posted: 18 Oct 2021
Date Written: 2019
Human Flesh Search (HFS) has profusely proliferated in recent years. We adopted the multiple-case, replication design approach, to investigate 21 HFS cases spanning from 2007 to 2014, comprising 204,008 posts from 67,375 posters. Our preliminary analyses depicted consistent patterns across categories of legal, moral, and entertainment. We established three contagious mechanisms driving HFS behavior (i.e., fueled emotionalism, blind acceptance, and collective amnesia) and two non-contagious mechanisms (i.e., isolated dissension and sluggish update). We also shed insights on the technology affordances and constraints. Critical theoretical contributions and important practical implications for HFS initiators, facilitators, and designers of forums are discussed.
Keywords: Human Flesh Search, Online community, Contagious and non-contagious mechanism, IT affordances and constraints
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