Privacy protection and self-disclosure across societies : A study of global Twitter users

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

12 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1476-1497
Journal / PublicationNew Media & Society
Issue number9
Online published12 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


Privacy is a culturally specific phenomenon. As social media platforms are going global, questions concerning privacy practices in a cross-cultural context become increasingly important. The purpose of this study is to examine cultural variations of privacy settings and self-disclosure of geolocation on Twitter. We randomly selected 3.3 million Twitter accounts from more than 100 societies. Results revealed considerable cultural and societal differences. Privacy setting in collectivistic societies was more effective in encouraging self-disclosure; whereas it appeared to be less important for users in individualistic societies. Internet penetration was also a significant factor in predicting both the adoption of privacy setting and geolocation self-disclosure. However, we did not find any direct relationships between cultural values and self-disclosure.

Research Area(s)

  • Boundary regulation, cross-cultural comparison, geolocation, privacy protection, self-disclosure, Twitter

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).