Disclosure and Use of Privacy Settings in FacebookTM Profiles: Evaluating the Impact of Media Context and Gender


The present study examined disclosure and use of privacy settings in online social networking profiles as a function of the media context (i.e., online versus hard copy (paper and pencil) FacebookTM profiles). Gender was also examined. Overall, participants disclosed more information when constructing a profile for another person when using a hard copy paper and pencil format than an online context. Gender differences were not uniform across media contexts, however, in contrast to traditional disclosure theory, females censored their disclosures more so than males but only for some topics. Only 20% of the sample increased their use of privacy settings. Consistent with patterns of disclosure, descriptive comparison suggests that more settings were employed in the paper and pencil than online context and more privacy settings were employed by females.

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Nosko, A. , Wood, E. , Zivcakova, L. , Molema, S. , Pasquale, D. and Archer, K. (2013) Disclosure and Use of Privacy Settings in FacebookTM Profiles: Evaluating the Impact of Media Context and Gender. Social Networking, 2, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/sn.2013.21001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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