Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Online Social Networks: Why We Disclose. Journal of Information Technology

Krasnova, Hanna
Spiekermann, Sarah
Hildebrand, Thomas
Volume: 25
Number: 2
Pages: 109 - 125
Month: June
ISSN-Print: 0268-3962
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 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 because of 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.