The impact of comment history disclosure on online comment posting behaviors

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Purpose: This study aimed to empirically examine the effectiveness of disclosing user comment history without disclosing personal identity as a nudge policy to refrain users from posting malicious content online. Design/methodology/approach: The authors collected the number of comments and posters from the leading portal website in South Korea, Naver.com. To causally investigate the impacts of the new nudge policy on the number of comments and posters, the authors used the regression discontinuity design (RDD) approach. Findings: The authors found that the new policy reduced all types of comments, including the number of malicious comments, self-deleted comments and current comments. This resulted in an overall decrease in the total number of posted comments, which is considered a side effect. In addition, the authors found that the effect of the nudge policy, which disclosed user comment history, has a stronger effect on older female users than their counterparts. Originality/value: The study findings extend the current knowledge on a nudge policy being implemented by a website as a means to reduce malicious online content and how it impacts user content posting behaviors.

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Information Technology and People



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