social media

Hagit Sasson, Gustavo Mesch. Parental Mediation, Peer Norms and Risky Online Behavior. Computers in Human Behavior 33 (2014) 32–38

Parental mediation, peer norms and risky online behavior among adolescents



Previous studies have shown that parental mediation of adolescents online is associated with the latter’s participation in risky behavior online and being a victim of online harassment and bullying.  However, there is a paucity of studies investigating the differential contribution of peers’ norms and parental mediation on adolescents’ engagement in risky online behavior. To fill this gap in the literature, we collected data from a representative sample of 495 sixth to eleventh grade students in a large city in Israel. Participants responded to an online survey measuring three types of parental mediation: active guidance, restrictive supervision and non-intervention.  We measured risky behavior online with items indicating the frequency of posting personal details, sending an insulting massage and meeting face-to-face with a stranger met online. In addition, respondents reported their perceptions about their peers’ attitudes toward various risky online behaviors. Multivariate findings show that after controlling for age, gender, time spent online and online activities, only restrictive parental supervision had a significant effect. However, such supervision actually increased adolescents’ risky behavior online. Perceptions that one’s peers approve of such behavior reduced the effect of restrictive parental supervision, leading to increased risky actions online. The results emphasize the importance of peer networks in youngsters’ engagement in risky online activities.

New Paper Published in First Monday : Changes in the discourse of online hate blogs: The effect of Barack Obama’s election in 2008

This study examines the narrative strategies that the blogs of hate groups adopted before and after a central political event, namely, the 2008 election of President Obama in the U.S. Using data from a large number of hate blogs (N=600), and sentiment analysis and data mining, we tested two alternative hypotheses derived from social identification theory. We found that there were major differences between the content of these blogs before the election and immediately after the 2008 election, with the latter evincing an increase in the advocacy of violence and hostility. We also determined that faced with this new change, the hate groups adopted a social competition strategy rather than a creativity strategy to manage their identity. Our findings imply that since the election of Barack Obama as President, the worldview of online hate groups has become more violent. The implications of the findings are discussed.

Access the full manuscript at


New Paper:Minority status and Health Information search: A test of the Social Diversification hypothesis


Minority status and Health Information search: A test of the Social Diversification hypothesis

Forthcoming; Social Science and Medicine, 

Gustavo Mesch, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, University of Haifa,

Rita Mano, Department of Human Services, University of Haifa,

Yeudit Tsamir, Department of Evaluation & Research, Maccabi Health Services,

Group differences in the search of health information were investigated, to test the
diversification hypothesis that argues that disadvantaged groups in society will be
more likely to use the Internet and computer mediated communication to access
health information to compensate for their lack of social capital. Data were gathered
from a sample of Internet users representative of the percentage of minorities in the
general population in Israel (n=1371). The results provide partial support for the
hypothesis, indicating that in multicultural societies disadvantaged groups show
greater motivation to use the Internet to access medical information than the majority
group. We interpreted our findings as suggesting that minority groups that do not
have access to specialized networks use the Internet to overcome their lack of access
to specialized information. Implications of the finding are discussed

Net Neutrality: an important concept

Net neutrality: Content must travel through Internet on equal terms
The Netherlands is the first country in Europe to adopt a net neutrality law, and the second country in the world, after Chile. The net neutrality law will ensure that access to the Internet is neutral and it is forbidden to filter the Internet.The law aims to prevent telecom providers from blocking or throttling services such as Skype or WhatsApp, an Internet SMS service. Internet providers will also be prohibited from making prices for their Internet services dependent on the services used by the subscriber

Minority status and the use of CMC A test of the Social Diversification hypothesis

Taking advantage of Israel’s multi-ethnic society, divided along ethnic and immigrant lines, I tested the diversification hypothesis with a large sample of Internet users that resemble the country’s population of Internet users. According to the diversification hypothesis, in socially segregated societies disadvantaged groups have deficits in social capital, particularly bridging social capital. Their use of channels of online communication will be motivated by an attempt to compensate for their disadvantage, and will direct the use of IT to expand their occupational and business ties. From this argument two hypothesis were derived. First, minority and immigrants will be more likely to choose the use of the IT best suited to this task. The findings of the study mostly support this hypothesis. Controlling for socio-demographic and minority status, it was found that people who are motivated to use the Internet to expand business and professional contacts are more likely to use Chat rooms and weblogs. At the same time those motivated to use the Internet to maintain ties with families and friends are more likely to use social networking sites. This finding indicates that each IT application is perceived by users to be suited to a different task.As for the specific hypothesis that minorities and immigrants will be more likely than Israeli Jews to use chat rooms and weblogs to expand their social ties, the results  are mixed. Regarding chat rooms, there is only support for immigrants being more likely than Arab Israelis to use chat rooms. Regarding weblogs, the latter proved more likely to use them than immigrants and Israeli Jews. The three groups did not differ from their use of social networking sites.

Second, a more direct test of the diversification hypothesis was conducted. The hypothesis that Arab Israelis and Immigrants have different motivations for the use of IT was tested by means of OLS regression multivariate analysis. The findings here indicated that the main difference was between Israeli Jews and Immigrants on the one hand and Arab Israelis on the other. Immigrants and Israeli Jews proved more likely than Arab Israelis to use IT for maintaining family ties and to sustaining ties with existing friends. At the same time Arab Israelis were shown as more likely to use IT to make new contacts and to expand their business contacts.

Taking the results together the strongest support of the diversification hypothesis seems to apply to the Arab Israeli population than to the immigrants. This difference might be explained through the differences existing between the two groups in society. As shown in the descriptive analysis, the Arab population of Israel is more disadvantaged in human capital than the immigrant population. Furthermore, the Arab population, perceived as part of the Arab world with which Israel is in a constant state of war, faces more discrimination than the new immigrants. This difference in social standing might be reflected in the more consistent pattern of motivations and usage by the Arab population than by the immigrant groups.

New Book Wright, Kevin B. / Webb, Lynne M. (eds.)Computer-Mediated Communication in Personal Relationships

 This collection of readings  analyze communication issues of ongoing importance in relationships including deception, disclosure, identity, influence, perception, privacy, sexual fidelity, and social support. The book examines subjects that attract intense student interest – including online performance of gender, online dating, and using computer-mediated communication to achieve family/work life balance – and will inspire further research and course development in the area of computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. Because it provides a synthesis of ideas at the nexus of interpersonal communication theory and computer-mediated communication theory, the book can serve as a textbook for advanced undergraduate as well as graduate courses.



Preface. Kevin B. Wright & Lynne M. Webb


PART 1: The Influence of Technology on How Relational PartnersCommunicate Online

1. A Functional Approach to Social Networking Sites 3 

Erin M. Bryant, Jennifer Marmo, & Artemio Ramirez, Jr.

Jeffrey T. Child & Sandra Petronio

3. A New Twist on Love’s Labor: Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles 41

Catalina L. Toma & Jeffrey T. Hancock

4. Microchannels and CMC: Short Paths to Developing, 56

Maintaining, and Dissolving Relationships

Deborah Ballard-Reisch, Bobby Rozzell, Lou Heldman, & David Kamerer

PART 2: Processes and Goals in Computer-Mediated Communication

in Personal Relationships

in Online and Face-to-face Relationships

W. Scott Sanders & Patricia Amason

6. Relational Maintenance and CMC 98

Stephanie Tom Tong & Joseph B. Walther

7. Locating Computer-Mediated Social Support 119

Within Online Communication Environments

Andrew C. High & Denise H. Solomon

8. Personal Relationships and Computer-Mediated Support Groups 137

Kevin B. Wright & Ahlam Muhtaseb

9. Online Self-Disclosure: A Review of Research 156

Jinsuk Kim & Kathryn Dindia

10. Multicommunicating and Episodic Presence: 181

Developing New Constructs for Studying New Phenomena

Jeanine Warisse Turner & N. Lamar Reinsch, Jr

 .11. The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same:


The Role of ICTs in Work and Family Connections 194


Paige P. Edley & Renée Houston PART 3: Influences of CMC on Relational Contexts

12. CMC and the Conceptualization of “Friendship”:

How Friendships Have Changed with the Advent

of New Methods of Interpersonal Communication 225

Amy Janan Johnson & Jennifer A. H. Becker

13. A Cross-Contextual Examination of Technologically Mediated

Communication and Social Presence in Long-Distance Relationships 244

Katheryn C. Maguire & Stacey L. Connaughton

14. Healthcare Provider-Recipient Interactions:

Is “Online” Interaction the Next Best Thing to Being There? 266

Theodore A. Avtgis, E. Phillips Polack, Sydney M. Staggers,

& Susan M. Wieczorek

PART 4: The Dark Side of Computer-Mediated Communication

in Personal Relationships

15. Family Imbalance and Adjustment to Information 285

16. Online Performances of Gender: Blogs, Gender-Bending,

and Cybersex as Relational Exemplars 302

Mark L. Hans, Brittney D. Selvidge, Katie A. Tinker, & Lynne M. Webb

17. Digital Deception in Personal Relationships 324

Norah E. Dunbar & Matthew Jensen

18. Speculating about Spying on MySpace and Beyond:

Social Network Surveillance and Obsessive Relational Intrusion 344

Makenzie Phillips & Brian H. Spitzberg

19. Problematic Youth Interactions Online:

Solicitation, Harassment, and Cyberbullying 368

Andrew R. Schrock & danah boyd


Kevin B. Wright (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is Professor in Communication at the University of Oklahoma. His research examines interpersonal communication, social support related to health outcomes, and computer-mediated relationships. He coauthored Health Communication in the 21st Century, and his research appears in over 45 book chapters and journal articles, including the Journal of Communication, Communication Monographs, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Communication Quarterly, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Health Communication, and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.
Lynne M. Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) is Professor in Communication at the University of Arkansas. She previously served as a tenured faculty member at the Universities of Florida and Memphis. Her research examines young adults’ interpersonal communication in romantic and family contexts. Her research appears in over 50 essays published in scholarly journals and edited volumes, including Computers in Human Behavior, Communication Education, Health Communication, and Journal of Family Communication.

2. Unpacking the Paradoxes of Privacy in CMC Relationships


Human Communication Research TOC October 2010 Good Internet studies

Human Communication Research

? 2010 International Communication Association

Volume 36, Issue 4 Page 469 – 634

The latest issue of Human Communication Research is available on Wiley Online Library


The Influence of Online Comments on Perceptions of Antimarijuana Public Service Announcements on YouTube (pages 469?492)
Joseph B. Walther, David DeAndrea, Jinsuk Kim and James C. Anthony
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01384.x
Influence of Self-Affirmation on Responses to Gain- Versus Loss-Framed Antismoking Messages (pages 493?511)
Xiaoquan Zhao and Xiaoli Nan
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01385.x
An Evaluation of Two Characterizations of the Relationships Between Problematic Internet Use, Time Spent Using the Internet, and Psychosocial Problems (pages 512?545)
Robert S. Tokunaga and Stephen A. Rains
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01386.x
Bridging Social Capital in Online Communities: Heterogeneity and Social Tolerance of Online Game Players in Japan (pages 546?569)
Tetsuro Kobayashi
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01388.x
Are Norms of Disclosure of Online and Offline Personal Information Associated with the Disclosure of Personal Information Online? (pages 570?592)
Gustavo S. Mesch and Guy Beker
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01389.x
Dimensions of Leadership and Social Influence in Online Communities (pages 593?617)
David Huffaker
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01390.x
Testing Error Management Theory: Exploring the Commitment Skepticism Bias and the Sexual Overperception Bias (pages 618?634)
David Dryden Henningsen and Mary Lynn Miller Henningsen
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2010 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2010.01391.x

Is online trust and trust in social institutions associated with online disclosure of identifiable personal information online?

Is online trust and trust in social institutions associated with online disclosure of identifiable personal information  online?

By Gustavo S. Mesch

In recent years there is an increase in public concern regarding privacy and privacy related issues . The Internet has changed the way in which user’s information is gathered, stored and exchanged. The growth in Internet deployment and use, and the creation of cost-effective, large-volume information-storage devices have made storing, merging, analyzing and using digital  information a convenient option for governmental and commercial organizations alike . Furthermore, some Internet users are disclosing and making available personal and identifiable information making it available for search, analysis, distribution and use. The distribution and potential abuse of this information can create serious repercussions for many Internet users, which may not be immediately noticeable and whose source may be hard to locate.

Disclosing identifiable information is linked to the concept of trust. Trust refers to a “general expectancy held by an individual that the word, promise, oral or written statement of another individual or group can be relied upon . In other words is a belief that in general individuals and groups can be trusted . Trust ameliorates the perceived risks of disclosing identifiable information ).

Online trust (e.g. trust in web sites, online news, social networking sites providers) has been extensively studied . From this studies we learned that the formation of online trust is a difficult process but when it is created it serves to mitigate the perceptions of risk, uncertainty and vulnerability that are associated with the disclosure of personal and identifiable information. Yet, one important limitation of these studies is that have not compared online and face to face(ftf) trust. In other words, we do not know if trust in individuals and social institutions are associated with online trust and if there is a differential effect of trust in individuals, social institutions and online trust on the disclosure of identifiable information. The purpose of this study was to fill this gap in the literature and to investigate factors associated with the disclosure of identifiable information. In doing this, the association of various forms of trust and perception of risks on the disclosure of identifiable information was investigated.

Main findings:

* Participants: A sample of Internet users (n=1692)

* Sample description

On average the respondents were 51.49 years old  and 58 percent were women and 42 percent men. As to education, 37.4 percent had a partial or completed high school education, 27 percent had completed a technical degree, 24 percent had completed college and 12 percent graduate school.

It was found that 27.7 percent had posted comments and information online using their real names, 31.4 percent had posted online using a screename that others can identify and 11.3 percent had posted comments online anonymously.

Regarding trust, 39 percent of the sample expressed a positive response on the item that measured generalized trust. The average trust in social institutions was higher (M=4.66, SD=1.60) than trust online (M=3.47, SD=1.57) that were both measured in a scale of 1 to 10.

*Attitudes to online privacy, it was found that 24.6 percent of the sample express concern over the amount of information that is available on them online and 53 percent agree with the statement that they are concerned that people think is normal to search for information about others online.

* Is trust offline associated with trust online?

The correlation of general trust and online trust is positive and statistically significant (r=.18 p<.01) and there is a medium size and statistically significant correlation between online trust and trust in social institutions (r=.42, p<.01). At the same time, the measure of general trust in people was associated with trust in institutions (r=.22 p<.01).

* Which trust is associated with disclosure of identifiable information online?

Trust in individuals is not associated with posting identifiable information online or with posting using a screename or anonymously. In addition, trust in social institutions was also found not statistically significant as a predictor of the likelihood to posting information with identifiable name, using a screname or anonymously.

Online trust has a positive effect on the likelihood of posting information online using an identifiable name.

Preliminary conclusions:

Trust online and trust offline are not completely separate entities. Online trust is affected by our trust in individuals and social institutions.

Yet, trust online has also other sources beyond offline trust that need to be identified.

Trust online, and not trust offline is a predictor of our online behavior. Similar to the results of the previous study on the effect of online and offline norms on online behavior, it appears that in the online environment there are emergent norms and trust that can only be partially accounted by offline socialization.

More will come when I finish writing the paper.

Communication and Information Technologies Section of ASA activities in Atlanta 2010

CITASA sessions

The Social Impacts of Technology and Information‎

Scheduled Time: Sun, Aug 15 – 8:30am – 10:10am Building: Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Session Organizer: Shelia R. Cotten (University of Alabama – Birmingham) ‎

The Best of Two Worlds? Internet Use, Online Communication, and ‎Social Networks  ‎*Wenhong Chen (University of Texas at Austin)‎

The Digital Campaign: How Barack Obama Achieved the Dream

Cynthia Love (Siena College), *Sudarat Musikawong (Siena College)

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

‎*Vicki Winstead (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Elizabeth Allyne

Yost ‎‎(University of Alabama at Birmingham), Shelia R. Cotten (University

of Alabama – ‎Birmingham), William A. Anderson (University of Alabama at

Birmingham), Amanda ‎M. Warr (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Ronald William Berkowsky ‎‎(University of Alabama at Birmingham)‎

Well-Being and Internet Use ‎*Paul A. Rey (University of Maryland),

*Zeynep Tufekci (University of Maryland, ‎Baltimore County)‎

Social Media and Social Capital

Scheduled Time: Sun, Aug 15 – 10:30am – 12:10pm Building: Atlanta Marriott ‎Marquis

Session Organizer: Gustavo S. Mesch (University of Haifa) ‎

Dear AskMe, Can Building Networks and Reading Random Articles Help ‎Me

Solve Other People’s Problems?‎  ‎*Alexandra Marin (University of Toronto)‎

Internet Use and Social Ties of Americans: An Analysis of General Social Survey Data ‎*Zeynep Tufekci (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)‎

Social Capital and Communication Multiplexity in Social Relationship

‎Maintenance: An Alternative Theoretical Approach‎

‎*Yu-Li Hsieh (Northwestern University), Eszter Hargittai (Northwestern University)‎

Talking over the crowd: A Discourse Analysis on comments from Special

‎topic blogs ‎*Ibrahim Halil Yucel (Penn State University)‎

Section Roundtables Organizer Tim Hale, U of Alabama

Sun, Aug 15 – 2:30pm – 3:30pm Building: Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Roundtable 1:

Tie Interdependencies in Email Communication Networks

‎*Ofer Engel (London School of Economics and Political Science)‎

The effect of Social Networking Sites, e-mail, I.M. and Weblogs on Self Esteem

‎‎*Gustavo S. Mesch (University of Haifa)‎

Are Gender and Race Important Factors Shaping the Use and ‎Consequences of  Email to Family?  ‎‎*Noelle A. Chesley (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

, Briana Fox (SER-Jobs for ‎Progress)‎

Roundtable 2:

Technological Influences on Social Ties across the Lifespan

*Brandi Marie McCullough (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

*Shelia R. ‎Cotten (University of Alabama – Birmingham)

,*Rebecca G. Adams (University of ‎North Carolina at Greensboro)‎

Using Affordable Technology To Bridge The Digital Divide: Results from

‎Birmingham’s XO Laptop Project

‎*Shelia R. Cotten (University of Alabama – Birmingham), *Timothy M. Hale

‎‎(University of Alabama at Birmingham), Michael Howell-Moroney (University of ‎Alabama at Birmingham), LaToya J. ONeal (University of Alabama-Birmingham)‎

Digital adaptability: New construct and measure for digital inequality research ‎  ‎*Cassidy Puckett (Northwestern University)

‎Roundtable 3

Socioeconomic inequality, education and social capital: What factors

‎shape social network growth among college students?‎

‎*Howard T. Welser (Ohio University), Brandon Brooks (Ohio University)

Bernard ‎Hogan (University of Toronto), Scott Titsworth (Ohio University)

‎Affordances for Networked Activism: Evaluating the capacities of ‎social

Movement sites to connect and motivate activists

‎*Nina Cesare (Ohio University), *Howard T. Welser (Ohio University)‎

Chinese Netizens and China’s Democratization: The Political ‎Consequences

of the Rise of the Chinese Netizens  ‎*Ya-Wen Lei (University of Michigan)‎

Roundtable 4

Cultural Fragmentation, Popular Culture, and Changing Perceptions of

‎Deviance Among Generation Y.‎ ‎*J. M. Larshus (SUNY-Albany), William J. Kinney (University of St. Thomas)‎

More than a Panic: Correlates of the Importance of Drugs and ‎Unemployment ‎*Jarrett Alan Thibodeaux (Vanderbilt University)‎

Terri’s Fate: Regional and Political Differences in the Discussion of the End of Life Outcomes ‎*Katy Schindler (Florida State University), *JoEllen Pederson (Florida State ‎University)‎

Roundtable 5

Social Justice and the Virtualization of Health and Illness in the Age of

‎Biological Citizenship.‎ ‎*Alexander Stingl (Pompeii-Project EU)‎

The Golden Era: Authenticity, Invented Tradition and Hip-Hop History

‎*Michael Barnes (California State University, Long Beach)‎

Transformative Social Processes of Cyberspace:

Applying the Theories ‎of Durkheim and Weber to the Internet

‎*David Drissel (Iowa Central Community College)‎

Roundtable 6

Measuring Electronic Government Procurement Success and Testing ‎for the

Moderating Effect of Computer Self-efficacy ‎*Chyi-Lu Jang (National Sun Yat-Sen University)‎

Strategic Choice Models in a Globalized Marketplace:

Perspectives ‎through the RBV and TCE Theoretical Lenses

‎*Zengie Mangaliso (Westfield State College), Mzamo P. Mangaliso (Eugene

M. ‎Isenberg School of Management, UMass/Amherst)‎

Roundtable 7

A Comparison of Promoter and Listener Preferences for Popular Music Artists

‎*Patricia L. Donze (University of California-Los Angeles)‎

Institutional Structures of Online Knowledge Production: Wikipedia, ‎Knol and Citizendium

‎*Edo Navot (University of Wisconsin – Madison)‎

Science’s Taste for Open Access

‎*James A. Evans (University of Chicago)‎

Roundtable 8

Table Presider: John P. Robinson (University of Maryland) ‎

Status Dynamics in Online Gift Exchange:

How Competition and the ‎Spread of Status Value Shape Reciprocity

‎*Patrick Park (Cornell University)‎

The Outreach of Barack Obama to the African American Community ‎Using

Online Social Networking

‎*Cynthia Love (Siena College), Sudarat Musikawong (Siena College)‎

IT, TV AND Time Displacement: A 45-Year Comparison

‎*John P. Robinson (University of Maryland)

3:30 pm, Business meeting and Awards Ceremony, Atlanta Marriott Marquis

Cybebullying: a case for a social network approach

This paragraph is from our recent book,                                                                           Mesch, Gustavo and Ilan Talmud. (2010) Wired Youth The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age. Pp. 119-136. Routledge.

The social network perspective focuses on exchanges (or the lack of) between
pairs of actors. A social network relation denotes the type of exchange or interaction between any pair of actors in a system of actors. The network approach differs from other approaches mainly in its focus on exchanges and interactions between actors, not on the individual characteristics of the actors engaged in the exchange of resources. Social network analysis is used to describe the network and to explain how involvement in a particular network helps to explain its members’ attitudes and behavior.                                 In our understanding of the role of youth social networks it is positive
outcomes that are almost always emphasized.  At the same time we should recognize that social ties can carry negative outcomes, commonly thought to be the result of lack of social ties alone. Not belonging to a large network, not experiencing closeness to existing ties, or belonging to a low density network are all assumed conducive to deterioration in mental health. Note however that negative outcomes may result from being involved in negative social ties—negative in the sense of hostile, aggressive, and humiliating interactions
Joining social media, is joining or creating a network, and the structure, composition and activities, together with its integration with the school based social network have implications for cyberbullying and bullying.
Networks need to be studied to understand their role in bullying behavior and victimization.
More you can read in our book at your library.