"I regretted the minute I pressed share": A qualitative study of regrets on Facebook

Yang Wang, Gregory Norcie, Saranga Komanduri, Alessandro Acquisti, Pedro Giovanni Leon, Lorrie Faith Cranor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

220 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate regrets associated with users' posts on a popular social networking site. Our findings are based on a series of interviews, user diaries, and online surveys involving 569 American Facebook users. Their regrets revolved around sensitive topics, content with strong sentiment, lies, and secrets. Our research reveals several possible causes of why users make posts that they later regret: (1) they want to be perceived in favorable ways, (2) they do not think about their reason for posting or the consequences of their posts, (3) they misjudge the culture and norms within their social circles, (4) they are in a "hot" state of high emotion when posting, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, (5) their postings are seen by an unintended audience, (6) they do not foresee how their posts could be perceived by people within their intended audience, and (7) they misunderstand or misuse the Facebook platform. Some reported incidents had serious repercussions, such as breaking up relationships or job losses. We discuss methodological considerations in studying negative experiences associated with social networking posts, as well as ways of helping users of social networking sites avoid such regrets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSOUPS 2011 - Proceedings of the 7th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Event7th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2011 - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: Jul 20 2011Jul 22 2011

Publication series

NameSOUPS 2011 - Proceedings of the 7th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security

Other

Other7th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, SOUPS 2011
CountryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA
Period7/20/117/22/11

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • privacy
  • regret
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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  • Cite this

    Wang, Y., Norcie, G., Komanduri, S., Acquisti, A., Leon, P. G., & Cranor, L. F. (2011). "I regretted the minute I pressed share": A qualitative study of regrets on Facebook. In SOUPS 2011 - Proceedings of the 7th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2011 - Proceedings of the 7th Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security). https://doi.org/10.1145/2078827.2078841