18 December 2013 - 8:14am | posted by | 1 comment

Facebook reveals self-censorship results in one third of all posts being deleted

Facebook reveals self-censorship results in one third of all posts being deletedFacebook reveals self-censorship results in one third of all posts

One in three Facebook posts never see the light of day according to new research conducted by the social media firm, as the phenomenon of ‘self-censorship’ sees people delete their more racy posts to avoid offending or irritating friends and family.

The study looked at status updates which are written, but not posted, covering content ranging from opinions which ‘diverge from perceived social norms’ to a simple fear of ‘spamming’ followers with ‘unnecessary’ content.

It revealed that we will often start to pen such material – only to think better of it and scrap it midway through.

A total of 3.9m US and UK accounts were studied over 17 days in the summer of 2012 to compile the figures, which counted every post of five characters or more which weren’t published within 10 minutes.

This showed 71 per cent of people censored themselves at some point whilst 51 per cent actively deleted at least one post and leaving an average of 4.52 messages unpublished over the period.

When it came to posts which were posted but censored 44 per cent were found to engage with this practice with an average of 3.2 going unpublished.

All in all men were found to censor themselves more than women with older people also more likely to bite their tongue.

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18 Dec 2013 - 10:56

Hardly surprising, with employers snooping on what you write, and the more "socially divergent" comments carrying the risk of punitive action - the British police have prosecuted against people making critical comment, for instance, under "hate speech" legislation. The Internet should be self-regulating: in cases where illegal or seriously despicable comment is made, it's not long before public pressure forces it to be taken down. (FB pages promoting anti-semitism, holocaust denial, child sex, and other things no reasonable person would condone.) But it's not a far leap from semi-official surveillance, or the threat of it, to the Government dream of a regulated and approved Internet. FB itself is also proactive on responding to complaints of online harrassment or "cyber-bullying". Sometimes too much so: I think twice before making critical comment on FB pages promoting right-wing ideologies or religious/political positions I disagree with, as online harrassment has been invoked here to stifle opposition and censor criticism. Which does not make for free speech and the interchange of views!


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