Date of Award

2023

Document Type

Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2023 Talia A. Feshbach. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. For all other uses, please contact the copyright holder.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Linguistics

Abstract

Many users of social media sites self-censor by using character replacements or euphemisms to obscure the language they are using. The reasons for doing so vary from trying to avoid other users finding their posts in searches to evading censorship from site administration to adapting to site culture. This paper seeks to answer whether or not there is an association between reasons for self-censoring and tactics used for self-censoring. It also examines three sites where self-censoring is in different forms and amounts - Tumblr, Twitter, and TikTok - and how the tactics and reasons for self-censoring appear on those sites. To do so, I first investigated the rules and communities of the social media sites, taboos, terms and taxonomies for self-censoring practices, and the use of self-censoring in online communication and memes. Next, I conducted a survey and used that survey data to perform a chi-square test using reasons for self-censoring and tactics used for self-censoring as variables. I also conducted percentage observations on the data using the sites and tactics as variables, and then the sites and reasonings as variables. While my results for the chi-squared test were flawed, I found no correlation between self-censoring tactics and reasons for self-censoring. However, I did observe different patterns of tactics used and reasons for self-censoring on the different sites.

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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