Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology


Realizing the many benefits from Facebook require users to share information reciprocally, which has overtime created trillions of bytes of information online—a treasure trove for cybercriminals. The sole protection for any user are three sets of privacy protections afforded by Facebook: settings that control information privacy (i.e., security of social media accounts and identity information), accessibility privacy or anonymity (i.e., manage who can connect with a user), and those that control expressive privacy (i.e., control who can see a user's posts and tag you). Using these settings, however, involves a trade-off between making oneself accessible and thereby vulnerable to potential attacks, or enacting stringent protections that could potentially make someone inaccessible thereby reducing the benefits that are accruable through social media. Using two theoretical frameworks, Uses and Gratifications (U&G) and Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), the research examined how individuals congitvely juxtaposed the cost of maintaining privacy through the use of these settings against the benefits of openness. The application of the U&G framework revealed that social need fulfillment was the single most significant benefit driving privacy management. From the cost standpoint, the PMT framework pointed to perceived severity impacting expressive and information privacy, and perceived susceptability influencing accessibility privacy.








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