A new paper was accepted for publication: Selectivity in Posting on Social Networks: The Role of Privacy Concerns, Social Capital, and Technical Literacy. The paper was headed by Hadas Schwartz-Chassidim, previously a postdoc at the group and now a faculty member at The Shamoon College of Engineering, Beer Sheva). Other group members also chimed in an participated in the writing and analysis: Oshrat Ayalon, Tamir Mendel, Ron Hirschprung and Eran Toch. The paper will be published at Heliyion.

The paper combines analysis of actual privacy settings management with survey data to understand why some people are selective in posting on Facebook and some are not.


Here is the abstract:

Purpose– To empirically examine the factors that affect peoples privacyagility: the frequency in which they update audience selection when posting information in online social networks.

Design/methodology/approach– We define a quantitative marker for agility,and evaluate the factors that contribute to the variability of agility between different Facebook users. The study was based on analyzing the posting behavior of 181 participants, as well as their answers to open and close questions. We have analyzed the related factors using a set of Generalized Linear Models and compared the results to existing measures of privacy behavior, as well as with a qualitative analysis of the participants explanations.

Findings– High agility (frequent changes in privacy settings) is correlated with high social privacy and with institutional privacy concerns, whereas social concerns were found more prominent. Agility was negatively correlated with low public sharing. Our findings show that privacy paradox does not apply when analyzing the agility of privacy behavior.Research limitations/implications– Given the sample of 181 Mechanical Turk participants, the findings provide explanations to how social network users chose privacy settings and provide a partial explanations to observed multitude of selectivity patterns.Practical implications– The suggested measure for agility can be used to design and to evaluate new user interfaces for managing privacy in social settings.

Originality/value– This paper develops a new empirical behavioral marker that highlight the importance of agility rather than more traditional privacy measures. Our model offers new insights to the relationship between perceptions and actual behaviors, and demonstrate how selectivity in choosing social media audience can provide new explanations to privacy behaviors that were considered paradoxical.