Seeking Patterns of Digital Deception

Seeking Patterns of Digital Deception

Marek Palasinski (Liverpool John Moores University, UK) and Simon Bignell (University of Derby, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch633
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Main Types Of Deception

Given the primordial tendency for deception, the ever-increasing number of people who have access to the Internet and the growing number of hours that they spend online, digital deception has become pervasive. Thus, cyberspace keeps opening new vistas of deceitful communication that still remain largely unexplored. The typologies used to categorise deception have varied widely (e.g., omission vs. commission; active vs. passive – Galasinski, 2000; self-oriented vs. other-oriented – Feldman, 2009; male vs. female – Canary & Dindia, 2006). Digital deception has also been categorized in terms of identity (i.e., false manipulation of a person or organization’s identity) and message (false manipulation of shared information - Hancock, 2007), gender (Guadagno, Okdie & Kruse, 2012), self-promotion and relationship-maintenance (Underwood, Kerlin & Farrington-Flint, 2012), as well as text and photograph (Lo, Hsieh & Chiu, 2013). What all such types have in common is their relation to a special disinhibitory property of the Internet – anonymity, making the potential for alternating identity, personal information and typical behaviour almost infinite (Lapidot-Lefler & Barak, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cheating: an immoral way of achieving a goal by breaking socially acceptable rules.

Media Richness Theory: a theory suggesting that lying is highly equivocal, inclining people to lie more in rich media that feature multiple cue systems, immediate feedback, natural language, and message personalisation.

Interpersonal Deception Theory: a theory suggesting that deception can take five primary forms: Lies (making up information or giving information that is different from the truth), Equivocations (making an indirect, ambiguous, or contradictory statement), Concealments (omitting information that is relevant to the given context), Exaggerations (stretching the truth) and Understatements (downplaying aspects of the truth).

Feature Based Theory: a theory proposing that that the more synchronous (real time) and distributed (not co-present), but the less recordable a medium is, the more frequently lying should occur.

Computer-Mediated Communication: any communication that occurs through the use of two or more electronic devices.

Digital Deception: sending information in a technologically mediated message to create false belief in the receiver of the message.

Social Distance Theory: a theory suggesting that people seek less rich media so as to stay away from the lie target.

Scam: deliberate deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual.

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