Selectivity in posting on social networks: the role of privacy concerns, social capital, and technical literacy

Hadas Schwartz-Chassidim, Oshrat Ayalon, Tamir Mendel, Ron Hirschprung, Eran Toch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


People's posting behaviors in social networks was perceived as ambiguous, with concerns misaligned with people's public postings. To address this gap, we suggest a model that offers new insights into the relationship between perceptions and actual behaviors. We define a quantitative marker for agility, the frequency in which people update their audience selection when posting information in online social networks, and evaluate the factors that contribute to the variability of agility between different users. We analyzed the posting behavior of Facebook 181 participants, as well as their answers to open and close questions. We find that frequent changes in privacy settings are correlated with high social privacy and with institutional privacy concerns, whereas social concerns were found to be more prominent. Agility was negatively correlated with low public sharing. Our findings show that users use privacy settings to effectively mitigate privacy concerns and desires for creating and strengthening social connections. We discuss how agility can be used to design and to evaluate new user interfaces for managing privacy in social settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere03298
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Behavior analysis
  • Boundary regulation theory
  • Cognitive aspect of human-computer system
  • Computer privacy
  • Computer science
  • Facebook
  • Interaction design
  • Online social networks
  • Privacy
  • Privacy controls
  • Psychology
  • Social capital
  • Software engineering
  • User interface


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