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Breaking bad online: a synthesis of the darker sides of social networking sites

Demetis, Dionysios S.



This essay deconstructs the ultra-dark side of social media and explores the variety of ‘bad’ behaviour online by looking at a wide spectrum of exploitative practices. Through the use of primary data from an online platform, we posit the question ‘What’s the worst thing you’ve done online’? We collect, code and synthesise the fully anonymised discussions and develop a classification model for bad online behaviour. We combine the categories that emerge from our empirical data with those proposed by Baccarella et al. (2018) and develop a new combined (meta-) classification model that captures both the dark side of social networking and the ultra-dark. A framework is proposed for conceptualising the spectrum of exploitative practices and the essay concludes by providing a series of management considerations.


Demetis, D. S. (2020). Breaking bad online: a synthesis of the darker sides of social networking sites. European Management Journal, 38(1), 33-44.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 17, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 19, 2019
Publication Date 2020-02
Deposit Date Dec 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date Dec 20, 2021
Journal European Management Journal
Print ISSN 0263-2373
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 1
Pages 33-44
Keywords Social media; Social networking; Dark side; Cybersecurity; Cybercrime
Public URL
Publisher URL


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