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Publication Detail
Informational Privacy and Self-Disclosure Online: A Critical Mixed-Methods Approach to Social Media
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Routsis V
  • Date awarded:
  • Pagination:
    1, 905
  • Supervisors:
    Bikakis A,Lomas E,Mahony S
  • Status:
  • Awarding institution:
  • Language:
  • Date Submitted:
  • Keywords:
    informational privacy, social privacy, self-disclosure, sharing behaviour, social networks, social media, online identity, critical inquiry, survey analysis, mixed-methods
This thesis investigates the multifaceted processes that have contributed to normalising identifiable self-disclosure in online environments and how perceptions of informational privacy and self-disclosure behavioural patterns have evolved in the relatively brief history of online communication. Its investigative mixed-methods approach critically examines a wide and diverse variety of primary and secondary sources and material to bring together aspects of the social dynamics that have contributed to the generalised identifiable self-disclosure. This research also utilises the results of the exploratory statistical as well as qualitative analysis of an extensive online survey completed by UCL students as a snapshot in time. This is combined with arguments developed from an analysis of existing published sources and looks ahead to possible future developments. This study examines the time when people online proved to be more trusting, and how users of the Internet responded to the development of the growing societal need to share personal information online. It addresses issues of privacy ethics and how they evolved over time to allow a persistent association of online self-disclosure to real-life identity that had not been seen before the emergence of social network sites. The resistance to identifiable self-disclosure before the widespread use of social network sites was relatively resolved by a combination of elements and circumstances. Some of these result from the demographics of young users, users' attitudes to deception, ideology and trust-building processes. Social and psychological factors, such as gaining social capital, peer pressure and the overall rewarding and seductive nature of social media, have led users to waive significant parts of their privacy in order to receive the perceived benefits. The sociohistorical context allows this research to relate evolving phenomena like the privacy paradox, lateral surveillance and self-censorship to the revamped ethics of online privacy and self-disclosure.
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