Curbing Negativity : Influence of Providing Justifications About Control Over User-Generated Comments on Social Media

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Soo Yun Shin
  • David Beyea
  • Benjamin Prchal
  • Taj W. Makki
  • Katherine Schlafhauser
  • Brandon Van Der Heide

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)838-859
Journal / PublicationCommunication Research
Volume47
Issue number6
Online published21 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Social media present prime opportunities for commercial brands to promote their products. Some user-generated comments, however, hamper brands’ promotion efforts with fake claims. The literature on warranting theory suggests that if a company controls the dissemination of user-generated comments of its products, it may backfire against the company by reducing the warranting value of favorable comments. The current study proposes that a company’s justification for their information control behavior can restore the warranting value of user-generated comments. Drawing upon the literature on fairness theory and mindlessness, the study investigated the effectiveness of two types of justifications varying in their legitimacy. Results from a web-based experiment (N = 221) with four conditions (no evidence of dissemination control vs. no justification vs. placebic justification vs. real justification) confirm that when a company offers a legitimate justification for deleting users’ comments, it mitigates negative evaluations that may result from the company’s information control behavior.

Research Area(s)

  • e-commerce, justification, online reviews, social media, warranting theory

Citation Format(s)

Curbing Negativity: Influence of Providing Justifications About Control Over User-Generated Comments on Social Media. / Shin, Soo Yun; Dai, Yue(Nancy); Beyea, David et al.
In: Communication Research, Vol. 47, No. 6, 01.08.2020, p. 838-859.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review