Redefining privacy and anonymity through social networking affordances

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social networking sites allow people to create, broadcast, and interpret the self in new and evolving ways. While early online social media studies praised the Internet for providing an anonymous space in which to experiment with identity, more recent research suggests that social networking sites have become not anonymous, as they compel users to perform identity in new ways. Through a novel application of affordance theory, this paper argues that instead of attempting to apply outdated definitions of privacy to social networking spaces, we should instead be discussing our right to anonymity. I argue that privacy is immaterial due to the fact that from the moment we log in and interact with a social media interface, we have shared some type of personal information with someone. Anonymity, on the other hand, is defined as the unlinkability of our many identifications. Thus, instead of attempting to define ideas such as "personal" and "private," we should instead fight for the separation of selves, both at the social and institutional level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5465
JournalFirst Monday
Volume20
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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