Manya Sleeper, Rebecca Balebako, Sauvik Das, Amber Lynn McConahy, Jason Wiese, and Lorrie Faith Cranor


Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)


February 2013


Social networking site users must decide what content to share and with whom. Many social networks, including Facebook, provide tools that allow users to selectively share content or block people from viewing content. However, sometimes instead of targeting a particular audience, users will self-censor, or choose not to share. We report the results from an 18-participant user study designed to explore selfcensorship behavior as well as the subset of unshared content participants would have potentially shared if they could have specifically targeted desired audiences. We asked participants to report all content they thought about sharing but decided not to share on Facebook and interviewed participants about why they made sharing decisions and with whom they would have liked to have shared or not shared. Participants reported that they would have shared approximately half the unshared content if they had been able to exactly target their desired audiences

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