”It’s all for attention” : exploring the forms of online anti-social behaviour.
Thesis DisciplineBusiness Administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
Anti-social behaviour online is an under-researched form of consumer misbehaviour, despite its wide-spread prevalence on social networking sites (hereafter, SNSs). It appears that misbehaving consumers are adopting anti-social mechanisms which are exhibited through many different manifestations, suggesting the magnitude of the issue poses a threat for the safety and well-being of many consumers online. The lack of academic and general understanding of the phenomenon of anti-social behaviours online, specifically how they appear, but also why these consumers behave the way they do, significantly limits the effectiveness in addressing such behaviours. Therefore, this research will explore the many appearances of anti-social behaviour in an online context. The primary aim of this research is to understand how anti-social behaviour is manifested and secondarily, understand the individual factors that act as motivations for consumers expressing anti-social behaviour online. Taking an exploratory approach and using a qualitative research strategy, this research will consider anti-social behaviour on three popular SNSs; Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, and these will be examined through a content analysis and follow-up focus group. The key singular contribution of this research stems from creating a better understanding of anti-social behaviours online, and the drivers and motivations prompting engagement. This understanding will contribute to existing consumer research literature, enhancing the knowledge about consumer misbehaviours online. Additionally, the research will have practical, managerial, and theoretical implications, providing policy-makers and social networks with advanced knowledge on how to deal with anti-social behaviour online.