Conflict and Social Media : reading response to Mitchell Churcha and Ravi Thambusamy’s Competition and Information Deception in Online Social Networks

Reflecting on the social impact theory, many activities are changed when they are observed; being judged inspires pressure to conform in individuals. OSNs are able to generate significant pressures, resulting in an environment amenable to fostering online competition, may be the stem of PID from feelings of interpersonal competition. While this article does a great job of examining that on a small scale; however, I believe that it would have brought in more accurate result had they used an OSN other than Facebook as the nature of an OSN can be an excitative to PID.

This article heavily relies on Bagozzi’s process of appraisals, emotional responses, and coping mechanisms. Where as appraisal the competitive norms, status benefit and hedonic benefits were listed, and the desire for online competition is the emotional response and as a coping mechanism we get PID. While I agree with this adaptation of Bagozzi’s framework, this research used a convenience sample of undergraduate students at a large Southeastern University in the United States, which does examine the way that culture affects on PID, or how Social network sites that are more heavily influenced by rich media affect individuals, which make the study strictly restrained to a small sample on one type of OSN, I would try to fix at least the latter, which would, in my opinion, be a ratification to this study, as the problem is also not limited by country or culture; Chinese social media site Sina at over 450 million.

An example, would be the entertainer 50 cent, where he would use PID on his Instagram account to show an image of being rich which absolutely supports this study, however, perhaps the influence of the Instagram platform had supported this, where Instagram is a photo sharing OSN. Whereas, if he had used twitter, for instance, he might have not gotten enough motivation to do the same; as twitter is mainly a microblogging platform.

It is clear to see that there is a strong relation between competition and PID on OSN sites as Toma and Hancock have agreed. Thus, it would make perfect sense that Church and Thambusamy , their study was very precise and intriguing, I personally believe interpersonal competition is a major motive for PID more than privacy, as Turel and Gafen have previously researched. More work needs to be done to confirm results and their accuracy as the study’s reliance on self-reported data poses a predicament to me.

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Photo by Omkar Patyane on


  1. Your response was quite interesting. I agree that interpersonal competition online is valued more than privacy. Quite often people expose many intimate feelings or even body parts to raise a higher following. Even with social media scandals like the Facebook security breaches, people continue to use these platforms. However, just to clarify because I did not read this paper, what does PID and OSN stand for?


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