Online identities and social influence in social media gambling exposure: A four-country study on young people

Anu Sirola, Markus Kaakinen, Iina Savolainen, Hye Jin Paek, Izabela Zych, Atte Oksanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Social media tends to gather users around social cliques consisting of similar-minded individuals and shared identities. These online group processes can have significant influence on user behavior, which is alarming when considering risky behaviors such as gambling. This study examined how online clique involvement predicts young people's interest in gambling content and following observed group norms on social media. Survey respondents were 15–25-year-olds from Finland (n = 1200), the United States (n = 1212), South Korea (n = 1192) and Spain (n = 1212). A self-reported measure of online clique involvement and a gambling-related social media vignette experiment were utilized. The results show that online clique involvement was related to higher interest in gambling content. Content liked by a majority gathered more interest, indicating conformity to a group norm. This finding was especially true among participants with past involvement in online cliques, and the association was strongest in South Korea. The tendency to participate in online clique behavior creates a potentially risky setting when encountering online gambling content, because it may accentuate the effect of observed group norms. Interacting with gambling content increases the visibility of such content due to algorithmic filtering technologies, which can fuel gambling-related intentions and behaviors, and normalize gambling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101582
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Gambling
  • Group processes
  • Online cliques
  • Social media
  • Young people

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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