Do online privacy concerns predict privacy behavior?

In a new article, we (Lemi Baruh, Ekin Seçinti, Zeynep Cemalcılar) meta-analytically chime in on the frequently debated concept of “privacy paradox”.  We  investigate whether users’ reported privacy concerns and literacy influence the extent to which they utilize online services (including but not limited to SNSs), disclose personal information and adopt measures to protect their privacy. Privacy concerns did not predict SNS use; however, it was associated with lower disclosure of information, lower use of other types of online services (e.g., e-commerce), and higher tendency to engage in privacy protective measures.

Click here for access to the article.

Click here for access to additional information about the meta-analysis.

Cyberpsychology’s special issue on self-disclosure and privacy published

Privacy and disclosure special issue of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace edited by Michel Walrave, Sonja Utz, Alexander P. Schouten, Wannes Heirman is now out and available for download (and hopefully for wide reading, discussing, citing).

Also included in the special issue is an article from SIMLAB (Murat Kezer, Barış Sevi, Zeynep Cemalcılar, and Lemi Baruh). The article compares three age groups  (18-40, 41-65, 65+) in terms of their tendency to self-disclose on Facebook, and their privacy attitudes, privacy literacy and use of privacy protective measures.

The study reports that young adults are more likely than other age groups to self-disclose on Facebook; yet, they are also the age group that is most likely to utilize privacy protective measures on Facebook. Furthermore, using a multidimensional approach to privacy attitude measurement, the study reports that while young adults are more likely to be concerned about their own privacy, mature adults tend to be more concerned about others’ privacy. Finally, the findings of the study suggest that the impact of privacy attitudes on privacy-protective behaviors is strongest among mature adults.

Here is the link to the full article.

We thank the editors of the special issue Michel Walrave, Sonja Utz, Alexander P. Schouten, Wannes Heirman for the opportunity.

PhD Studentship(s) at Social Interaction and Media Lab, Koç University, Istanbul

SIMLAB at Koç University, Istanbul is looking for candidates for PhD studentships interested in working in the following topics:

  • Online socialization
  • Impression formation, relationship initiation and maintanance on social media
  • Self-disclosure, communication and detection of emotions on social media
  • Social media and identity
  • Privacy attitudes, preferences and privacy management behavior of users

Candidates should have a background, and preferably graduate training, in social psychology, media studies, or other related fields. Candidates who have applied experience in quantitative research methods, statistical analysis, field management, and/or programming languages are particularly welcome.

Information regarding application procedures for PhD studentships are provided in the Design, Technology, & Society (DTS) PhD program webpage. Further inquiries about the application procedures should be sent to simlab@ku.edu.tr

Candidates who are accepted as PhD students will receive scholarships as described in the webpage of the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Koç University

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The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics has arrived

The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics, edited by Axel Bruns, Gunn Enli, Eli Skogerbø, Anders Olof Larsson and Christian Christensen is now available for purchase.

About the book:

Social media are now widely used for political protests, campaigns, and communication in developed and developing nations, but available research has not yet paid sufficient attention to experiences beyond the US and UK. This collection tackles this imbalance head-on, compiling cutting-edge research across six continents to provide a comprehensive, global, up-to-date review of recent political uses of social media.

Drawing together empirical analyses of the use of social media by political movements and in national and regional elections and referenda, The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics presents studies ranging from Anonymous and the Arab Spring to the Greek Aganaktismenoi, and from South Korean presidential elections to the Scottish independence referendum. The book is framed by a selection of keystone theoretical contributions, evaluating and updating existing frameworks for the social media age.

— And here is the part for shameless self-promotion:  Included in the book is a chapter on use of social media during Gezi Protests in Turkey, conspicuously entitled as: “Social Media Use during Political Crises: The Case of the Gezi Protests in Turkey” (authored by Hayley Watson and myself).

 

Sharing sensitive information on Twitter and its “rubbernecking effect”

In a new article titled “Rubbernecking Effect of Intimate Information on Twitter: When Getting Attention Works Against Interpersonal Attraction” published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, we (Lemi Baruh and Zeynep Cemalcılar) discuss the effects of sharing sensitive (intimate) information in social media platform Twitter.

The article focuses on how viewers of a Twitter account react to sensitive information they see on a Twitter profile: While viewers of a Twitter account may initially stick around longer to look at a profile containing more sensitive information, they find profiles sharing sensitive information less attractive. We link this reaction to satisfaction of a voyeuristic curiosity. Just like the rubbernecking behaviour of “a driver passing by a car accident, the satisfaction of voyeuristic curiosity through profile browsing on Twitter is temporarily enjoyed at the moment when the opportunity is available”.

Below is the abstract:

Social networking sites offer individuals an opportunity to document and share information about themselves, as well as engaging in social browsing to learn about others. As a micro-blogging site within which users often share information publicly, Twitter may be a particularly suitable venue that can help satisfy both of these motivations. This study investigates how viewers react to disclosure of intimate information on Twitter. Specifically, the impact of disclosure intimacy is studied on attention that viewers pay to a Twitter page, reduction in their uncertainty about the attributes of the page owner, and their interpersonal attraction to the owner of the page. A total of 618 adult online panel members viewed one of six Twitter pages that contained either low-intimacy or high-intimacy tweets. Analyses indicated that viewers exposed to the Twitter pages containing high-intimate information paid more attention to the pages, were more confident about the attributions they could make about the page owner, yet were less willing to pursue further socialization with the page owner. Furthermore, attributional confidence mediated and perceived similarity moderated the relationship between disclosure intimacy and interpersonal attraction. This interaction between disclosure intimacy and perceived similarity was such that viewers who considered the page owner to be similar (dissimilar) to themselves were more (less) socially attracted to page owners who disclosed intimate information. These findings suggest that while intimate information shared on a Twitter page draws attention, this does not necessarily result in further socialization with the page owner—an effect we named as the “rubbernecking effect” of intimate information.