Publication Date

2014-05-06

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2014-05-05

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Public Relations (Communication)

Date of Defense

2014-04-30

First Committee Member

Don Stacks

Second Committee Member

Michael Beatty

Third Committee Member

Diane Millette

Abstract

This study looked into the phenomenon of social media deletion: how it happens, what it looks like and how it is perceived. An experiment was conducted comparing the impacts of four different social media deletion scenarios on perceived transparency, homophily and believability. In the survey part, the researcher also collected participant’s self-report information regarding the awareness and conduct of social media deletion, and the interpretation of social media deletion. The study aimed to find out whether social media deletion matters in organizational public relations effort, and how it influences the opinion of audiences. In addition, the study aimed to find a proper strategy that could guide or social media management on issues related to deletion. The study found that audiences notice the existence of social media deletion, most of them notice it “occasionally” or “once or twice”, and they intend to associate it with wrong doings or misconducts. Social media deletion negatively impacts audience perception on transparency, homophily and believability of the organization. Meanwhile, repost comment does not have a significant impact audience perception.

Keywords

social media; deletion; public relations; audience perception

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