People regularly rely on user-generated contributions to websites to inform their opinions about people, companies, organizations, and products. This study examines how two website affordances uniquely affect the evaluation of user-generated content. Specifically, an experiment was
conducted that varied whether a website (a) affords profile owners the ability to delete user-generated contributions or (b) verifies the identity of users who post evaluations of profile owners. The results suggest that although deleting user-generated content is viewed as more problematic,
both forms of information control independently affect how viewers evaluate a website and the content it hosts. The findings help establish the conditions under which certain forms of information control differentially produce uncertainty and mistrust and thus have direct implications for
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online employee evaluations;
Document Type: Research Article
School of Communication, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Department of Communication, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
August 3, 2018
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