Is Communication Visibility a Threat or an Opportunity? Social Media and Anonymous Social Support Organizations

Katie K. Kang


The communication visibility afforded by social media is vital to organizing. Although hidden organizations are in greater danger than ever in this visible world, less is known about how communication visibility has affected the organizing processes of hidden organizations. This study uses a framework of hidden organizing and social media visibility to examine how Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members practice anonymity on social media as a core communication principle. The author conducted 16 in-depth interviews with members of four AA groups to analyze their experiences and perspectives. The study aims to provide insights into how hidden organizations navigate the challenges of maintaining anonymity on social media while also utilizing the benefits of increased visibility. By understanding how AA members preserve anonymity principles on social media and how social media enables or constrains key organizing processes, the study may offer valuable implications for other hidden organizations facing similar communication challenges.


visibility, social media, hidden organizing

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