Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is such an accessible social network. In some ways, it’s like radio – you have an opportunity to to send out a message to hundreds, thousands or millions of people, but it doesn’t feel like it because those people aren’t with you physically. What you post on Facebook can give many of those people in your audience a certain impression about you. And there are many, according to a recent survey, who certainly understand that perception and seem to be quite careful in the information that is shared on the social network.
Is there self-censorship going on at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)? For you, individually, you think so. After all, who among us hasn’t started to type a post or a comment, reviewed it, and for whatever reason changed or deleted it? Maybe it was how it was worded, or maybe it was fear of offending someone. Whatever it is, a recent study seems to confirm that a lot if us Facebook users actually do seem to censor ourselves.
The study, conducted by Carnegie Mellon University doctoral student Sauvik Das and Adam Kramer of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) revealed some behaviors of about 3.9 million Facebook users and found that 71 percent of the users conducted some form of self-censorship either in original posts or comments, and a third of all posts by the users were self-censored to some extent.
Image: Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)
The definition of a self-censored post, according to Das and Kramer, was any post that had at least five characters initially inputted but was not posted. What is perhaps the most interesting stats to come out of this study were than men were more likely than women to self-censor, and that was especially true of men who had a greater percentage of male friends on Facebook. Also, those with more diverse friend groups based on age, gender and political leanings, tended to be less likely to self-censor their posts.
The results of the research by Das and Kramer is due to be presented in July at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference about weblogs and social media.
What are your thoughts about this research? Do you find yourself self-censoring when on Facebook inc. (NASDAQ:FB) or on some other social network? What might be your reason for self-censorship? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.