Privacy concerns main reason for quitting Facebook

19th September 2013

Almost half of people who quit Facebook do so because of concerns over privacy.

For information and advice on safe social networking, click here

The statistic comes from a new study carried out by researchers from the University of Vienna, which questioned over 600 participants – 300 Facebook users and 300 deserters – on their views. 

Of the quitters, 48.3% cited privacy concerns, followed by 13.5% because of general dissatisfaction and 6% saying they feared becoming addicted.

The typical quitters were older males, the study also revealed.

Figures issued in April indicated that the social network had lost 9,000,000 active monthly users in the US and 2,000,000 in Britain (source: SocialBakers).

Psychologist Stefan Stieger from the University said that personality traits could be an influence in people's decision to quit using Facebook.

And editor Brenda Wiederhold, who helped publish the study, said: "Given high profile stories such as WikiLeaks and the recent NSA surveillance reports, individual citizens are becoming increasingly more wary of cyber-related privacy concerns. With photo tags, profiling, and internet dependency issues, research such as Professor Stieger’s is very timely. To help calm privacy concerns, Facebook, along with Google and Yahoo!, recently submitted transparency requests to give users more insight into data the government collects."

The full text of the study – entitled Who Commits Virtual Identity Suicide? Differences in Privacy Concerns, Internet Addiction, and Personality Between Facebook Users and Quitters – can be found by clicking here.

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