ARTICLE REVIEW #2

My second article review for TECH621 is titled Trust and privacy concern within social networking sites: A Comparison of Facebook and MySpace. The purpose for this article is to look at how privacy concerns and trust influence social interactions within social networking sites. This article was based on an online survey of two popular social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace.

BACKGROUND INFO

This research article focuses on two main SNS sites, Facebook and MySpace. Social networking sites are a type of virtual community that has grown tremendously in popularity with Facebook and MySpace averaging, a total combined unique visitors, of over 60 million each month. When an individual join a social networking site, they establish a profile which contains identifying information about that individual. This information is then stored and is used to identify the user once logged on and in “downtime”. The root motivation for using these sites is communication. The research described establishes the impact of trust and internet privacy on the use of social networking sites for communication and moderate interactions. This research describes the responses of 117 individuals given the same questions in an online survey.

METHODOLOGY

The methods used in this research involve a list of questions given to participants in an online survey.

RQ1- For members of social networking sites, how does trust in the site and its other members affect willingness to share information and develop new relationships?

RQ2- For members of social networking sites, what is the relationship between internet privacy concern and their willingness to share information and develop new relationships?

RQ3- For members of social networking sites, what personal information was included on their profile?

RQ4- Comment on-“I find it easy to meet new people on social networking sites”.

RQ5- In general, how often are you concerned about your privacy while you are using the internet?

Although these are not all of the questions, a total of 16 questions were administered and were a seven point semantic differential scale anchored by “Never” (1) TO “Always” (7).

Most qualitative research focuses their objectives to one site whereas the research conducted in this empirical study focuses the objectives of research to two SNS. The survey questions developed were design to capture the perception of trust, internet privacy concern, information sharing and development of new relationships. The questions were derived from a qualitative study conducted by (Dwyer 2007). Each question was reworded for two surveys, one for Facebook and the other for MySpace.

 

RESULTS

Results of the surveys included the relationship between privacy concerns and online behavior. Users expressed very strong concerns about privacy of their personal information, but less vigilant about safeguarding it. (Awad and Krishnan, 2006).  Of the 117 subjects, 69 were Facebook members (29 male & 40 female) and 48 were MySpace users (29 male & 19 female). Given the results of the five item internet privacy scale, users for both sites had an average of about 23.302 indicating that there is a level of concern slightly above neutral. The summary of results from the trust related questions indicate that most users feel safe with their information on SNS. Although users also believe that other users exaggerate their profile to make it look more appealing than what it actually is.

CONCLUSIONS

In conclusion, most studies conducted to date have focused on a qualitative study based on a single social networking site. Very few studies have been conducted that show the interests and similarities of two social networking sites. From both sites, they each expressed a level of concern regarding internet privacy. Facebook member were more trusting of the site and were willing to divulge more personal identifying information in their profile. Accurate modeling of how behavior and activity are correlated with trust and privacy concerns have yet to be developed in research. Further research is needed to understand these patterns and accurately model them.

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