Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 36 Number 2 2019 pp. 574-609

Cyberbullying on Social Networking Sites: The Crime Opportunity and Affordance Perspectives

Chan, Tommy K H, Cheung, Christy M K, and Wong, Randy Y M


Cyberbullying on social networking sites (SNS bullying) is an emerging societal challenge related to the deviant use of technologies. To address the research gaps identified in the literature, we draw on crime opportunity theory and the affordance perspective to propose a meta-framework that guides our investigation into SNS bullying. The meta-framework explains how SNS affordances give rise to the evaluation of favorable SNS environmental conditions for SNS bullying, which, in turn, promote SNS bullying. The research model was empirically tested using a longitudinal online survey of 223 SNS users. The results suggest that the evaluation of SNS environmental conditions predict SNS bullying, and SNS affordances influence the evaluation of these environmental conditions. This work offers a new theoretical perspective to study SNS bullying, highlighting the critical impacts of environmental conditions in shaping such behavior. It also provides actionable insights into measures that combat SNS bullying.

Key words and phrases: cyberbullying, SNS bullying, crime opportunity, affordance, social networking sites, meta-framework, societal impacts of technology use, IT deviant use