Library and Information Science Project Topics

Usage of Dark Social Media as a Medium of Sharing Videos and Its Ethical Implications

Usage of Dark Social Media as a Medium of Sharing Videos and Its Ethical Implications

Usage of Dark Social Media as a Medium of Sharing Videos and Its Ethical Implications


Objectives of the Study

The specific objectives of this study include to:

  1. Investigated the prevalence of video sharing on dark social media platforms.
  2. Examined the ethical dilemmas associated with the use of dark social media for video dissemination.
  3. Explored potential strategies for addressing ethical concerns and promoting responsible usage of dark social media for video sharing.



Conceptual Review

Dark Social Media

Dark social media refers to a realm of online communication channels where content sharing occurs outside the public eye, often through private messaging apps and email threads (Richards & Solove, 2020). Unlike conventional social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which facilitate public sharing and interaction, dark social channels prioritize privacy and exclusivity (Boulianne, 2021). This distinction highlights the importance of understanding the unique concept and characteristics of dark social media in contemporary digital communication landscapes.

One key characteristic of dark social media is its reliance on private channels for content sharing and communication (SmartSocial, 2019). Users engage in one-to-one or group interactions through platforms such as WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram, where messages and shared content remain encrypted and inaccessible to third-party observers (Chaffey, 2019). This emphasis on privacy distinguishes dark social media from traditional social networking sites, underscoring the importance of examining its implications for online communication practices (Andrews, 2012).

Another defining feature of dark social media is its role in facilitating intimate and personalized interactions among users (Ems, 2022). Unlike public platforms where content is shared with a wide audience, dark social channels enable individuals to communicate with select contacts or groups more privately and exclusively (Marwick & Boyd, 2022). This aspect of dark social media aligns with broader trends towards digital intimacy and selective sharing, reflecting users’ preferences for privacy and control over their online interactions (Johnson, 2022).

Moreover, dark social media channels often serve as conduits for sharing sensitive or confidential information that users may be hesitant to post on public platforms (McCay-Peet & Quan-Haase, 2021). This includes personal anecdotes, private opinions, and multimedia content such as videos and images (Echaiz & Ardenghi, 2019). The perceived security and confidentiality offered by dark social channels make them appealing for sharing content that users may not want to be publicly associated with, further emphasizing the significance of understanding the dynamics of dark social media usage (Barrett-Maitland et al., 2022).

Additionally, dark social media facilitates the spread of information through trusted networks and word-of-mouth referrals (Van Der Velden & El Emam, 2023). Unlike content shared on public platforms, which can be influenced by algorithms and advertising, content disseminated through dark social channels relies on personal recommendations and peer-to-peer sharing (Bolton et al., 2023). This organic dissemination process contributes to the formation of tight-knit online communities and reinforces the importance of understanding dark social media as a distinct communication phenomenon (Cohn, 2020).

Video Sharing on Dark Social Media

Video sharing on dark social media platforms constitutes a significant aspect of contemporary digital communication practices, characterized by distinct practices and patterns (Gil de Zúñiga et al., 2022). Unlike public platforms where videos are shared openly with a wide audience, dark social channels enable users to share videos selectively with specific contacts or groups (Chai et al., 2023). This targeted approach to video sharing reflects users’ preferences for privacy and control over their online interactions, shaping the practices and patterns observed in dark social media environments.

One prevalent practice observed in video sharing on dark social media is the use of private messaging apps as primary channels for content dissemination (Boulianne, 2021). Platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat allow users to share videos directly with individual contacts or within closed groups, fostering intimate and personalized interactions (Marwick & Boyd, 2022). This practice emphasizes the importance of understanding the role of messaging apps in facilitating video-sharing practices on dark social media platforms.





This chapter outlines the methodology employed in conducting the research, focusing on the research design, population of the study, sampling technique and sample size, sources and method of data collection, method of data analysis, and ethical considerations.

Research Design

The research adopts a quantitative survey research design to collect data from respondents. This design was chosen due to its ability to gather numerical data from a large sample size efficiently, allowing for statistical analysis to draw generalizable conclusions about the population under study (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2019). The use of a survey design facilitates the exploration of attitudes, opinions, and behaviours regarding video sharing on dark social media platforms among the target population.

Population of the Study

The target population for this study comprises individuals who engage in video-sharing activities on dark social media platforms. Given the exploratory nature of the research, the population is defined broadly to include users from various demographic backgrounds. The justification for selecting a population of 154 respondents lies in the need to achieve statistical power and representativeness while ensuring the feasibility and manageability of data collection (Charan & Biswas, 2019).



Data Presentation

The results from Table 4.1 indicate that out of the total 111 questionnaires distributed, 108 were returned and completed, representing a response rate of 97.3%. Only 3 questionnaires were not returned or left incomplete, accounting for 2.7% of the total. This high response rate suggests a strong level of engagement and interest among the respondents in participating in the study.

The high completion rate can be attributed to several factors, such as the clarity and relevance of the questionnaire, effective communication with the participants, and possibly the importance of the research topic to the respondents. Additionally, the distribution method and follow-up reminders, if any, might have contributed to encouraging participation.

The high completion rate enhances the reliability and validity of the study’s findings, as it suggests that the collected data is likely representative of the target population. However, it’s essential to acknowledge the small proportion of uncompleted questionnaires, which could potentially introduce some bias if there are systematic differences between respondents who completed the survey and those who did not. Nonetheless, the overall response rate indicates successful data collection and provides a strong foundation for analysis and interpretation.



Summary of Findings

The study investigated various aspects related to the ethical implications of video sharing on dark social media platforms, aiming to understand common practices, motivations, and ethical considerations associated with such activities, as well as proposing strategies to address emerging challenges.

Firstly, the research explored respondents’ perceptions regarding the prevalence of video sharing on dark social media platforms. Findings indicated that a significant majority of participants believed that users often share videos on these platforms to maintain privacy and control over their content, avoid public scrutiny and censorship, connect with like-minded individuals in private communities, and experience the thrill of sharing content anonymously. These motivations highlight the unique appeal of dark social media platforms in offering users a sense of privacy, anonymity, and freedom of expression.

However, alongside these motivations, respondents also acknowledged the ethical dilemmas arising from video dissemination on dark social media. Concerns were raised regarding the risk of privacy infringement, the lack of content moderation leading to the spread of harmful or inappropriate videos, the potential for sharing misleading or deceptive content without accountability, and the ethical implications of sharing sensitive or controversial videos within closed networks. These findings underscore the need for robust ethical frameworks and regulatory interventions to address emerging challenges and safeguard users’ rights and well-being.

In response to these concerns, participants expressed support for various strategies to promote responsible usage and mitigate ethical risks on dark social media platforms. Collaboration with platform developers to integrate content moderation tools and reporting mechanisms was deemed essential, alongside implementing strict regulations and guidelines for shared content. Additionally, respondents highlighted the importance of educating users about the ethical implications of video sharing through awareness campaigns and community outreach programs, as well as enforcing penalties for individuals or groups engaging in unethical behaviour. These proposed strategies emphasize the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration, technological innovations, user empowerment, and accountability measures in fostering a safer and more responsible online environment.

Moreover, statistical analyses, including one-sample t-tests, provided empirical evidence to support the hypotheses tested, confirming significant mean differences in variables related to the prevalence of video sharing, ethical dilemmas, and potential strategies for addressing ethical concerns on dark social media platforms. These findings contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics at play and provide valuable insights for policymakers, platform developers, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders involved in shaping the future of online communication and social interaction.


The findings from the hypotheses tested in this study provide valuable insights into the prevalence of video sharing on dark social media platforms, the ethical dilemmas associated with such activities, and potential strategies for addressing emerging challenges. The significant mean differences observed in variables related to video sharing prevalence, ethical considerations, and proposed strategies underscore the complexity of ethical issues in online communication and social interaction. These results highlight the need for robust regulatory frameworks, technological innovations, and user education initiatives to promote responsible usage and mitigate potential harm on dark social media platforms. By addressing these challenges and implementing comprehensive strategies, policymakers, platform developers, and regulatory bodies can contribute to creating a safer, more ethical online environment that protects users’ rights and well-being. Furthermore, the findings emphasize the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration and proactive measures in fostering transparency, accountability, and trust in digital communication networks. Overall, the study’s conclusions underscore the importance of ongoing research and action in addressing ethical implications and promoting ethical behaviour in the evolving landscape of online social interaction.


Based on the findings and conclusions drawn from the study, the following recommendations are proposed to address the ethical implications and challenges associated with video sharing on dark social media platforms:

  1. Strengthen Regulatory Oversight: Regulatory bodies such as the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Film and Video Censor Board should collaborate with technology companies to develop and enforce stringent regulations governing content dissemination on dark social media platforms. This includes implementing guidelines for content moderation, privacy protection, and ethical standards.
  2. Enhance User Education and Awareness: Launch public awareness campaigns and educational programs to inform users about the potential risks and ethical considerations involved in video sharing on dark social media. Promote digital literacy and responsible online behaviour to empower users to make informed decisions and protect themselves from privacy breaches and harmful content.
  3. Foster Industry Collaboration: Encourage collaboration among social media platforms, technology developers, and regulatory agencies to develop innovative solutions and best practices for addressing ethical challenges in video sharing. Establish industry standards for transparency, data security, and ethical conduct to build trust and accountability within the digital ecosystem.
  4. Invest in Technological Solutions: Develop advanced content moderation tools, artificial intelligence algorithms, and encryption technologies to detect and mitigate the spread of harmful or inappropriate videos on dark social media platforms. Invest in research and development to stay ahead of emerging threats and protect user privacy and safety.
  5. Promote User Empowerment: Empower users with greater control over their privacy settings, content visibility, and data sharing preferences on dark social media platforms. Provide user-friendly tools and resources for managing online interactions and reporting abusive or unethical behaviour to platform administrators.
  6. Foster Ethical Leadership: Encourage ethical leadership and corporate responsibility among social media companies and technology executives. Promote ethical decision-making processes, corporate governance structures, and accountability mechanisms to uphold ethical standards and protect user interests.
  7. Support Academic Research: Invest in academic research and interdisciplinary studies to explore the complex social, cultural, and psychological factors influencing video-sharing behaviour on dark social media. Foster collaboration between researchers, policymakers, and industry stakeholders to generate evidence-based insights and inform policy development.
  8. Monitor and Evaluate Impact: Establish mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of regulatory interventions, educational initiatives, and technological solutions in addressing ethical challenges in video sharing on dark social media. Conduct regular audits, surveys, and impact assessments to track progress, identify gaps, and refine strategies over time.

Contribution to Knowledge

The findings of this study make significant contributions to knowledge in several key areas related to video sharing on dark social media platforms. Firstly, the study sheds light on the common practices and motivations behind video sharing in the context of dark social media, providing valuable insights into the drivers and dynamics shaping user behaviour in these private digital spaces. By identifying factors such as privacy concerns, desire for anonymity, and the thrill of sharing content discreetly, the study enriches our understanding of the complex social and psychological motivations underlying video dissemination on dark social media.

Secondly, the study contributes to the literature on ethical considerations associated with video sharing on dark social channels. By exploring the ethical dilemmas and challenges arising from the dissemination of videos through these platforms, the study highlights the need for greater awareness, accountability, and regulatory oversight to address potential risks such as privacy infringement, misinformation, and content moderation issues. This deeper understanding of ethical concerns provides a foundation for developing strategies and interventions to promote responsible video-sharing practices and protect user rights in the digital realm.

Furthermore, the study offers insights into the role of regulatory bodies such as the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Film and Video Censor Board in addressing the ethical challenges posed by dark social media. By examining the potential strategies and approaches for regulatory intervention, the study informs policy development and advocacy efforts aimed at enhancing ethical oversight and accountability in the digital space. This understanding of regulatory dynamics and governance mechanisms is essential for shaping effective policies and frameworks to safeguard user interests and promote ethical conduct online.

Moreover, the study contributes to the development of technological solutions and industry best practices for mitigating ethical concerns in video sharing on dark social media platforms. By identifying the need for advanced content moderation tools, encryption technologies, and user empowerment strategies, the study informs the design and implementation of innovative solutions to protect user privacy, enhance transparency, and foster a safer online environment. These technological innovations play a crucial role in addressing emerging threats and challenges in the digital landscape, ensuring the responsible use of dark social media for video dissemination.


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