The Effects of Anonymity on Self-Disclosure in Blogs: An Application of the Online Disinhibition Effect



The connections between anonymity and self-disclosure online have received research attention, but the results have been inconclusive with regard to self-disclosure in blogs. This quantitative content analysis of 154 personal journal blogs tested some assumptions of the online disinhibition effect in order to examine the effect of types of anonymity on the amount, breadth, and depth of self-disclosure in blog entries. Results showed that participants disclosed more information in their blog entries when they were more visually identified (sharing a picture of themselves), contrary to the assumptions of the online disinhibition effect. Overall, a trend emerged where visual anonymity led to less disclosiveness, and discursive anonymity (sharing one's real name) led to less disclosiveness for particular types of bloggers.