Online Social Networks: Why We Disclose

Journal of Information Technology, 25 (2), pp. 109-125, DOI:10.1057/JIT.2010.6

28 Pages Posted: 4 May 2012

See all articles by Sarah Spiekermann

Sarah Spiekermann

Vienna University of Economics and Business

Hanna Krasnova

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ksenia Koroleva

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Hildebrand

E.CA Economics

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

On Online Social Networks such as Facebook, massive self-disclosure by users has attracted the attention of industry players and policymakers worldwide. Despite the impressive scope of this phenomenon, very little is understood about what motivates users to disclose personal information. Integrating focus group results into a theoretical privacy calculus framework, we develop and empirically test a Structural Equation Model of self-disclosure with 259 subjects. We find that users are primarily motivated to disclose information due to the convenience of maintaining and developing relationships and platform enjoyment. Countervailing these benefits, privacy risks represent a critical barrier to information disclosure. However, users’ perception of risk can be mitigated by their trust in the Network Provider and availability of control options. Based on these findings, we offer recommendations for Network Providers.

Keywords: Online Social Networks, Online Communities, Motivation, Privacy, Information Disclosure, Structural Equation Modeling

Suggested Citation

Spiekermann, Sarah and Krasnova, Hanna and Koroleva, Ksenia and Hildebrand, Thomas, Online Social Networks: Why We Disclose (2010). Journal of Information Technology, 25 (2), pp. 109-125, DOI:10.1057/JIT.2010.6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2050898

Sarah Spiekermann (Contact Author)

Vienna University of Economics and Business ( email )

Augasse 2-6
Vienna
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/~sspiek

Hanna Krasnova

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ksenia Koroleva

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Hildebrand

E.CA Economics ( email )

Schlossplatz 1
Berlin, 10178
Germany

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