Social Privacy Is on the Rise: Almost Half of Social Media Accounts Are Kept Private

PCMag
PCMag
Jun 29 · 3 min read
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A survey asking people how they use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok reveals people may be getting smarter about how they socialize online. Maybe.

By Eric Griffith

ViasatSavings.com, an authorized reseller for the Viasat satellite internet service, asked 1,000 people in the US over age 18 how they use the major social-media networks these days: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

The results definitely defy the conventions of a few years ago, when it seemed everyone was willing to give away their privacy for a chance to share some pics or quips. Maybe it’s the “influencer” culture of trying to hit it big with exclusivity, or maybe it’s the constant barrage of stomped-upon privacy stories in the news, but the people who took part in this survey are being a lot more circumspect in how they share.

Facebook is the clear “winner,” in that people are using it much more judiciously. Mark Zuckerberg probably won’t like it, but the knowledge that at least three-quarters of Facebook users have blocked someone shows some forethought. Instagram (also owned by Facebook) is second, with 53 percent of users blocking at last one person.

Supposedly, 71 percent of the people 18 to 24 in the survey said they keep their social media accounts to log into other accounts. Ugh. Get a password manager.

It gets even more interesting to drill down into the Instagram and Facebook info. For example, women are twice as likely to block someone (particularly women ages 25 to 34). But over on Facebook, it’s more even as far as which gender blocks people (and around 73 percent have done it).

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That’s no shock. Women are twice as likely to make an account private in the first place-especially women from 45 to 54, the most private age group. (Weirdly, people over age 54 are most likely to keep social media accounts set to public.)

Facebook was the most used social network in the survey (91 percent had an account), and 57 percent of those users keep their accounts at least partially private. 79 percent of them won’t even share their friends list.

Instagram was second. 50 percent of those users limit or filter comments; 63 percent have blocked at least one person from viewing their shared video and photos.

TikTok is growing, but only 25 percent of the respondents had an account. 36 percent of those have blocked another user, and more women block than men.

Only 49 percent of the respondents use Twitter. 21 percent are public, 19 percent are private, and the rest don’t know their settings (or have accounts that are both).

For more details, read the full report at viasatsavings.com.


Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.

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