To Post or not to Post? Anonymous user comments in the Israeli journalistic sphere

Oren Soffer, Galit Gordoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


User comments have become an integral part of news websites. This study implements the well-validated theory of planned behavior (TPB) in order to understand the individual decision to post anonymous comments on news sites in Israel. We examine whether commenting is a spontaneous behavior, as has been argued in previous studies, or a reasoned behavior. Based on an internet survey (N = 707), the present study results support the hypothesis that the process involved in posting a comment in a specific socio-political context involves a reasoned action that can be understood by applying a generic theoretical model. Empirical support for TPB model hypotheses for intention prediction was evident, with the subjective norm-intention relation stronger than the attitude and perceived behavioral control–intention relations. In spite of the anonymous nature of the comments, findings highlight the relevance of the perceived socio-political context for individuals’ decision whether to post an anonymous comment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1390-1408
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - 27 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Israel
  • participatory journalism
  • theory of planned behavior
  • user comments


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