EMAC/EJM collaboration on the dark side of social media



Marketing research has a key role to play in addressing the challenges facing modern society. Leading associations such as the European Marketing Academy (EMAC) and leading journals such as the European Journal of Marketing (EJM) are vital elements in bringing those efforts together.  In this spirit EMAC and EJM are pleased to announce a forthcoming special issue which will develop our conceptual and empirical understanding of the dark side of consumer’s social media use for individual well-being, social cohesion, and marketing practice. Guest edited by EMAC's immediate past President, Luk Warlop, and Morana Fuduric, the issue will present a seminal collection of work focusing on this hugely pervasive aspect of our world today. Solutions to real world problems demand collaborative solutions. EMAC and EJM are therefore both  proud to embark on this initiative and will continue to explore ways in which they can support the  scholarly community in this field to deliver responses to both real world issues and the development of marketing knowledge.

In contrast to the prevalent research on the positive implications of digital marketing and related technologies for companies and consumers, the primary focus of this special issue is on the dark side of social media. Several authors have recently commented on the detrimental ways in which these platforms can and do affect private, professional, and social life. Negative consequences are many and of many different kinds, testifying to the pervasive impact online social media has had on our lives.  

Much of the prior work is disjointed and scattered across multiple disciplines. Most of it has been taxonomic and descriptive:  it tries to recognize and describe these negative consequences, for individual well-being, for social connection, for polarization, for brand management, and for broader societal objectives of sustainability and fairness. None of these effects have been extensively documented until now.  A lot of the evidence we do have seems to be mixed, with both positive and negative effects of social media use in the same domain. Therefore, more work is needed to theoretically explain these effects, find the moderating factors they are contingent upon, explore potential remedies or mitigating influences, and find empirical support for the proposed relationships. 

This special issue aims to deepen our conceptual and empirical understanding of the dark side of social media and consolidate a number of issues inherent to this field.  To this end, the editors encourage the submission of different types of papers:

  • Papers that present original conceptual and/or empirical contributions. These papers may use theoretical analysis or empirical data. 
  • Shorter research notes that present novel empirical insights into one specific phenomenon, aiming to stimulate further research. Submissions in this area need to put particular emphasis on a favorable length-to-contribution ratio..

List of topic areas

  • The impact of stereotypes, algorithmic biases and (un)fair recommendation systems in social media on (short term and long term) consumer attitudes and behaviors in various contexts (e.g., polarization, echo-chambers and truth bubbles),
  • Negative influences of the use of social media for self-presentation, affiliation and expression of the digital self on consumer attitudes, behaviors, interpersonal relationships and well-being,
  • Motivations behind the creation and spreading of negative and/or fake content through social media,
  • Motivations, perceptions and outcomes of cyberbullying behavior in social media,
  • Negative influences of social media on consumer's decision-making process and consumer choice (e.g., impulse buying, retail therapy etc.),
  • Antecedents and outcomes of social media disengagement (with people, brands, organizations and social media platforms),
  • Antecedents and outcomes of negative forms of engagement (e.g., negative reviews, negative eWOM, including social media storms and complaint behavior),
  • Consumer responses and negative aspects of social media by non-humans (e.g., bots, virtual influencers, conversational agents and IoT devices),
  • The link between trust and privacy concerns in the adoption of personalization tactics.

Guest Editors

Luk Warlop,
BI Norwegian Business School, Norway.
[email protected] 

Morana Fuduric,
Faculty of Economics & Business, University of Zagreb, Croatia.
[email protected] 

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ejm

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/ejm#author-guidelines

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 20/05/2022
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 20/12/2022