Boundary Regulation in Social Media

In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, New York, NY, USA, 2012 (pp. 769--778). ACM

10 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2010 Last revised: 28 Feb 2013

See all articles by Frederic D. Stutzman

Frederic D. Stutzman

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Information and Library Science (SILS)

Woodrow Hartzog

Northeastern University School of Law and Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences; Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society

Date Written: October 8, 2009

Abstract

The management of group context in socially mediating technologies is an important challenge for the design community. To better understand how users manage group context, we explored the practice of multiple profile management in social media. In doing so, we observed creative and opportunistic strategies for group context management. We found that multiple profile maintenance is motivated by four factors: privacy, identity, utility, and propriety. Drawing on these motives, we observe a continuum of boundary regulation behaviors: pseudonymity, practical obscurity, and transparent separation. Based on these findings, we encourage designers of group context management systems to more broadly consider motives and practices of group separations in social media. Group context management systems should be privacy-enhancing, but a singular focus on privacy overlooks a range of other group context management practices.

Keywords: privacy, online communities, social media

Suggested Citation

Stutzman, Frederic D. and Hartzog, Woodrow, Boundary Regulation in Social Media (October 8, 2009). In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, New York, NY, USA, 2012 (pp. 769--778). ACM. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1566904 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1566904

Frederic D. Stutzman

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Information and Library Science (SILS) ( email )

United States

Woodrow Hartzog (Contact Author)

Northeastern University School of Law and Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.northeastern.edu/law/faculty/directory/hartzog.html

Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society ( email )

Palo Alto, CA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/profile/woodrow-hartzog

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