MAKING SENSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY: A FRAMING EXPERIMENT
Keywords:framing, privacy, social media
As individuals trade information to access social media products and services, privacy has become increasingly valuable. Elite discourses have tended to frame privacy in terms of its vertical or institutional dimensions, but much less attention has been given to how users individually interpret and make sense of this complex notion. How do privacy sense-making processes intersect with privacy concerns and self-efficacy? What happens to these outcomes when an individual’s ideas about privacy collide with framing by an authoritative source? This project poses a 2x2 survey-based experiment with 628 subjects to explore these questions. We examine differences in privacy concerns and self-efficacy resulting from an individual’s own conceptualization of privacy, as well as from the presentation of similar and alternative framing of the concept. Preliminary results indicate that while individual conceptualizations show no differences in outcomes, higher levels of privacy self-efficacy result from the framing of privacy in horizontal terms and lower levels of privacy concern result when framing is consistent with the individual’s conceptualization. Strategic and practical implications of these findings are discussed.