J. P., Rice, R. E., Kent, R., &
Uchino, B. (2015). 100 million strong: A
case study of group identification and deindividuation on
imgur.com. New Media & Society.
Online groups can become
communities, developing group identification and fostering
deindividuation. But is this possible
for very large, anonymous groups with low barriers to entry, highly
formats, and great diversity of content?
Applying social identity theory, and social identification and
deindividuation effects theory, this study assesses influences on group
identification and deindividuation in the case of Imgur.com. Respondents
reported slightly positive levels
of the three forms of group identification, but mixed levels of two
deindividuation. As argued by proponents of computer-mediated
demographics play only a minor role on these outcomes. More involved
such as direct access and commenting on images, is more associated with
outcomes, while more basic usage, such as total hours and reading
little influence. Deindividuation is
positively associated with group identification.