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Online engagement in social media: A cross-cultural comparison

Wang, X.ORCID: 0000-0002-1557-8265 and Liu, Z. (2019) Online engagement in social media: A cross-cultural comparison. Computers in Human Behavior, 97 . pp. 137-150.

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Online engagement is prevalent in society but can be stressful because many debates are controversial. Further, online engagement has become a global phenomenon, and individuals from different cultural backgrounds discuss political and civic issues on social media. Drawing upon social exchange theory and the concept of national culture, this study aims to further explore individuals' participation in online engagement by examining the effects of privacy and culture. We hypothesize that social capital, social media evaluation, and privacy control are positively related to online expression, while privacy risk has a negative effect on online expression. Furthermore, the effects of social capital, social media evaluation, and privacy risk and privacy control on online expression are moderated by culture. Our hypotheses are tested with survey data collected from Australia and China. The results show that social capital and social media evaluation have positive effects in all sub-samples, while privacy risk and privacy control have significant effects for the high uncertainty avoidance sub-samples. Our study contributes to the literature by clarifying the role of privacy and highlighting the importance of culture in online engagement. Public managers need to work with social media providers to better protect individuals’ privacy and take their cultural backgrounds into consideration.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Information Technology, Mathematics and Statistics
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd.
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