Most Social Media Users Uneasy About Privacy, Poll Finds
CREDIT: NetPop Research
Feeling uneasy about your last post on Facebook? You are not alone. The overwhelming majority of social media users have qualms about their privacy, but some sites generate more mistrust than others.
Results from a survey of more than 1,000 users across 25 social media sites, revealed that 80 percent of them have mixed feelings or distrust the sites they use, according to NetPop Research. Facebook prompted the most misgivings with 85 percent expressing ambivalence or outright concern.
Respondents classified themselves in one of three groups: Laissez-Faires (unconcerned), Ambivalents or Uneasies (explicitly concerned). Overall, 42 percent of social media users fell into the uneasy group and an additional 38 percent were ambivalent, leaving only 20 percent in the carefree group.
The Uneasies tended to be older by around six years, female, better educated, but earned slightly less than their anything goes, Laissez-Faire counterparts.
But those labels were fluid ― a self-proclaimed Uneasy on Facebook could become a Laissez-Faire on Twitter.
The proportion of unconcerned Twitter users was nearly twice that of Facebook users ― 29 percent compared with 15 percent ― leading researchers to conclude that privacy is less of an issue when not much can be said with a limit of 140 characters per tweet.
YouTube users reported the same comfort levels as tweeters, a result attributed to YouTube's clear privacy controls. Before hitting publish, YouTube users must specify whether the new video is searchable by anyone, viewable by anyone with a link to the video or can be watched only by people named by the video's owner.
Researchers cautioned that today's 35-year-old Laissez-Faires are likely to grow wary and suspicious over the next few years if the privacy concerns of today's 41-year-old Uneasies are not addressed.