“The Front Page of the Internet”: Safe Spaces and Hyperpersonal Communication among Females in an Online Community


  • Hallie Workman Texas Christian University
  • Catherine A. Coleman Texas Christian University




The social content sharing site, Reddit.com, has seen an increase in both popularity and criticism recently. Within this larger website, smaller communities exist which cater to specific interests and groups. One of these communities is TwoXChromosomes (or 2X), a “subreddit” for women to share information and experiences with other like-minded women. Through a voluntary online survey and four-week-long online ethnography, this research found that, like other online communities, 2X fulfills a specific need for the members and contributors. Among other things, 2X fulfills the need for a safe place (when many places on the Internet are not considered to be as welcoming to girls and women), and it provides information and camaraderie that community members feel they cannot find in their offline lives for any variety of reasons. Public relations and communication professionals working for nonprofits and other women-centered organization can use this information to find out what women are talking about, what areas they are asking for advice in, and use this information to inform their strategic communication efforts.


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