A new article published in New Media & Society

Dr. Darja Grošelj and dr. Andraž Petrovčič, members of the Centre for Social Informatics, FDV UL, published an article entitled Going online on behalf of someone else: Characteristics of Internet users who act as proxy users in co-authorship with dr. Bianca C. Reisdorf from University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA. The article examines proxy internet users, i.e. internet users who do something on the internet instead of or on behalf of someone else. Proxy users are key in establishing indirect use of the internet for users-by-proxy, i.e. people who rely on others to do something on the internet for them or on thier behalf.

Existing research on digital inequalities and proxy internet use has largely focused only on users-by-proxy, therefore the published study presents the first in-depth quantitative analysis of proxy users' characteristics and factors contributing to indirect internet use from their perspective. The results of the research show that a half (51%) of Internet users in Slovenia in the last 12 months found themselves in the role of proxy users and that the most common indirect uses of the Internet were searching for information about products and services, sending or receiving e-mail and ordering or buying products or services online. Using multivariate analysis, the authors found that internet users who report a greater range of personal, economic and social uses of the internet and those with better operational skills are more likely to use the internet also as proxy users for or on behalf of someone else.

The research was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS) (project numbers L5-9337, Z5-8234 and P5-0399). ARRS also provided funds for bilateral cooperation between the Centre for Social Informatics at the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) (project no. BI-US / 18-20-051).

Back to list of notificationsPublished: 03. July 2020 | Category: Publications