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Facebook Privacy Social Networks

Popularity Trumps Privacy For Many On Facebook 99

Posted by Soulskill
from the effort-is-a-barrier dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "A recent study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that adults have almost as much need for being popular on Facebook as teenagers do, and people who crave acceptance are more likely to share personal information, says Emily Christofides, lead author of the study. 'If you're someone who has your privacy settings set quite high — you don't post your birthday, you don't post what's going on in your life — you're not giving other people the opportunity to comment on those things,' says Christofides. 'You're going to find that there's less going on on your page, and you may actually feel less popular as a result.' The study also found that those with higher self-esteem are more likely to protect their personal information."
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Popularity Trumps Privacy For Many On Facebook

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  • Google+ (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zget (2395308) on Friday August 12, 2011 @02:01PM (#37072206)
    This is also why Google+ will fail unless they get these types of people in.. And the majority of Google+'s users, those who tried to escape all the games and these users there, will be surprised. However, a social network is dead if no one is saying or sharing anything.
    • Social people get more from a social network than Anti-Social people. Who'd a thought it!
      • Re:Google+ (Score:4, Funny)

        by Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) on Friday August 12, 2011 @02:21PM (#37072486)
        I'm not anti-social, I'm just misanthropic.
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          I'm far from anti-social...

          Apparently, according to the article, I just have extremely HIGH self-esteem!!!

          Apparently that allows you to have privacy, and stay in contact with friends quite easily, like I've always done in the past.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Google+ users have so much self esteem they don't even sign up.

      • by RKBA (622932)
        Exactly. I began the sign up procedure but stopped when it got to the point of asking for my real name (or something else personal, I forget).
        • Exactly. I began the sign up procedure but stopped when it got to the point of asking for my real name (or something else personal, I forget).

          Not sure why you're so worried about protecting your real name, Ron, considering you link straight from your Slashdot profile to your personal website with your name and photo. Are you really that concerned about your privacy, or is this just privacy theater?

          • by blair1q (305137)

            He wants to hide from people dumb enough to think that's someone else because the name doesn't match.

  • The study also found that those with higher self-esteem are more likely to protect their personal information.

    Pretty much sums up the driving force behind social networking. Give people a reason to actually like themselves in society and not feel like they have to be attention whores 24/7 and privacy becomes much less of an issue in the context of these sites.

    • by AJH16 (940784)

      I find this interesting as I subscribe to the exact opposite thought process. I am an extremely confident individual who has almost no feeling of need to justify myself to others. I could care less about what people that I don't care about think of me and I don't really care to be close to people who don't like me (though I do try to be likeable as I don't want to intentionally upset people). I could care less what people know about me and have no issue with info about me being public information. I'd r

      • by Spectre (1685)

        I find this interesting as I subscribe to the exact opposite thought process. I am an extremely confident individual who has almost no feeling of need to justify myself to others. I could care less about what people that I don't care about think of me and I don't really care to be close to people who don't like me (though I do try to be likeable as I don't want to intentionally upset people). I could care less what people know about me and have no issue with info about me being public information. I'd rather the information be out there for people who want to find it than not have it available for people who need to find it. I don't obsess over posting every detail of my life, but I also see no reason to conceal details of my life that I do feel like commenting on.

        You seem to talk about yourself a lot.

        • by AJH16 (940784)

          Not sure if that is making a joke or simply trying to over-summarize my post. I don't think I like to talk about myself a lot as I don't post much other than details on contact and hobbies and activities. My facebook gets updated maybe once a month, if that. I just wanted to present an outliers view relevant to the previous posters comment that for people, their confidence actually makes it so privacy isn't a big deal and isn't something to be valued (or the point at which they view things as private may

      • Doesn't that just mean you're a statistical outlier in the context of this study? This is a trend, not a mathematical equation. One contradicting piece of data doesn't disprove a trend, whereas in math, one contradicting piece of data can disprove a whole equation.
        • by AJH16 (940784)

          Yeah, I was not faulting the study, I was just commenting on the assessment of the previous commenter that if people had confidence they wouldn't have a reason to put their personal information out there. That said I guess we were also kind of talking about different things as he seems to have more issues with spilling a life play by play instead simply exposing personal details. I was also trying to offer a counterpoint to show a rationale of outliers on the edge of the curve even if it is non-standard.

          • I believe I said (with added emphasis):

            Give people a reason to actually like themselves in society and not feel like they have to be attention whores 24/7 and privacy becomes much less of an issue in the context of these sites.

            The argument was not:

            ... if people had confidence they wouldn't have a reason to put their personal information out there.

            If you want to argue on whether or not privacy becomes less of an issue with increased self-esteem, go nuts. But don't argue on something you conjured up yourself and say that's countering my point. You're interpreting my words as you want to see them, rather than trying to understand what I was trying to say in the first place.

            Social networking isn't going away whether people like themselves or not. However, when people allow themselves to be

            • by AJH16 (940784)

              Oh, I tried to post this too, but my phone died on me. The way I actually ended up reading your post, I thought you were saying is that if we as a society learned to value ourselves (individually more), then privacy issues would be less common on the sites. I was reading it as a societal thing instead of an individual priority to decision making, but your follow up made it much more clear.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        I am an extremely confident individual who has almost no feeling of need to justify myself to others. I could care less about what people that I don't care about think of me...

        Hmmm. A confident individual who has no clue how foolish he looks to others, or do you really mean you could care less about what others think about you? If the latter, I apologize.

        • by AJH16 (940784)

          I actually mean that I could care less what other people think. My valuation of myself comes from what I value, not what others value about me. The only way I care about what someone thinks is if they are close enough to me that I have given their opinion of me value. I am not unaware of what people think of me, but it doesn't define me and if they don't like me and I don't feel that their is justification to what they think myself, it won't bother me. Confidence allows someone to be more reliant on wha

  • by taiwanjohn (103839) on Friday August 12, 2011 @02:07PM (#37072278)

    I use Facebook daily, but I only have minimal ID info in my profile. I don't play any FB games or take any FB quizzes... basically anything that wants to access my personal info is routinely blocked. I treat FB more like a blog, I post links to some things I'm reading, and occasionally "like" or comment on friends' posts.

    How "safe" (or un-) am I if I follow these rules?

    • by waddgodd (34934)

      You fit in as a leech. And just like leeches, you're as safe, (or unsafe) as the hosts, the ones who share content with you

      • Define leech. A leech's safety is not dependent on the host. Even if the host dies, the leech can simply find a new host.

        I don't publish info on FB that doesn't already exist in the phone book. I'm not in a position to worry much about photos. I've restricted my privacy settings to "friends only" for most things (not friends of friends).

        The only thing I'm worried about is the "Truth Game," which allows my "friends" to answer questions about me. I never "opted-in" to this system, but my "friends" are still a

        • That game (and many others like it) is a meme virus, and it exists *solely* for the purpose of getting access to your personal data. The questions themselves aren't at all revealing -- "what is taiwanjohn's favorite color?" "did taiwanjohn take a bath today?" (I'm not kidding, I saw that one come up when I first thought those were real questions with real answers, and allowed the stupid app to access my data so I could read the answers). The point of the exercise is that you don't KNOW what question your

        • by coolmadsi (823103)

          The only thing I'm worried about is the "Truth Game," which allows my "friends" to answer questions about me. I never "opted-in" to this system, but my "friends" are still allowed to comment on me without my permission. I reckon my "friends" aren't saying anything catastrophic, but I'd rather not participate at all. But thus far I have not found any way to opt-out. This is the sort of thing that makes me doubt the safety of Facebook.

          Have you tried turning off platform apps (i.e. turn off all platform apps)? If you have it off, I believe that your friends applications will not have access to your name at all, so they will not be able to invite you to anything, or answer a question about you, as you will not appear in the list of friends that the application has access to (I think turning off platform apps prevents all applications from having any of your information - including your friends apps). I have them turned off, and do not reme

    • Well, having a profile at all means that you are subject to Facebook's terms of service, which is not only subject to change at any time, but currently grants them the right to the information that you do post - at mininum, that comprises a map of your associations, which could easily find itself in the hands of government or law enforcement agencies should they have use for it, since you signed away the rights to this information when you signed up. By your own admission, you post about the books that you
      • I'd be fascinated to learn what they can glean about my political leanings from my preference for Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde and the like. Of course they don't really need to look that far; they only need to see on my personal info page under political preferences where I flat-out say "They are all lying weasels."
  • Aaaaaaaand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustinFreid (1723716) <mail@justinfreid.com> on Friday August 12, 2011 @02:08PM (#37072294) Homepage

    Those with no Facebook profile have the highest self esteem.

  • Everything on the internet is public data unless you make sure your own data is secured. While I don't feel the need to post anything and everything to social media sites, I certainly wouldn't trust any sensitive information in the hands of others under the guise of "privacy settings".

  • Privacy erosion is slow. What you do wrong today you might not notice until five years from now when you're applying for a job, or trying to get a mortgage or trying to get married. Shit you put on Facebook is the permanent record that your high-school guidance counselor warned you about.

    People surrender their freedom every day when they go to work. Why wouldn't they then ALSO surrender their freedom when they are goofing off at work?

    • This is the bullshit myth that never seems to die. Anyone who's been on FB for longer than 5 min. knows who can see what and how to adjust their settings. I have my settings such that only friends and relatives can see my posts and details. NO ONE ELSE CAN SEE THIS unless I grant them that permission.

      • Apologies for the harsh tone. I just get so tired of people being paranoid about FB vs. their privacy.

      • Just to provide a single obvious example, Mark Zuckerberg can look at your posts anytime he wants.
      • ...or until Facebook rolls out a new "feature" that makes that info public by default.

        Even if you're smart enough to keep your info protected, most users aren't.

  • There is no more privacy. It's a concept from the last century. It no longer exists. Once you realize this, it doesn't matter what your Facebook privacy setting are.

    • I agree with you, that the concept of privacy for our day to day actions is dead. However, until the rest of the world catches up in a moral and ethical sense, it still pays to put the effort into keeping things you want private to be private.

      Should it really matter to my boss if I sleep around/get hammered/love comic books? No, but there are enough self appointed moral guardians and just general 'holier than thou' (and the nearly bad 'cooler than thou') that posting any of those things can damage your ca

    • So, you drank Zuckerberg's kool-aid...

  • Water is wet!

    Film at 11.

    Extrapolation of results: If you're not on FB at all, you either have immense self esteem or you crave rejection? Or, you know, you have RL friends to interact with, ones who already know the important things about you, and you them...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the newsflash professor obvious!

  • people who open up the personal details of their life will have richer social lives. those who clam up will have no social life. completely true

    the problem is when you inject technology into this basic social truth. now, when you open up, you aren't sharing with people who might become your friends, you are sharing with a database and a piece of algorithm optimized to extract money from you, and perhaps government interested in profiling you, and a whole manner of ways that your personal information can be

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...is not to play.

  • by v(*_*)vvvv (233078) on Friday August 12, 2011 @03:05PM (#37073118)

    From the conclusion:

    "Self-esteem increases with age, and those with a higher self-esteem are more likely to protect their personal information".

    So it says those "are more likely" but not that "self-esteem causes". In other words, this sentence is made to sound like there is a connection, but avoids claiming there is a causal one. It is only saying "with age people are more private". Well, that directly contradicts "kids and adults are similar."

    Secondly, this is an online survey. What kind of online user fills out online surveys these days anyway? Did they enter thinking they'd "win" a free iPad? Savvy adults rarely do surveys, or facebook surveys for that matter.

    Thirdly, the study doesn't consider the subject's understanding of facebook, the default settings or how to change settings on facebook. Do they know their faces appear on sites they Like if the sites adds a facebook widget? Or that Everyone can see their friends and photos by default? Or how facebook shares their information?

    This study SUCKS.


  • This is why Google+ will fail. FB understands this, Google doesn't. And I don't think most folks on Slashdot, do, either.

    Really, Facebook is a more of a female social vehicle. If you're not female, I think you'll have trouble getting it. Women, as a general rule, are a lot less private than men.

    Frankly--I don't get it, mostly. I work at Facebook. I was leery of the job offer. Then I realized that my wife spends all damn day on Facebook. And that there are lot more women in the world like her
    • If I was the world's youngest billionaire, I'd probably feel better about sharing the details of my life too.
    • Agreed that FB is a social vehicle, it's used by extroverts of both genders. They tend to enjoy social attention more than introverts. Maybe G+ would be better suited for those who are less extroverted and wants to post things without turning them into social chatter, which FB seems to be pretty good at.
  • This is why pseudonyms are good. I never post anything on Facebook because i care about my privacy. One sites where i can mask my public presence with a pseudonym i post quite a lot of stuff. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and say "people who give up their privacy so they can try to be popular on Facebook" are losers, i just think there's no good reason why we can't have the options of choosing both privacy _and_ popularity/posting.
  • There's some people in the world who crave acceptance because, to be honest, they're socially awkward. They seem to lack certain social skills that others take for granted. Those people are the ones who feel the need to post about everything they do, where they are, etc. I know some of these people, and they're a pain in the butt to see on your facebook news feed, because they dominate it. Seeing all of those posts makes you want to de-friend them, or at least block their posts from your feed. Thus the pers
  • mostly for posts about my programming projects (mostly my Firefox Plugin, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/youtube-mp3-podcaster/ [mozilla.org]), so privacy is a non issue. I'm just careful about what info I give FB.
  • I must admit I feel very lonely watching all my friends get scores of birthday wishes every year, and I get one (from my wife, who I then scold because she knows I purposefully hide my birthday on FB) Not only do I get very jealous, but seeing as about half my friends are either in IT or engineering and none of them seem to think twice about having their birthday be public, makes me wonder if my fears of a public birthday are misplaced.
    • by SemperUbi (673908)
      Not at all. No way would I ever put my real birthday on a website; too tempting for identity thieves.
    • by Rinnon (1474161)
      You won't think that way at all when one of your friends becomes a victim of identity theft. The single most common thing to be asked to verify your identity is your date of birth. Be glad you keep it under wraps.
    • you could post a fake birthday :)
      • by coolmadsi (823103)

        you could post a fake birthday :)

        I remember a friend of mine changed his birthday on Facebook, sometime in March I think.

        Come April 1st he had a lot of people wishing him happy birthday, and he had a good laugh (I was a little bemused as I remembered his birthday from a few months before, until I realsed what the date was)

        One interesting thing to take from that is that there are people on Facebook who will just check whose birthdays Facebook is saying it is and send a message, regardless of if they have spoken to them at all recently (or

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