Facebook status

Facebook, the social networking giant is tracking every single letter that you are typing, or something that you typed but deleted instead of posting, according to a new study, that tracked the actions of nearly 4 million people.

This Facebook study was done by a data scientist named Adam Kramer, who studied 3.9 million profiles, named this term as “Self-Censorship on Facebook”. Kramer, with the help of his student Sauvik Das, monitored activity of each profile for 17 days,  found that an HTML form element which is made up of HTML codes , was  changing whenever users typing in their Facebook chat, comment boxes and other areas where they speak to others.

On the other hand, Facebook claims that it does not track the words that are written in each box.

But, the company is able to determine when you type the characters, how many words you typed and whether  you posted or deleted the text.

The data scientist found that, men have ‘self-censored’ more than women, and users who were sharing with the group have ‘self-censored’ their updates in an attempt to get accepted by the rest of the group.

The report said, decisions to ‘self-censor’ was taken by people at two situations:

1. When the communication “‘space’ is narrower”. E.g. comments or personal messages.

2. When posts are directed specifically defined targets. E.g. status updates.

The study also determined that , within a span of 17 days, 71% of users ‘self-censored’ at least once and the remaining 29% users would have almost ‘self-censored’ themselves. If the study lasted longer. The study found that, the most commonly censored mode of expression were comments.

Kramer said,

“We found that, relative rates of ‘self-censorship’ were very high; 33% of all potential posts and 13% of all comments, written by sample users were censored”. Researchers adds,

“Lack of content generation may lead Facebook to lose value”, hence the data are being collected so that the social networking giant can deliver new ways to promote users to share more.

Privacy advocates have targeted Facebook a many times with concern about how it uses customer data. Yet, company’s terms and conditions mention that such studies may be conducted and that even information not specifically submitted to the site is allowed to be collected.

In October, Facebook’s head of analytics, said in the Wall Street Journal – “company is preparing its infrastructure to store huge amount of data by testing a technology that would increase the customer data. This data will be about how long a user mouse hovers over a certain area of the website and whether the Newsfeed is visible at given moment on a person’s mobile phone”.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.