The “culture” of self-disclosure and issues of relational privacy in Facebook


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This is my thesis topic presentation. I'm planning to finish it in June 2013.

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The “culture” of self-disclosure and issues of relational privacy in Facebook

  1. 1. The “culture” of self-disclosure and issues of relational privacy in Facebook (gender implications) Shushan Harutyunyan Thesis topic presentation 18 March, 2013, CEU
  2. 2. Why this topic matters?• World Wide Web - all the information ever tracked/appeared is absolutely permanent• Facebook - contributing to WWW with personally identifiable information (PII)• How? - based on “Web 2.0” concept of “democratized participation”(collaborative medium for creating and sharing any information one would like to)- GREAT!• However in practice, Facebook is doing nothing, but encouraging users “democratized participation” in contributing and spreading entirely personal information – WAIT!• WHY? -simply because communication incentive is the exchange of this kind of information.
  3. 3. Is there anything said about this and what Am I doing?• Facebook privacy policy studies- the right to provide computerized analyses of users’ personal information to third parties• Case studies of laps in Facebook security system (Lane v. Facebook class-action lawsuit)• The problem of information/power institution and new forms of total surveillance (Facebook users’ personal information congestions at the hands of a commercial organization)• What Am I doing? Individual users’ motives and experiences of “collaborating” with Facebook and consciously or unconsciously disclosing own private information.
  4. 4. Why “self-disclosure”?• the majority of Facebook users are aware of privacy risks (84 per cent), however, more than half of them (48 per cent) fail to make any privacy adjustments at all• Information disclosure on Facebook involves not only individuals with their acknowledged or not acknowledged interest to share personal information, but also the experience to share the private information of users in relation as well - with relationship identifications, “taggings” and other common Facebook activities
  5. 5. What aims do I have?• To understand why Facebook users disclose personal information• To understand what gender implications those motives and experiences have
  6. 6. How am I hopping to contribute to gender studies• I argue, that Facebook challenges the very notion of personal privacy and public/private divide, which was and is always in the centre of personhood and is closely related to socially constructed norms and values of visible and hidden aspects of human live in its gender implications.• Since Facebook is enormously influential “place” I claim that it accordingly influences human lives and recreates a new notion of personal privacy
  7. 7. My research questions include• What is personal and informational privacy?• What assumptions about it users possess?• Are these assumptions gendered?• What’s the line between public and private in Facebook?• Do males and females interpret the same understanding of public/private divide on Facebook?• Do users feel strongly the need for controlling public/private appearance of their Facebook activities?• Why or why not?• In what why and how intensively?• Does the need for controlling or not controlling Facebook appearance have gender implication?• How users feel about the disclosure of their information by users in relation?• Does the intensively of being targeted and disclosed by others have gender meaning?• Why do users voluntary disclose own private information?• What implications the self-disclosure on Facebook have in everyday life of the users?
  8. 8. MethodsLiterature review• legal scholarship about personal and information• Anthropology, philosophy and gender literature about individuality and public/private divide• scholarly articles about user behavior and SNSs• English language online newspaper reports about Facebook “privacy” cases• Focus group?• To 3-4 focus groups with approximately 8 participants each• English speaking 18-50 year old users group (provisionally CEU community).
  9. 9. Limitations• Accountability• Unexpected results• The luck of literature• I might find new ones later on as well ))
  10. 10. Thank you!