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Most strikingly, the interviews exemplified how deeply Facebook is integrated into daily routines and rituals, and how much it has produced its own routines and rites. The habitual use of Facebook and its integration into daily life indicates that it has become an indispensable tool of social capital and connectedness with large numbers of people. The benefits of Facebook outweigh privacy concerns, even when concrete privacy invasion was experienced. Additionally, many users are not changing default privacy settings, making them rely on lax, initial startup settings.

Therefore, it seems likely that the risks pale in comparison to the perceived benefits, even though many users report having observed the risks of using a Facebook account. Perhaps the evolving obsession with developing a persona and maintaining communication through technology Twitter, texting, instant messaging, posting to social networking account, Second Life, etc.

Contrary to the survey findings, interviewees tended to underestimate Facebook's actual importance to them. This can be seen as an expression of the level of Facebook's integration into students' lives: A truly pervasive technology with a high level of gratification, Facebook has become an almost invisible part of students' everyday life. Part of this gratification is also the ability to participate in intimate yet distanced voyeuristic practices and to watch the gossip and rumor mill through the news feed and friends' pictures.

The aggregated visibility of user activity through the news feed turned out to be a driving force in the production and proliferation of gossip and rumors. Facebook allows users to maintain superficial social relationships with large numbers of people. Possible consequences and negative side effects are also often seen as something that only happens to others: As long as they don't have direct personal experience with invasion of privacy, at least some users seem to think of privacy risks in terms of a third-person effect. Moreover, the conveniences and gratifications of Facebook as a social tool seem to override privacy concerns even in those cases where actual invasions of privacy were experienced.

This was particularly well amplified in the story of the interviewee whose profile was hacked multiple times and who kept coming back to Facebook regardless. The coping strategies that the victims of privacy invasions tend to employ, however, demonstrate the affected users' urge to regain control.


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Restricting not only one's profile but also the number of one's friends is a reasonable strategy, and so are the meaning-making strategies that help to minimize feelings of fear and powerlessness. Though appropriate, these strategies are circumstantial and opportunistic, rather than expressions of stringent rational behavior—otherwise the risks Facebook poses to privacy would not be taken lightly in the first place.

Although this data suggests a third-person effect perceived risk to the privacy of others is greater than the perceived risk to personal privacy this may be misleading because in reality users potentially hear about problems or bad stories from many different people and yet only have a singular understanding of their own potential for risk.

In fact, our survey showed that users are actually more likely to take action or protect information if a negative experience happens to the self as opposed to hearing about it happening to others.

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Thus, while a third-person effect is evident in measuring the potential risk of privacy invasion, personal violation of privacy is what actually prompts changes to stricter privacy settings rather than second-hand information. This means that risks are systematically projected into the environment and only if they morph from a potential risk to an actual violation, users will change their behavior. This points us to a model where real risks are hard to make evident to, or taken seriously by, everyday users who have not yet encountered actual privacy violations.

These Facebook users are providing a fair amount of detailed personal information to a loosely defined group, which echoes concerns raised by Acquisti and Gross , Jagatic et al. While most participants have a basic understanding of privacy issues, they tend to be satisfied with the mere idea of control through Facebook's privacy settings without much real control. Although many restrict their profiles, they do not seem to fully understand that their level of privacy protection is relative to the number of friends, their criteria for accepting friends, and the amount and quality of personal data provided in their profiles, which they tend to divulge quite generously.

In other words, users are unaware of or unconcerned about temporal boundary intrusions—threats to privacy due to data persistence—as described similarly in Tufekci This is a typical instance of a simultaneously unintended and uncomprehended consequence of human action in complex socio-technical contexts.

Due to their black-box nature, computer systems invite this deceptive perception Johnson, , and the move from predominantly technical interfaces of desktop computers and Web 1. There is no question that more robust privacy protection software is a necessary condition for safer networking on Facebook and similar systems. But the privacy flaws go deeper because social network services are conceptually designed to lower privacy levels and to exploit the social information users provide willingly in these novel risk communities Ibrahim, Cautious users would therefore have to conduct a careful cost-benefit analysis before revealing extensive personal data and opening it up to a potentially unlimited number of people, including data thieves or third parties who may use those data commercially.

Safer use of social network sites would thus require a dramatic change in user attitudes: a responsible and informed user with a high level of computer literacy—not just in the technical but in the sociocultural and ethical sense, as well. Like most research, this study has some limitations.

First, the quantitative results rely on an exploratory survey that utilized measures developed without proven psychometric properties; thus, the survey's measure of the constructs of interest may not be as reliable and valid as desired. Further, some variables such as time spent on Facebook or number of Facebook friends were measured as categorical rather than quantitative; analyses thus treated these variables as nominal scales of measurement.

A limitation to this approach is the loss of within category variability, which may mask nonlinear relationships. Second, the small sample size, coupled with online convenience sampling from a single university, may limit the survey's generalizability. Third, the veracity of self-reported data may be tenuous, given social desirability biases. Lastly, our research used a cross-sectional design and causal inferences cannot be drawn. Additionally, because these data represent a mere snapshot of the situation in mid , they cannot be used to predict future Facebook behavioral patterns. Facebook is a moving target.

New applications and additional privacy features are developed and implemented continually. It can be assumed that users' attitudes and behaviors change, too, as the technological framework is changing. It would be desirable to conduct some longitudinal follow-up research and see how users' attitudes and behaviors are changing over time. It would also be interesting to observe if and how social network sites age with their users, whether they remain permanent, routinized features in their users' lives, and how this translates into long-term privacy protection strategies on the part of the users.

Moreover, future research should further investigate the relationship between perceived gratification and risk perception, and the mediating factors that motivate users to change their privacy-related behavior. This would allow to develop strategies for user education and to make recommendations for effective and transparent privacy protection techniques. This study utilizes both quantitative and qualitative techniques to explore the timely intersection between online social networking use and privacy concerns.

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It shows that the gratifications of using Facebook tend to outweigh the perceived threats to privacy. The most common strategy for privacy protection—decreasing profile visibility through restricting access to friends—is also a very weak mechanism; a quick fix rather than a systematic approach to protecting privacy. Most users do not seem to realize that restricting access to their data does not sufficiently address the risks resulting from the amount, quality and persistence of the data they provide.

As long as users feed the invisible part of the iceberg with extensive personal data that they update voluntarily and continually, their privacy is at risk. Given the targeted age groups, the strong attraction of social network sites, and the fact that gossip, harassment, hacking, phishing, data mining, and ab use of personal data by third parties are a reality in these networks and not just a hypothetical possibility, this paper illustrates that young adults need to be educated about risks to their privacy in a way that actually alters their behavior.

The authors hope that the findings of this study may contribute to this process of education in computer literacy. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. His research interests include online communities, media ethics, online journalism, public sphere and philosophy of technology.

He holds a Ph. Address: E. E-mail: debatin ohio. Jennette P. Scripps School of Journalism. Her research interests include mass communication theory, social networking, health communication, and discourses and beliefs of health and disease. E-mail: jl ohio. Her research focuses on social online networks. E-mail: ah ohio.

Brittany N. E-mail: bh ohio. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Article Contents. Literature Review. About the Authors. Oxford Academic.

Google Scholar. Ann-Kathrin Horn, M. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract This article investigates Facebook users' awareness of privacy issues and perceived benefits and risks of utilizing Facebook. Open in new tab Download slide. A race to the bottom: Privacy ranking of internet service companies—A consultation report. Imagined communities: Awareness, information sharing, and privacy on Facebook. PET Google Preview. Facebook's privacy trainwreck: Exposure, invasion, and social convergence.

Search ADS. The causes of third-person effects: Unrealistic optimism, impersonal impact, or generalized negative attitudes towards media influence? Does what happens in the Facebook stay in the Facebook? Facebook principles. Human communication as narration: Toward a philosophy of reason, value, and action. Internet social network communities: Risk taking, trust, and privacy concerns.

Interface culture: How new technology transforms the way we create and communicate. Understanding internet usage: A social-cognitive approach to uses and gratifications. Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: Teenagers' use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and selfexpression. Toward pervasive computing—RFID tags: Pervasive computing in your pocket, on your key chain and in your car. Plan 9 from cyberspace: The implications of the Internet for personality and social psychology.

Beyond copyright. A moral investigation of intellectual property protection in cyberspace. Can you see me now? Audience and disclosure regulation in online social network sites. Privacy pilfered: When pole-vault champion's photo was posted all over web, she felt violated Glass ceiling? What glass ceiling? A qualitative study of how women view the glass ceiling in public relations and communications management. Issue Section:. Each strategy may have different effects, with the various effects working together synergistically to achieve the desired outcome.

For example, one part of the campaign may drive behavior change, while another may gain public attention and affect public policy. When an audience member asked about developing messages to influence media coverage rather than individual behavior, Hornik said that such an approach could work if there were a clear path from media coverage to behavior change. For example, media coverage about climate change could reframe beliefs about electricity use, change social norms, and ultimately motivate people to replace standard light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives.

However, Hornik said he would be concerned about developing messages focused on media coverage without clear evidence that such a strategy would change beliefs and drive behavior change. The Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Population Health Improvement brings together individuals and organizations that represent different sectors in a dialogue about what is needed to improve population health. On September 22, , the roundtable held a workshop to discuss some of the science of health communication, audiences, and messaging, and to explore what it will take to generate widespread awareness, acceptance, and action to improve health, including through the entertainment media, the news media, and social media.

This report summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website. Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one.

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Page 7 Share Cite. Routine Exposure Through Paid Media Without paid advertising, Hornik said, it is difficult for a population health campaign to provide media exposure that is broad and frequent enough to drive change, but large-scale communication initiatives are expensive. The audience can be divided into smaller subgroups or segments of similar internal composition. Audience segmentation allows for more specific and individually tailored messages for each subgroup. An audience can be segmented on the basis of any number of criteria: demographics sex, age, education ; behavior outdoors activities, food-handling practices, handwashing ; and psychographic characteristics values, attitudes, lifestyles.

Once an audience is segmented, the subgroups are carefully assessed through focus groups, in-depth interviews, demographic and other data so that appropriate messages, sources, and channels can be formulated, first to inform the subgroup populations about a disease problem and then to propose acceptable behavior changes to prevent disease and promote healthful living.

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A specific example can clarify the segmentation process: campers, hikers, outdoor workers, and others who frequent wooded, brushy, and grassy places can be exposed to ticks involved in the transmission of Lyme disease. Suburban residents whose homes encroach on the habitats of deer and other animals infested by ticks are also at risk. Through audience segmentation, a message intended to increase awareness of Lyme disease can be directed at youth or middle-age, middle-income suburban men and women who frequently hike or camp. This subgroup, which is likely to read materials relevant to outdoors activities, could be reached through a brief leaflet distributed at schools or physicians' offices describing Lyme disease and simple ways to avoid it; through Internet resources on outdoors activities, where they may peruse the geographic areas likely to be infested with Lyme disease ticks and thus assess their personal risk; and through specialty shops, where along with insect repellent and hiking and camping gear, they may see posters urging them to check for ticks and may find light-colored clothes expressly marketed for ease of spotting ticks.

Figure 2. Disease prevention messages are slowly integrated into life activities. Audiences can also be segmented according to Prochaska's Stages of Change model 2 , which suggests that behavior changes slowly, through a sequence of stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. For example, the message, source, and channel may be different for an audience that has just heard of Lyme disease and is thinking about how likely it is to affect them contemplation stage than for an audience that has actively begun to take precautions action stage but needs reinforcement to make that behavior an integral part of their activities.

Figure 2 portrays someone in the action stage who needs help integrating the message into normal life activities. Effective health communication messages follow some general principles 3 : they are clear and simple, positive, and both emotional and rational; if they arouse fear, they show ways of alleviating the fear; and if they contain motivational appeals, the appeals follow established guidelines likely to produce the expected response.

On the individual or intrapersonal level, effective health communication messages often apply Prochaska's Stages of Change model and the Health Belief model to message design. The Health Belief model 4 addresses one's perception of personal risk for the disease and the behavior change recommended for decreasing the risk. Key variables in this theory include one's perceptions of the severity and susceptibility of the health threat, benefits from the recommended actions, barriers to taking action, cues to action, motivations for prompt action, and confidence in one's ability to take action; the message addresses one or more of these variables.

For example, customers dining at a restaurant read the small print on the menu next to an entree with raw oysters: oysters may pose a health risk if eaten raw. In deciding whether to eat the raw oysters, customers would weigh the pleasure gained against the risk taken benefits vs. They would consider the likelihood susceptibility and seriousness severity of illness and their capacity to prevent it. On the interpersonal or interactive level, Social Cognitive theory is often used 5 ; its basic principle is that family members, friends, co-workers, family physicians, and other health professionals can influence a person's health behavior.

One learns not only through personal experience but also by observing the actions of others and the consequences of these actions. Perception of risk and confidence in one's ability to take action are again key variables. If the family cook always uses separate cutting boards for raw meat and for fresh vegetables and washes the boards well after each use and the family stays healthy, the observers adopt the cook's behavior and associate it with a positive outcome. On the community or organizational level, the Diffusion of Innovations theory applies 6.

According to this theory, new ideas, products, and social practices follow a pattern as they spread within a society.


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    Reaching culturally diverse groups with messages vital to disease prevention and trying to convince group members to alter their behavior to safeguard their health may sometimes require tools that transcend explanatory language. Explanatory language tends to isolate and fragment, to describe one event followed by another in linear fashion.

    Figurative language tends to synthesize and combine; it can unite different levels of thought, feeling, and behavior into a holistic picture that gives a rounded perspective; and it draws on such unusual vehicles as culturally specific metaphors, e. An intended audience that is motivated to change behavior may lack the skills or resources to do so. In a multicultural society, certain groups may resist changing risky behavior for fear that the change may strip them of their core culture or because behavior change is too stressful 9.

    One way to approach culturally based resistance is the use of metaphorical methods to ease fears and create a less threatening environment. A well-placed proverb--for example, "cada cabeza es un mundo" "each head is a world" or "each person has his or her own thoughts, dreams, and aspirations and has a right to them as a unique person" --uses the cultural framework to balance a person's responsibility to cultural traditions with the need for well-being and good health Regardless of the theory and the vehicle used, the only way to know if the audience will receive the intended message is to pretest the message with a representative sample of the audience.

    Focus groups, personal interviews, and other techniques similar to those used in audience segmentation are ways to pretest messages. For example, focus groups conducted to explore the causes of misuse of antibiotics in pediatric practice found that physicians felt under pressure from parents to prescribe antibiotics at every office visit; on the other hand, parents indicated that they would not insist on antibiotics if the reasons for not prescribing the drugs were explained to them.

    Educational efforts to narrow this communication gap would reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics and perhaps the emergence of resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae and other pathogenic bacteria The source influences the effectiveness of the message. A source that is credible for one segment of the audience may completely miss the mark with another.

    While a scientist, physician, or other health-care provider may seem the ideal source of public health information, a community activist or a lay person affected by a disease may carry more credibility and have a greater public health impact. For example, a woman became a consumer activist and cofounded STOP Safe Tables Our Priority after her child died of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of Escherichia coli OH7 infection, brought on by eating undercooked ground beef The mother went on the road speaking out about her child's untimely death from eating a hamburger in a fast-food restaurant.

    Her moving testimonial including poignant photographs about the events surrounding the child's infection, illness, and death had a direct and powerful effect on the audience most likely to eat undercooked hamburgers in fast-food restaurants. The testimonial also provided an excellent springboard for discussing E.

    The U. Morris, pers. Even the best-crafted message is useless if it fails to reach the intended audience. The channel, or means by which the message is sent, is as important as the message. Mass media outlets television, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, the Internet provide ample opportunities, as do family, friends, health-care providers, and religious and other support groups Other means such as telephone hot lines offer an opportunity for interpersonal communication anonymously and across geographic boundaries.

    Multiple channels can be combined to communicate a message more effectively. Mass media channels are most effective for increasing awareness and knowledge, but interpersonal channels work better in changing attitudes and behavior 6. A message delivered through the mass media can stimulate interpersonal discussions about a health issue. For example, a public service announcement about prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections might prompt sex partners to discuss condom use Computer-based communication channels e.

    By visiting various relevant web sites, a patient with chronic fatigue syndrome can locate scientific information about the disease, follow continuing research efforts, and connect with patient support groups. In , during the avian influenza-like virus outbreak, the Hong Kong authorities set a new standard in communications about influenza by providing daily outbreak updates on a readily accessible Internet site. Communication research provides demographic and other information that can be used in choosing the right channel to meet the needs of specific population groups.

    Such communication channels include mass media campaigns, news media stories, popular entertainment, media advocacy, and interpersonal communication. The mass media campaign, a traditional communication approach intended to produce a specific outcome within a specified period, is directed at large numbers of people through an organized set of communication activities Research shows that different kinds of media affect audiences differently. For example, the news media inform and alert audiences to community developments and, in the process, shape community responses to these developments.

    The entertainment media fill leisure time and indirectly influence public beliefs 16 , The business and advertising media stimulate interest in commercial goods and services and influence how and where we shop. In recent years, all these different media have also been used to disseminate health information, and for many people, they seem to have become the primary source of health information The America Responds to AIDS campaign 14 , which played a major role in AIDS prevention efforts, included television and radio public service announcements, printed materials posters, booklets, brochures, billboards, bus ads , telephone hot lines, AIDS prevention messages integrated in movies and television shows, and specific AIDS information disseminated electronically through the Internet.

    Mass media campaigns can raise awareness of an issue, enhance knowledge and beliefs, and reinforce existing attitudes 19 - They can also change attitudes and behavior, especially when the change is simple and of obvious benefit to the intended audience. An intermediate objective of many mass media campaigns is to stimulate the search for additional information on a given health issue. When information-seeking is a desired outcome, mass media campaigns include a hot line for people to call for additional information.

    The hot line not only facilitates the search for information, it also provides a means of measuring the effect of the mass media effort. For example, a recent study found that gender, cultural values, and anxiety, may affect the response of Spanish-speaking callers to HIV information over the hot lines; therefore, health educators and others who design disease prevention programs need to examine whether these programs should reinforce or challenge traditional gender roles, gender norms, or cultural values In , a National Institutes of Health consensus development conference panel concluded that patients with ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori infection require antibiotic treatment The prevalent belief that ulcers were caused by stress could deter affected persons from seeking medical attention for peptic ulcer disease.

    To remedy this lack of awareness of H. CDC collaborated with other federal agencies, academic institutions, and private industry in designing and implementing an H. Focus groups consumer, private and managed-care physicians, pharmacists were used to determine the structure and direction of a campaign. Materials developed as a result of the focus groups included a consumer brochure, a fact sheet for health-care providers, a waiting-room poster, and television, radio, and print public service announcements.

    All materials were produced in English and Spanish; copies were mailed to health-care providers and state public health agencies. The H. The briefing provided an overview of peptic ulcer disease and focused on diagnosis and treatment, economic impact, and research issues associated with H. Evaluation of media tracking records shows that extensive press coverage resulted in reaching a potential audience of more than 21 million persons since the campaign began.

    Qualitative research with consumers and providers is being conducted to evaluate the campaign's communication messages. Quantitative studies are ongoing to determine attitudes and behavior of ulcer patients and health-care providers. Figure 4. Cover of February 8, Parade magazine. Used with permission of Parade Publications and Robin Thomas.

    Figure 5. Cover of August 3, Time magazine. Media stories can deliver accurate information on disease prevention in a more in-depth way than brief paid or free disease prevention messages advertisements. Media stories create awareness among the intended audience, place health on the public agenda, and frame the way the issue is reported. Media stories may include the following strategies: newspaper and magazine coverage, news press conferences, press releases, video news releases, modular television or radio programming, talk show appearances, and Internet forums.

    Media stories are usually proactive, e. In the coverage, the Michigan Department of Health held a press conference announcing the outbreak and the implicated source frozen strawberries served in public schools. Public health officials stated that 13 lots of frozen strawberries distributed to six states through the federal lunch program were possibly contaminated. Responding to the stories in the news and in the absence of information about hepatitis A, the mayor of Los Angeles held a press conference requesting 9, doses of immune globulin to inoculate schoolchildren who might have eaten the contaminated strawberries.

    Food and Drug Administration stepped in with information on hepatitis A, the proper use of vaccine, and the disease risk to the communities involved. These experts appeared on local and national news shows and delivered accurate information about the outbreak, which having a broad geographic range and affecting children generated extensive public interest.

    Through stories in the media, the public learned about hepatitis A and its causes, treatment, and prevention.