Self-censorship in social networking sites (SNSs) – privacy concerns, privacy awareness, perceived vulnerability and information management

Mark Warner, V Wang
in Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Journal article


PURPOSE: This paper aims to investigate behavioural changes related to self-censorship (SC) in Social Networking Sites (SNSs) as new methods of online surveillance are introduced. In particular, it examines the relationships between self-censorship (SC) and four related factors: privacy concerns (PC), privacy awareness (PA), perceived vulnerability (PV), and information management (IM).
METHOD: A national wide survey was conducted in the United Kingdom (N = 519). The data were ana-lysed to present both descriptive and inferential statistical findings.
FINDINGS: The level of online self-censorship increases as the level of privacy concern increases. The level of privacy concern increases as the levels of privacy awareness and perceived vulnerability increase, and the level of effective information management decreases.
CONTRIBUTION: This study extends the literature on online self-censorship, showing that privacy concerns increase the level of self-censorship in SNSs. It provides support for three antecedent factors to privacy concerns which impact upon levels of self-censorship when communicating in SNSs.