Privacy in Facebook According to Argentine Teenagers

Alfredo Dillon

Abstract

This paper analyzes how teenagers from different neighborhoods of Buenos Aires (Argentina) value their privacy in Facebook, and how these users decide what information they reveal about themselves. Several 17 and 18-year-old adolescents were interviewed in depth, in order to explore their criteria for publishing information in the social network, as well as their perceptions towards the proliferation of gossip and rumors in the platform, and the need to restrict public access to certain personal information, especially in order to avoid adult control. Despite the contemporary theories that announce “the end of privacy”, teenagers interviewed for this exploratory study proved to be aware of the need of controlling what is made public in Facebook. In most cases, the limit that decides what is ?or isn’t? posted on the “wall”, before everyone’s eyes, is related to a sense of shame, or pain, or other feelings considered “significant” by users. In the perception of teenagers that use social networks, adults are regarded as restrictive authorities –in the figure of parents? or dangerous threats –mainly represented by mature men, perverts and paedophiles–. Therefore, most adolescents emphasized their wish to receive better care from adults, and underlined that “limits” are fundamental in order to avoid overexposure in Facebook.

Keywords

Privacy; information disclosure; social networks; Facebook; adolescence

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