PurposeThis paper aims to investigate whether citizens censor their own expressions regarding large corporations in social networking sites (SNS) and how self-censorship is associated with the perceived power of, knowledge about and media exposure about large corporations.Design/methodology/approachA nationwide survey was conducted in South Korea (N = 455). The data were analyzed with structural equation modeling.FindingsAs exposure to news about large corporations increased, the degree of self-censorship regarding large corporations increased. This effect of media exposure on self-censorship was mediated by the amount of knowledge about large corporations and the perceived power of large corporations.Research limitations/implicationsAlthough this study focused on the SNS context, the results of this study cannot provide the features of the self-censorship process that are distinct in SNS compared to other contexts. Although a causal model was provided based on theoretical reasoning, the nature of the data is correlational. Thus, one should be cautious when interpreting the results.Practical implicationsThe findings suggest that, while establishing privacy protection policies with regard to the SNS, policy makers need to consider how to prevent invasion of privacy and misuse of personal data by large corporations, interest groups and the unspecified public.Originality/valueThis study extends the literature related to self-censorship by identifying the effects of economic power and the psychological factors involved in self-censorship.
Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 13, 2017
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