Tension between social capital and privacy on facebook 12022010 final

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  • Barnes (2006) labels this behavior “privacy paradox” a term referring to the observation that users often indicate qualms about privacy, but do not embark on much of an effort to protect it.
  • Social capital. Using Williams’ (2006) design to measure bridging social capital (outward looking, contact with a broad range of people, a view of Oneself as part of a broader group, and diffuse reciprocity with a broader community) and bonding social capital (emotional support, access to scarce or limited resources, and ability to mobilize solidarity). Facebook use. To understand respondents’ basic information about Facebook use, their Facebook habits, including the average amount of time spent on Facebook each use, the time they has been using Facebook, and the frequency they check their account were asked (Debatin, et al., 2009).The number of friends and the characteristics of social network. Respondents were asked to indicate how many friends they had on Facebook. In addition, they were asked to indicate approximately how many friends on Facebook belong to the following categories, including family, relatives, close friends, friends, acquaintances, classmates, neighbors, and other. The categories of friends will be separated into strong ties and weak ties to distinguish respondents’ social network characteristics.Privacy concern. To measure privacy concerns, there are two scales this study might adopt. The first one is the scale developed by Dinev and Hart (2004). The scale has two subdimensions, including privacy concerns for information finding and privacy concerns for information abuse. The answers is reported on a 5-point Likert scale (1= disagree; 5 = agree). The second scale this study may employ is the Concern for Information privacy instrument which is developed by Smith, Milberg, and Burke (1996). It can be used to understand the different subdimensions of information privacy concerns, such as improper access, unauthorized secondary use, errors, and collections. The answers is reported on a 5-point Likert scale (1= disagree; 5 = agree). Privacy risk perception. Susceptibility and severity are the two components used to understand people’s privacy risk perception. Each components are comprised of seven items, including feeling uncomfortable, having conflicts with parents, having conflicts with teachers, experiencing financial lose, getting unwanted email, experiencing credit card fraud, experiencing that my personal information may be misused. Each items were asked by rating how likely it is to occur to respondents (susceptibility) and how serious is to respondents on Facebook (severity) (Youn, 2005). The answers is reported on a 4-point Likert scale (1= not at all; 2= slightly; 3=somewhat; 4= very likely to occur)


  • 1. Tension between social capital and privacy on Facebook
    Sandra Hsu
    Hsuan-Ting Chen
  • 2. Purpose of the Study
    New social network and form of interpersonal relationship have emerged in the new media era.
    Social capital and privacy are two important concepts and represent pros and cons of this emerged network.
    This study is aimed to bridge these two important fields of research and to find their relationship in the online environment.
  • 3. Literature Review
    Social capital:
    • Definitions of SK: Coleman; Bourdieu; Portes; Lin
    • 4. SK in the Internet era: Williams
    • 5. SK in Social Media: Ellison et al., Chu et al.
    • 6. Measurement of online SK
    i. Network intensity (tie strength)
    ii. Network diversity (bridging and bonding)
    iii. Network size
    Social capital and privacy awareness and skill
  • 7. Literature Review
    The right to be alone (Brandeis, 1890)
    The right to control information about themselves (Fried, 1968)
    A dynamic process of continuous negotiation and a dialectic process of regulation that is conditioned by people and by those of others with whom they interact in network environments.
    Privacy issue on Facebook
    Privacy paradox: Facebook users may be concerned about their personal privacy; however, the majority will continued to disclosed personally identifying information as a signaling tool to their peers (Barnes, 2006).
    People are more likely to give up their privacy by voluntarily providing personal information and actively sharing it for the benefits of SNSs such as maintaining or building relationships.
    Need for popularity is one of the reasons young adults are more likely to be visible within a social network and disclose information to build relationships (Christofides, 2009).
    Benefit-risk ratio: Privacy concerns were overridden by the expected gratifications (Debatin, Lovejoy, Horn, & Hughes, 2009)
    Invisible others: “Like being in a movie theater without a view of other seats” (Zittrain, 1997, p.496)
  • 8. Privacy awareness/concern (cognitively)
    Systematic dimension
    FB releases users’ data
    Ads/Game applications may obtain personal data
    Some FB functions may release your information, such as photos
    Awareness is reduced in a day-to-day interactions with friends(what kinds of friends? What types of social capital that reduce or enhance users privacy awareness) (Lipford, Besmer & Watson, 2008)
    Privacy skills/practices (behaviorally)
    Personal dimension
    Privacy paradox (Barnes, 2006)
    Public or private profile. To what extent?
    Detailed privacy setting in your profile
    How often do you leave comments or posts on others’ walls? Do you allow others to leave comments or posts on your walls?
  • 9. However, previous studies on privacy awareness/concern and privacy skills/practices mainly examine the relationships with gratifications on SNSs which are primarily relationship maintaining and building. Nor research to date investigate the relationship as a type of social capital, such as bridging and bonding social capital that can influence users privacy awareness/concern and privacy skills/practices.
  • 10. Research Questions
    RQ1: What is the relationship between network intensity and privacy awareness?
    RQ2: What is the relationship between network diversity and privacy concern?
    RQ2a: What is the relationship between bridging social capital and privacy awareness?
    RQ2b: What is the relationship between bonding social capital and privacy awareness?
  • 11. Research Questions
    RQ3: What is the relationship between network intensity and privacy skill?
    RQ4: What is the relationship between network diversity and privacy skill?
    RQ4a: What is the relationship between bridging social capital and privacy skill?
    RQ4b: What is the relationship between bonding social capital and privacy skill?
  • 12. Research Design (Measurement)
    Social capital (network intensity; network diversity; network size).
    Facebook use.
    Privacy awareness/concern.
    Privacy risk perception
    Privacy skill and practice