Perception of Pranks on Social Media: Clout-Lighting

Yosra Jarrar 1 * , Ayodeji Awobamise 2, Sheila Nnabuife 3, Gabriel E. Nweke 3
More Detail
1 American University in Dubai, Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
2 Kampala International University, UGANDA
3 Girne American University, NORTH CYPRUS
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 10, Issue 1, Article No: e202001.
OPEN ACCESS   4521 Views   8279 Downloads   Published online: 11 Nov 2019
Download Full Text (PDF)


The development of the internet and social media has created new opportunities for using pranks as disguised means of generating clicks and social media engagement by social media users. As a means of humor, a prank has formed one of the major contents of social media landscape purposively designed to draw public attention to perpetrators’ walls and to generate comments in a social media driven economy of pay-per-click/view. This study aims to examine the reasons people carry out pranks against their intimate partners and to also find out if there is a relationship between self-esteem and the tendency to carry out pranks against ones intimate partner and to share such videos online. The study revealed that social media use, age, gender and the partners’ self-esteem predict the tendency for pranks among romantic partners in a relationship and that that pranks decrease the level of satisfaction in relationship among partners.


Jarrar, Y., Awobamise, A., Nnabuife, S., & Nweke, G. E. (2020). Perception of Pranks on Social Media: Clout-Lighting. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 10(1), e202001.


  • Abbasi, I. S. (2018). Social Media and Committed Relationships: What Factors Make Our Romantic Relationship Vulnerable? Social Science Computer Review, 37(3), 425-434.
  • Abbasi, I. S., & Alghamdi, N. (2017b). When flirting turns into infidelity: The Facebook dilemma. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 45, 1–14.
  • Abbasi, I. S., & Alghamdi, N. G. (2017a). The pursuit of romantic alternatives online: Social media friends as potential alternatives. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 44, 16-28.
  • Agbanu, A. N (2017). Print media production and graphics. Enuhu, Ryxce Kerex Publishers.
  • Agbanu, V. N. (2014). Propaganda and public opinion: a discourse on political communication and mind management. Enugu Rhyce Kerex Publishers. Retrieved from
  • Al-Harrasi, A. S., Al-Badi, A. H. (2014). The Impact of Social Networking: A Study of the Influence of Smartphones on College Students. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 7(2), 129-136.
  • Andreassen, C. S., Torsheim, T., Brunborg, G. S., & Pallesen, S. (2012). Development of a Facebook addiction scale. Psychological Reports, 110, 501-517. PR0.110.2.501-517
  • Arnold, C. (2011). Jesting Our Limits: Do April Fools’ Day Pranks Alienate or Engage People? Practical jokes and pranks serve to both test social bonds and bring groups together, researchers find. Retrieved on 28 June 2019 from
  • Baxter, L. A. (2004). A tale of two voices. Relational dialectics theory. The journal of family communication, 181-192.
  • Baxter, L. A., & Montgomery, B. (2009). Relational dialectics. In E. Griffin (Ed.). A first look at communication theory (7th edition, pp. 154-168). New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Branley, D. B., & Covey, J. (2017). Risky behavior via social media: The role of reasoned and social reactive pathways. Retrieved from
  • Britto, B. (2017). Maryland couple’s YouTube videos of their children spark outrage The battlemore sun. Retrieved on 28 June 2019 from
  • Caprara, G. V., Regalia, C., & Bandura, A. (2002). Longitudinal impact of perceived self-regulatory efficacy on violent conduct. Eur. Psychol. 7, 63-69.
  • Carey, B. (2008). April Fool! The Purpose of Pranks. The New York Times. Retrieved on 28/6/2019 from
  • Chan, H. C., & Chui, W. H. (2017). The influence of low self-control on violent and nonviolent delinquencies: A study of male adolescents from two Chinese societies. J. Forens.
  • Circello, M. G. (2013). Influences of the Misuse of Social Media on the Evolution of Adolescent Cyberbullies (Education Doctoral). Paper 142.
  • Clayton, R. B., Nagurney, A., & Smith, J. R. (2013). Cheating, breakup, and divorce: Is Facebook use to blame? Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16, 717-720.
  • Connolly, E. J., Al-Ghamdi, M. S., Kobeisy, A. N., Alqurashi, F., Schwartz, J. A., & Beaver, K. M. (2017). Identifying latent classes of antisocial behavior among youth from Saudi Arabia: An assessment of the co-occurrence between aggression, psychopathy, low self-control, and delinquent behavior. Youth Violence Juv. Justice., 15, 219-239.
  • Cravens, J. D., & Whiting, J. B. (2014). Clinical implications of internet infidelity: Where Facebook fits in. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 42, 325-339.
  • Crimmins, D. M., & Siegfriend-Spellar, K. C. (2014). Peer attachment, sexual experiences, and risky online behaviors as predictors of sexting behaviors among undergraduate students. Comput. Hum. Behav. 32, 268-275.
  • Donnellan, M. B., Trzesniewski, K. H., Robins, R. W., Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A. (2005). Low self-esteem is related to aggression, anti-social behavior, and delinquency. Psychol. Sci, 16, 328-335.
  • Drouin, M., Miller, D. A., & Dibble, J. L. (2014). Ignore your partners’ current Facebook friends; beware the ones they add! Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 483-488.
  • Drouin, M., Miller, D. A., & Dibble, J. L. (2015). Facebook or memory: Which is the real threat to your relationship? Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 18, 561-566.
  • Drouin, M., Vogel, K. N., Surbey, A., & Stills, J. R. (2013). Let’s talk about sexting, baby: computer-mediated sexual behaviors among young adults. Comput. Hum. Behav. 29, A25-A30.
  • Feeney, J. A., & Noller, P. (2004). Attachment and sexuality in close relationships. In: J. H. Harvey, A. Venzel, & S. Sprecher (Eds.), The Handbook of Sexuality in Close Relationships. Psychology Press, pp. 183-201.
  • Forster, M., Grigsby, T. J., Unger, J. B., & Sussman, S. (2015). Associations between gun violence exposure, gang associations, and youth aggression: Implications for prevention and intervention programs. J. Criminol, 1-8.
  • Gershon, I. (2010). The break up 2.0: Disconnecting over new media. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press
  • Griffin, E. (2009). A first look at communication theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Griffiths, M. D. (2005). A ‘components’ model of addiction within a biopsychosocial framework. Journal of Substance Use, 10, 191-197.
  • Hall, J. A. (2015). Sexual selection and humor in courtship: A case for warmth and extroversion. Evolutionary Psychology, 13, Article 1474704915598918.
  • Johnson, S., & Zuccarini, D. (2012). Integrating sex and attachment in emotionally focused couple therapy. J. Marital Fam. Ther., 36, 15.
  • Kaestle, C. E., & Tucker Halpern, C. (2007). What’s love got to do with it? Sexual behaviors of opposite-sex couples through emerging adulthood. Perspect. Sex. Reprod. Health, 39, 7.
  • Karpińska-Krakowiak, M., & Modliński, A. (2014). Prankvertising – Pranks As A New Form Of Brand Advertising Online. Modern Management Review MMR, vol. XIX, 21(3), 31-44.
  • Kisler, T. S., & Christopher, F. S. (2008). Sexual exchanges and relationship satisfaction: testing the role of sexual satisfaction as a mediator and gender as a moderator. J. Soc. Pers. Relat., 25, 587–602.
  • Liu, J. S., Ho, M. H., & Lu, L. Y. (2017). Recent themes in social networking service research. PloS One, 12, 1–17.
  • Lo, T. W., & Cheng, C. H. K. (2018). Predicting Effects of the Self and Contextual Factors on Violence: A Comparison between School Students and Youth Offenders in Macau. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
  • Lo, T. W., Cheng, C., Wong, D., Rochelle, T., & Kwok, S. I. (2011). Self-esteem, self-efficacy and deviant behaviour of young people in Hong Kong. Adv. Appl. Sociol., 1, 48-55.
  • Lusinski, N. (2017). How Does Your Sense Of Humor Affect Your Relationship? What You Find Funny Has A Major Impact On Your Online Dating Success. Retrieved on 28 June 2019 from
  • Marshall, T. C., Bejanyan, K., Di Castro, G., & Lee, R. A. (2012). Attachment styles as predictors of Facebook related jealousy and surveillance in romantic relationships. Social Psychology, 20(1).
  • Mascotto, B. (2008). Exploring the Impact of Anonymity on Cyberbullying in Adolescents: An Integrative Literature Review (Master of Nursing Thesis).
  • McClave, J., & Sincich, T. (2006). A First Course in Statistics. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • McDaniel, B. T., & Coyne, S. M. (2016). Technoference”: The interference of technology in couple relationships and implications for women’s personal and relational well-being. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5, 85-98.
  • Micheal, G. (2013). When Do Pranks Cross the Line to Become Bullying? The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019 from
  • Molluzzo, & Lawler (2011). A Study of the Perceptions of College Students on Cyberbullying. Information Systems Educators Conference 2011 ISECON Proceedings Wilmington North Carolina, USA v28 n1633.
  • Muise, A., Christofides, E., & Desmarais, S. (2009). More information than you ever wanted: Does Facebook bring out the green-eyed monster of jealousy? Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 12, 441-444. 2008.0263
  • Nagesh, A. (2018). Cloutlighting: From online pranks to toxic social media trend.
  • Nwabueze, C. D. (2014). Introduction to mass communication: media ecology in global village. Owerri, Top-shelves publishers.
  • Nwabueze, C. D., & Ikegbunam, P. C. (2015). Source Credibility and Internet Blog News Stories: Implications to Security in Nigeria. ANSU Journal of Arts and Social Sciences, 3(2), 22-36.
  • Parks, M. R. (2007). Personal relationships, personal networks. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Redmond, L. (2018). A YouTube-inspired prank ruined my daughters life. The guardian news online. Retrieved on 28 June 2019 from
  • Renfrow, D. G., & Rollo, E. A. (2014). Sexting on campus: minimizing perceived risks and neutralizing behaviors. Deviant Behav., 35, 903-920.
  • Rusbult, C. E., Agnew, C., & Ximena, A. (2011). The investment model of commitment processes (Paper 26). Department of Psychological Sciences Faculty Publications. Retrieved from chpubs/26
  • Ryan, T., Chester, A., Reece, J., & Xenos, S. (2014). The uses and abuses of Facebook: A review of Facebook addiction. Journal Behavior Addiction, 3, 133-148.
  • Sahlstein, E., & Dun, T. (2008). I wanted time to myself and he wanted be together all the times: construction of breakups as managing autonomy-connection. Qualitative research reports in communication, 37-45.
  • Smith, A., & Anderson, M. (2018). Social Media Use in 2018. Pew Research Center. Retrieved on 9 August 2019 from
  • Sprecher, S. (2010). The influence of social networks on romantic relationships: Through the lens of the social network. Personal Relationships, 18(2011), 630-644.
  • Tabassam, W., & Grainger, J. (2002). Self-concept, attributional style and self-efficacy beliefs of students with learning disabilities. Learn. Disabil., (25), 141-151.
  • Utz, S., & Beukeboom, C. J. (2011). The role of social network sites in romantic relationships: Effects on jealousy and relationship happiness. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 16(4), 511-527. 6101.2011.01552.x
  • Valenzuela, S., Halpern, D., & Katz, J. E. (2014). Social network sites, marriage well-being and divorce: Survey and state-level evidence from the United States. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 94-101.
  • Van den Eijnden, R. J., Lemmens, J. S., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2016). The social media disorder scale: Validity and psychometric properties. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, 478-487.
  • Van Gool, E., Van Ouytsel, J., Ponnet, K., & Walrave, M. (2015). To share or not to share? Adolescents’ self-disclosure about peer relationships on Facebook: An application of the Prototype Willingness Model. Computers in Human Behavior, 44, 230e239.
  • Walrave, M., Ponnet, K., Van Ouytsel, J., Van Gool, E., Heirman, W., & Verbeek, A. (2015). Whether or not to engage in sexting: Explaining adolescent sexting behavior by applying the prototype willingness model. Telematics and Informatics, 32(4), 796e808.