Anonymous User 0.05: A Study on Anonymity in Online News Websites and Its Effects on User Engagement

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Title

Anonymous User #0.05: A Study on Anonymity in Online News Websites and Its Effects on User Engagement

Abstract

Atas, C.B. & Maguan, E.C. (2015). Anonymous User #0.05: A Study on Anonymity in Online News Websites and Its Effects on User Engagement, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

This thesis was made in response to the movement calling for the scrapping anonymous comments in online news websites. It aimed to determine the relationship between anonymity of initial comments and engagement in the comments sections of GMA News Online, Rappler and Inquirer.net. It also took into account possible intervening factors such as news article, news frame, type of disinhibition and audience gratifications. Through a content analysis of comment threads chosen using a contracted week, the study it found out that it was the uses and gratifications of the audience of the news media was significant to both anonymity and engagement. Moreover, this research found that the level of anonymity of online commenters does not necessarily affect their level of toxicity, providing an insight to the movement of disallowing anonymity on the Internet.

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