Privacy Concerns Result in Self-Censorship on Social Media

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  • 13% stopped using certain terms in their communications.
  • 8% deleted their social media account.

What happens to society when the people “listening” aren’t generally trusted entities like the United States government. What happens when these third parties are taking action to influence our opinions and our decisions?

As news broke about Cambridge Analytica, it was made very apparent to Americans that their data was not only vulnerable, but it was valuable. Cambridge Analytica purchased Facebook data related to tens of millions of unknowing American users. But, the real concern was rooted in how Cambridge Analytica used the data to influence the 2016 presidential election. Now, for maybe the first time, Americans were aware that the data they choose to share could be used by companies to influence (or manipulate, you pick) their decisions to buy products, to watch a show, or to vote for a particular candidate. This unauthorized use of Facebook data caused significant privacy concerns for Americans, and started what Wired deemed “The Great Privacy Awakening.”

  • 41.9% of respondents said they changed their behavior, and of those, 24.8% are more careful about what they post on Facebook.

Loss of automony is a privacy risk that should be heavily weighed when deciding to disclose information on social media.

While people may not be abandoning Facebook and other social media platforms at the rate some may expect, the decision to self-censor is a powerful strategy that we should not ignore.

Written by

Dr. BA, InfoSec | Privacy Technologist | Writing Topics: Privacy, Mental Health, Health, and Poetry.

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