Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Individuals who have experienced harm (also known as victims) by people, organizations, or adverse events sometimes use social media to share their experiences with others, search for information, and find social support. While some observers offer support and engage in inclusion toward victims on social media, other observers blame victims for their plight and participate in revictimization and exclusion. Victim blaming, which can lead to social exclusion, disproportionately impacts those in society who are already at risk for exclusion and may perpetuate existing racial, ethnic, gender, and economic inequalities. This research provides a theoretical framework to identify reasons why observers engage in such wide-ranging responses to victims on social media. Specifically, we consider social inclusion and exclusion at the confluence of a social phenomenon (victim blaming), a theory (just world theory), and an information technology artifact (social media) among a specific type of actor (observers). Our theoretical framework of social media inclusion and exclusion is informed by just world theory and considers how social media functionalities can promote social media inclusion or exclusion. We also offer research questions to stimulate future research related to social media inclusion, social media exclusion, and just world theory.




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