The claim has received over 600,000 views and has been circulated by other social media accounts.

The claim is FALSE

→ The study, conducted by researchers at Central China Normal University, is not about account anonymity. 
→ The study distinguished between active and passive users of social media and investigated their relationship with issues such as social anxiety and self-confidence.

→ A study of 571 people in China found that more active use of social media, as an indicator of openness to experience, was negatively associated with social anxiety. 

Research Addresses the Relationship between Social Anxiety and Openness to Experience in the Internet Age

One of the most common content shared by social media accounts sharing general news is articles with "interesting" findings. However, within the interaction mechanics of social media, such posts can often suffer from decontextualization, oversimplification of complex results and misinterpretation. While trying to make complex scientific topics comprehensible to the general reader is a difficult endeavor, omitting important details and using misleading headlines can lead to common misconceptions and misleading posts. 

The post in question also cited Central China Normal University, claiming that a study found that users of anonymous accounts on social media may have mental problems. An anonymous account is a name given to an account where the user uses a pseudonym instead of their real name. When the keywords related to the university and the claim are searched, a news article dated December 2023 can be found. It is also possible to access the aforementioned study through this news article. The title of the article is "The relationship between openness and social anxiety: the chain mediating roles of social networking site use and self-evaluation". The study by Gong and colleagues from Central China Normal University was published in November 2023 in an open access academic journal called BMC Psychology. 

Focusing on social networking platforms, the study questions the relationship between social anxiety and openness. The authors state that the change in social interaction with the internet has changed the approach to social anxiety and brought new questions. It is also stated that openness plays an important role in the development of social anxiety in a way that previous studies have not taken into account. In the study, openness is explained in terms such as the desire to embark on new adventures, curiosity about new things and the need for diversity.

The study suggests that individuals with high levels of openness use social media more actively, while those with lower levels of openness use social media more passively. Highly open, active users are seen as contributors to information creation, while more passive users are seen as information seekers who lack communication. The study, which was conducted with 571 people from Shanxi and Hubei provinces in China, suggests that with the sociability created by the internet, traits not previously associated with social anxiety play a more important role. The study starts from the hypothesis that openness is associated with social anxiety and the findings confirm this. The study suggests that people who use social media more passively develop more irrational thoughts. It also states that there are differences in self-confidence between active and passive social media use. As a result, the study questions the relationship between active or passive use of social media and social anxiety rather than the anonymity of the account. 

The claim that the study mentioned in the post shows that people who use anonymous accounts on social media may have mental problems is incorrect.


The claim that people who use anonymous accounts on social media may have mental problems is false