Carnegie Mellon University
Acquisti_A_Qualitative_Study_Of_Regrets_On_Facebook.pdf (310.09 kB)

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

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conference contribution
posted on 2022-08-04, 19:35 authored by Yang WangYang Wang, Gregory Norcie, Saranga Komanduri, Alessandro AcquistiAlessandro Acquisti, Pedro Giovanni Leon, Lorrie CranorLorrie Cranor

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. 


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