Seeing light in the dark: Investigating the dark side of social media and user response strategies

Sean Sands, Colin Campbell, Carla Ferraro, Alexis Mavrommatis

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Social media affords brands and users a variety of benefits. However, a recent stream of research identifies a multidimensional dark side to social media. We contribute to this growing body of research in four key ways. First, we empirically investigate user perceptions of the dark side of social media in terms of the risks proposed by Baccarella et al. (2018), confirming the existence of six of the seven risks. Second, we identify and empirically investigate the strategies with which users seek to reduce the social media risks. Third, we develop scales to assess both the social media risks and user reduction strategies. Finally, we conduct segmentation analysis to empirically investigate how users differ in terms of their perceived social media risks and risk reduction strategies. Taken together, our findings provide a validated framework of, and scales to measure, user perceptions of, and responses to, the dark side of social media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Coping strategies
  • Dark side
  • Negative consequences
  • Social media


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