Tea and Turbulence: Communication Privacy Management Theory and Online Celebrity Gossip Forums

McNealy, Jasmine; Mullis, Michaela Devyn
Computers in Human Behavior

The friction and interplay between information and privacy, personal boundaries, and control and ownership of information is central to communication privacy management theory (CPM). In this autoethnographic study of the online gossip forum Lipstick Alley, CPM provides a framework for investigating how gender and culture shape boundaries and information sharing. The three CPM boundary coordination rules, linkage, ownership, and permeability, were found to be present and influenced how gossip forum users share, managed, and discussed the information on the site. Findings suggest that gender and culture play a significant role in shaping the kind of information shared. Further, ideas about the ownership of information shaped rules about how information should be managed and the consequences for failing to do so.