Pew Internet (http://pewinternet.org) has recently published a report entitled Reputation Management and Social Media. They have found that young adults are now more inclined to monitor what about them is out there on the Internet by, for example, removing unfavourable content and/or changing their privacy settings on social networking sites. Furthermore, and this is very interesting, young adults (18-29) are more likely to do this than older adults. Perhaps the word has spread far and loud enough now that younger social networking site users are becoming more aware of what they are putting out there and its consequences. Are young adults becoming more information and Internet literate? Why are older adults, those who should know better, not being more careful about their privacy settings? Perhaps older SNS users are not putting highly personal information/pictures on their profiles and so don’t feel the need to change their privacy settings. Perhaps they are using social networking sites for work/professional reasons only (as the study suggests is becoming increasingly important for self-promotion and marketing). Examining the reasons for using social networking sites in relation to the privacy settings chosen would be a great future study!
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