Exploring the Online Practices of Self-Disclosure, Privacy Concerns and Gender Differences in the Time of Facebook

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 15 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Manuela FARINOSI, University of Udine, Italy
Sakari TAIPALE, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Within a relatively short time span, social media applications have intruded into all parts of life and have come to play a crucial role in contemporary culture and society. Online and mobile applications offer people the opportunity to participate in creating, sharing and consuming digital content and to engage in online conversation. In this contribution, we focus our attention on the most popular relationship networks, Facebook, and on how it reshaped the way in which individuals think about themselves and construct their identities. These transformations have potentially profound consequences due to the blurring of traditional boundaries between the private and the public.

Our study investigates the gendered privacy practices and concerns on Facebook by leaning on the idea of privacy management as a form of immaterial labour. We analysed if young Facebook users are more concern about the privacy against other users than against Facebook as a company or third-party partners, and also if privacy concerns and practices are differentiated by gender. A structured online survey collected from university students (aged 18-34, N=813) in Udine, Italy, is analysed. Our results show that students have just slightly more privacy concerns against other users than against Facebook and much less against third-party partners. However, women are consistently more concern about privacy related risk than men. We suggest that these results may account for different perception online risks between men and women.