How self-disclosure in Twitter profiles relate to anonymity consciousness and usage objectives: a cross-cultural study

Abstract

Social media—particularly services such as Twitter where most content is public—present an interesting balance between social benefits and privacy risks. Twitter users have various usage objectives to gain social benefits. As to privacy risks, we introduce the concept of “anonymity consciousness” as users’ intention to avoid being identified and reached by strangers when engaging in public space. In this study, we present a cross-cultural study to investigate self-disclosure in Twitter profiles, usage objectives on Twitter, and anonymity consciousness and examine how self-disclosure is influenced by usage objectives and anonymity consciousness. Specifically, this study targets Twitter users in the United States, India, and Japan. We find: (a) Indian users are more likely to disclose their personal information and have weaker anonymity consciousness than US and Japanese users, (b) users in every country are less likely to disclose their real name if they have stronger anonymity consciousness, and (c) US users tend to disclose their web-page link and Japanese users tend to disclose their affiliation when advertising themselves on Twitter.

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Tominaga, T., Hijikata, Y. & Konstan, J.A. How self-disclosure in Twitter profiles relate to anonymity consciousness and usage objectives: a cross-cultural study. J Comput Soc Sc 1, 391–435 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42001-018-0023-z

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Keywords

  • Self-disclosure
  • Anonymity consciousness
  • Usage objectives
  • Cross-cultural study
  • Twitter