Study: Facebook users quitting site over privacy concerns

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Facebook users are leaving the site over privacy concerns, a new study suggests.

A study conducted by the University of Vienna found that 48 percent of former Facebook users surveyed cited privacy concerns as their reason for leaving the social networking site, The Daily Mail reports.

Up to 13.5 percent surveyed were dissatisfied with the site itself, 12.6 percent cited the negative impacts of online friendships and six percent feared Internet addiction as the reason for wanting to leave the site.

The study surveyed over 600 people in 2010, but was published on Sept. 12 in the journal CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking in the wake of the revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Pspychologist Steffan Stieger, the University of Vienna professor who oversaw the study, suggested that personality traits “influence the likelihood of quitting one’s Facebook account indirectly via privacy concerns and Internet addiction.”

“In this case, the concern about one’s privacy and Internet addiction propensity would not be directly in charge for quitting one’s Facebook account, but would function as mediators of the underlying personality traits,” said Stieger.

In April, the social network reportedly lost 9 million users in the U.S. and 2 million users in the U.K., according to SocialBakers, a social media analytics company.

As of June 2013, however, Facebook still boasted 1.15 billion users worldwide, with 80 percent of its daily active users living outside the U.S. and Canada.

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