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Identity in Communities & Networks

2.0 And the Complexities of Identity Management


Maintaining control of one’s identity within a community or network can be challenging, especially when considering the various types of relationships that an individual has.  For example an individual can be a parent, a daughter, a manager, a friend and a charity volunteer.  Each of these roles can require the individual to behave in a particular way.  A comment that an individual makes may be suitable during a discussion with a friend, however may not be appropriate during a conversation with a work colleague.   This kind of identity control occurs on a regular basis during many people’s day to day life.  However with the introduction of social media areas, control of one’s identity has become more difficult.  When using social media, identity control requires more consideration, due to user perceptions relating to what happens to their content, problems relating to who is viewing the content and the influence of others within the community.  This paper will examine how the use of social media has made controlling the image that one portrays, more complex than it was prior to the use of social media areas.


In order to fully appreciate the impact that social media or social networking sites, have had on image control it is necessary to first understand what these areas are.  Boyd and Ellison (2007, para. 5) state,

We define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system.

Social networking sites have granted everyday people the ability to communicate to a large audience, and share their day’s activities and the activities of those around them.  Online communities and social networks have revolutionised the way many people communicate with their friends, family and other acquaintances.  In order to establish the reasons why image control is challenging within social media, this paper will discuss user perceptions of their potential audience.  This paper will also discuss how an individual’s behavior can be dependent on who they are communicating with and the implications of this when using social media.   However, image control in social networking spaces is not only dependent on the content that is provided by the subject of the material, but is also dependent on content that is provided by others.  Therefore, this essay will also discuss how an individual’s identity can be affected by the actions of other people within an online community.


One reason why image control is more difficult when participating in online communities and networks, is users of social media can be unaware of their potential audience.  Although information posted to social media sites can be available to a wide audience, it may be posted from a real life space which is private (for example an individual’s home) or an area where despite not being physically alone the writer of the content is not likely to communicate with anyone.  This can lead the individual into a false sense of security as their audience is invisible.  Pearson (2009, para. 8) states, “what feels like an intimate space can be under the watchful electronic gaze of a large unknown audience”.  If a user of social media does not consider the potential audience for their content, they may post material they would normally regard as private.  Imagine an individual on a train.  They are not likely to discuss personal information with a stranger sitting next to them.  However, they may choose to post personal details to a social media site, which has the potential to be viewed by the same stranger.  Furthermore, there are occasions where despite an individual being aware that there is an audience for their content, they may continue to experience problems with identity management because they consider their potential audience to be their friends and not the general public.   Barnes (2006, para. 26) states, “some students may be aware that Facebook is not a private space, but many act as if it is private”.  In many social media areas privacy requires thought.  Boyd (as cited by Jin, 2013, p. 3) states,

“a conversation you might have in the hallway is private by default, public through effort,” where as “when you engage online in equally public settings such as on someones’ Facebook wall, the conversation is public by default, private through effort”.

In addition, many social media sites are constructed in a way that encourages information flow, resulting in the possibility of any information that may impact negatively on a person’s desired identity, being easily spread throughout the network.  Furthermore, many social networking areas are asynchronous.  This means the information can be available for a long period of time and therefore allow maximum audience attention.  Blanchette and Johnson (as cited in Jin, 2013) suggest information flows in the real world are often restricted by human memory.  In contrast, Coopamootoo and Ashenden (as cited in Jin, 2013) indicate that online content can be retained and shared for much longer.  The problems relating to the posting of material to social networks without considering its potential exposure to a large audience, is considered particularly evident within areas where posts are shorter in length.  Thompson (2008, p. 2, para 3) suggest that unlike blogs where posts are often lengthy, posts in many social networking sites are, “far shorter, far more frequent and less carefully considered”.  Some individuals may consider that because Twitter posts are required to be short (140 characters in length), the risk of tweets impacting their identity in a negative way is small.  However while recognizing that short posts within social media areas may appear insignificant, Thompson (2008, p.2) states, “taken together, over time, the little snippets coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated portrait of your friends’ and family members’ lives”.    The problems associated with the posting of certain private or personal material in social networking areas without considering the possible consequences can be exaggerated by the existence of audience diversity.  The potential audience of material posted to social networking areas is often unknown, resulting in the author of the content being unable to judge audience expectation.  The differing expectations of behavior that exist between people within different social groups, was discussed by Erving Goffman well before wide spread internet usage and social networking sites.


Erving Goffman recognized that individuals perform differently for different people.  Ladner states (2007), “using the theatre as a metaphor Goffman argued that we actually “perform” multiple selves”.  For example, a person is likely to behave differently when they are talking to a parent, from when they are talking to a group of friends.  However, in many situations within social media communities, it is difficult to determine who the audience is.  For example, when discussing the use of Twitter, Marwick and Boyd (2011, p. 117) state, “given the various ways people can consume and spread tweets, it is virtually impossible for Twitter users to account for their potential audience, let alone actual readers”.  Furthermore, even when the author of the social media content is aware that their material is being viewed by strangers, there is often no way of knowing what type of audience group the stranger belongs to.  Donath (1999, para 1) suggests that online, “many of the basic cues about personality and social role we are accustomed to in the physical world are absent”. The design of many social media areas means that controlling which audience will see which content is difficult.  This was problematic for a number of people who participated in a study about Facebook privacy (Raynes-Goldie, 2010).    For example Raynes-Goldie (2010, para 7) states,

Ben (a marketer for an educational firm) told me, on multiple occasions, how frustrated he was with the “context collision” created by Facebook’s flattened Friend hierarchy, where by default, everyone is given access to the same personal information.

The answer to this problem for some people is to have several accounts or presences and direct certain audiences to certain areas.  As Donarth (1999, para. 2) suggests, “one can have, some claim, as many electronic personas as one has time and energy to create”.  However, even when care is taken by an individual to direct a particular audience to the correct area, there remains the possibility that the audience may discover content that was not intended for them to access.   In some online areas where attempts have been made to limit the exposure of content, access has been gained by unintended audiences.  An example of this exists within Facebook where an individual may believe that access to photographs shared, is limited to people they have accepted as “Friends” within the network.  However as Raynes-Goldie (2010, para. 14) indicates,

If a Friend comments on one of their Friends’ photos, and one of their other Friends sees that comment on their news feed, they can click on the comment and get access to the whole album belonging to their Friend’s Friend, even though he or she did not intend the share them beyond their Friends.

In order to alleviate any problems associated with unintended audience groups viewing content, some authors choose to contribute material that they consider acceptable for a number of different audience groups.  Marwick and Boyd (2011, p. 122) state, “the large audiences for sites like Facebook or MySpace may create a lowest-common denominator effect, as individuals only post things they believe their broadest group of acquaintances will find non-offensive”.  However this can greatly affect the image that an individual is attempting to portray to certain audiences.  For example, the identity a teenager is attempting to portray to their peers could be affected by a social media presence which contains content consistent with the expectations of the teenager’s parents. Green and Jenkins (2011, p. 116) state, “when material is produced according to a one-size-fits-all model, it necessarily imperfectly fits the needs of any given audience”.  The problems associated with audiences accessing content that is not intended for them are not the only reasons why image control is more difficult in online areas.


Another reason why image control is more difficult in online areas is the image that an individual wishes to portray can be impacted by the actions of others within the network.   Although and individual may wish to represent themselves in a particular way, others within the network may construct posts that contradict the identity the individual wishes to portray.  Tufekci (as cited in Thompson, 2008, para. 4) stated, “I had a student who posted that she was downloading some Pearl Jam, and someone wrote on her wall, ‘Oh, right, ha-ha – I know you, and you’re not into that’”. In addition, within some social media communities, expressions of negative feedback can be given with an amount of anonymity, resulting in some people posting comments or opinions which they would not be prepared to share in the physical world.  Zhuo (2010, para. 6) states, “psychological research has proven again and again that anonymity increases unethical behavior”.  Furthermore Zhuo (2010, para. 17) suggests, “most trolls wouldn’t have the gall to say to another person’s face half the things they anonymously post on the Internet”.   The problems associated with negative online feedback can be somewhat alleviated by the ability of an individual to restrict who accesses their content.  Individuals may choose to provide access to only those people that they have an affinity with.   Boyd (2006, Para. 48) states, “they choose people that they know and other Friends that will support their perception of what public they are addressing through their presentation of self, bulletins, comments, and blog posts”.  Nevertheless, those who are considered as Friends within a network may choose to provide content which has the potential to impact negatively on an individual’s desired identity.  Raynes-Goldie (2010, para. 7) states,

Even with all the complicated privacy features Facebook had put in place, Lee, James and every other Facebook user could still not pre-screen the comments that Friends wrote on their public walls or stop people from tagging them in photos.

This can cause users of social media to feel they need to constantly review their identity within online communities and social networks, in order to maintain the identity they wish to portray.   When discussing the plight of a user, Thompson (2008) states, “Ahan knows that she cannot simply walk away from her online life, because the people she knows online won’t stop talking about her, or posting unflattering photos”.  Therefore, the ways in which an individual’s identity can be affected by others within an online community or network, can result in individual’s increasing use of these online spaces.


As an individual navigates their way through online communities and networks, it is important that the differences between communication in social media communities and communicating in the physical world are understood to allow effective identity management.   Although an individual may be physically alone and considering there is a particular audience for the content they are posting, it is important that they understand that their audience is unpredictable.   It is also vital to consider that in some cases, audiences may view content differently than the intended audience.  Furthermore other people within social media communities may contribute content that challenges the identity an individual wishes to portray.  By considering these factors, those who contribute to social media communities and networks will be much better placed to control and maintain their identity within the social media environment.


Barnes, S. (2006).  A privacy paradox:  Social networking in the United States.  First Monday.  11(4-9).  Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1394/1312

Boyd. D. (2006).  Friends, Friendsters, and Top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites.  First Monday. 11(12). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1418/1336#p7

Boyd, D. & Ellison, N. (2007).  Social network sites:  Definition, history, and scholarship.  Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), article 11.  Retrieved from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html

Donath, J. (1999).  Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community.  In P. Kollock, & M. A. Smith (Ed.), Communities in Cyberspace (pp. 29-59).  New York:  Routledge.  Retrieved from http://smg.media.mit.edu/people/Judith/Identity/IdentityDeception.html

Green, J. & Jenkins, H. (2011).  Spreadable Media:  how audiences create value and meaning in a networked economy. In V. Nightingale (Ed.), The Handbook of Media Audiences  (1st ed., pp. 109-127), Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.  Retrieved from http://edocs.library.curtin.edu.au/eres_display.cgi?url=DC60268441.pdf

Jin, S. (2013).  Peeling back the multiple layers of Twitter’s private disclosure onion:  The roles of virtual identity discrepancy and personality traits in communication privacy management on Twitter.  New Media & Society, 0(0), 1-21. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1461444812471814

Ladner, S. (2007).  What Designers Can Learn From Facebook’s Beacon:  the collision of ‘fronts’. Copernicus Consulting.  Retrieved from http://copernicusconsulting.net/what-designers-can-learn-from-facebooks-beacon-the-collision-of-fronts/

Marwick, A & Boyd, D. (2011).  I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately:  Twitter Users, context collapse, and the imagined audience.  New Media & Society, 13(1), 114-133. Doi: 10.1177/1461444810365313.  Retrieved from http://nms.sagepub.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/content/13/1/114

Pearson, E. (2009). All the World Wide Web’s a stage: The performance of identity in online social networks.  First Monday, 14(3-2).  Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2162/2127

Raynes-Goldie, K. (2010).  Alises, creeping and wall cleaning:  Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook.  First Monday.  15(1-4).  Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2775/2432

Thompson, C. (2008, September 5). Brave New World of Digital Intimacy.  The New York Times.  Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07awareness-t.html?pagewanted=6&_r=2

Turkle, S. (1997).  Multiple Subjectivity and Virtual Community at the End of the Freduian Century.  Sociological Inquiry, 67(1).  Retrieved  from http://smg.media.mit.edu/~sturkle/pdfsforstwebpage/ST_Construc%20and%20reconstruc%20of%20self.pdf

Zhuo, J. (2010, Nov 30).  Where anonymity breeds contempt.  New York Times.  Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/814756941


20 Responses to “2.0 And the Complexities of Identity Management”

  1. A good friend of mine who is a teacher is constantly having to balance their identity online, as students are continually wanting to friend them. It appears that some schools also have challenges on if this student/teacher online interaction is appropriate and in what sphere they are appropriate.

    But like you quoted Goffman “individuals perform differently for different people”.
    The ability to control identity may have become easier with such social media platforms such as Google+ introducing “Circles” and the ability to disseminate information to people easily but in a controlled manner. Where as Facebook tended to be a laggard with what a user could control completely. As your interviwee Ben commented on “…how frustrated he was with…Facebooks flattened friend hierarchy”.

    Do you feel that we all now have to learn to live with our online identities reagardless of what aspect, be it professional or private, that it permeates?
    Or do you feel that we need to be more educated on what our younger identities could leave behind for us to face up to in the future?

    Posted by Nicholas Gaff | April 30, 2013, 11:06 am
    • Thanks for your comment Nicholas.
      Google+ “Circles” is a good way to assist in the control of who has access to certain content. Usage of Google+ “Circles” is increasing (Wesserman, 2013). However the popularity of Facebook (822.1 million users in October 2012 (Wesserman, 2013)), means Facebook usage has the potential to impact on the identity of a large number of people.

      I believe in order to effectively manage our identity, we need to be aware of the consequences of posting material online, so that we can each make decisions about the pros and cons of posting material which may affect our identity. Some young people may feel that the benefits of posting content which has the potential to negatively affect their future identity, outweigh the problems this could cause in professional circles in the future. As your question suggests, although an individual may consider something is suitable to post online today, they may not neccessarily feel the same way in five or ten years time. I don’t necessarily think we need live with identity we created for ourselves when we were young. Our values and beliefs often change as we age. When the identity created in the past is not congruent with the desired present day image, I believe the best way forward is to contribute content which is consistent with the desired identity and when reminded of the past, acknowledge it as the past. Do you agree?

      Wasserman, T. (2013). Report: Google+ Has 105 Million Unique Monthly Visitors. Mashable. Retrieved rom http://mashable.com/2013/01/03/google-has-105-million/

      Posted by Rachel Lester | May 4, 2013, 10:35 am
      • The latest publication of Grok explores the concept of ‘circles’… There is an article on page 19 that explores friendship circles – might be worth a quick look (its only 2 pages)


        Posted by Brooke Richards | May 7, 2013, 2:48 pm
        • Hi Brooke,
          Thanks for your link. It provides an interesting insight into our perceptions of how others within a particular social circle, may view us, based on whether our image fits within the expectations of other members within the group.

          Posted by Rachel Lester | May 15, 2013, 11:12 am
      • You are right, some of us do change our values and beliefs as we age. Some of us reinforce them.

        I take an example of a potential job applicant. Naturally people will want to find out about them and search for further information, what they like, their appearance, and any public data that could be misconstrued in a manner that lessens the opinion of the potential employer.

        Right now, I disagree. I feel that there will those pass judgement on a persons historic online identity even if explained away as “it was in the past”. As the current generation of children grow and become middle age, we may start to see a lessening of this kind of attitude in this scenario.

        Posted by Nicholas Gaff | May 14, 2013, 7:39 pm
        • Hi Nicholas,
          I agree, there are always going to be those that judge people based upon what they can find in social media (both past and present posts). It is a difficult issue. I know that if I was going to employ someone I would prefer to choose someone with an identity that was fitting with the identity that I wanted for the business. What do you think is the best way forward for someone who considers their past online identity may be affecting the identity they wish to portray today and into the future?

          Posted by Rachel Lester | May 15, 2013, 11:16 am
          • “What do you think is the best way forward for someone who considers their past online identity may be affecting the identity they wish to portray today and into the future?”

            Here in lays the difficulty. Tidying up known profiles is a good start, locating website you suspect may have your photo (club, event photo websites).
            But of course there will be some websites that will not remove a picture for whatever reason or may just not respond to requests at all.

            I think having some control over who takes your picture or what the photographer intends to use that picture for.
            But that is such an easy statement to make and simplistic answer from such a privileged view point knowing what we know now about digital footprints.

            Posted by Nicholas Gaff | May 15, 2013, 7:50 pm
          • I like your suggestion about finding sites that you think may have photographs of you and requesting they take off any photographs you believe are not fitting with your desired image. I also agree with your suggestion of, “having some control over who takes your picture or what the photographer intends to use that picture for”. However sometimes it is very difficult to know who is taking photographs of us considering most people carry a camera with them all the time on their phone.

            Posted by Rachel Lester | May 16, 2013, 3:48 pm
  2. Hello Rachel, first of all commendations on your paper. Really interesting topic that raises a lot of issues. Indeed, performance of a user online depends a lot on the audience that he/ she is addressing himself/ herself to. Like you clearly mentioned, the user performs differently depending for different people, and what I would like to stress here is the performance of the self. In addition to the attention that the user has to pay to the public he/ she is facing, he/ she also has to focus on the self that he/ she is willing to showcase.
    I totally agree with you that Identity performance depends on the audience that you are facing, and that is only made worse online due to the multitudes of communities present there.
    But then, how far can you manage your performance, when you are on a platform (FB for instance) where you have a mixture of weak and strong ties exposed to the same information at the same time?
    I have also dealt with some of the notions present in your paper. Check it out http://networkconference.netstudies.org/2013/identity-perverted-by-online-gaming/

    Posted by Chemen Jheghendiren | May 6, 2013, 2:37 am
    • Hi Chemen,

      Thanks for reading and commenting on my paper. I agree managing performance on platforms that display the same information to close friends and distant aquaintances can be a challenge. This is especially true when you consider that sometimes people acknowledge others as a ‘friend’, only because “it would be socially inappropriate to say no because you know them” (Boyd, 2006, para. 22). When participating in these areas all we can really do is be aware of where our information may end up and post accordingly, based on what we believe is appropriate.

      Thanks for the link to your paper. I found it really interesting. It was great to see the issue from a different angle.

      Boyd. D. (2006). Friends, Friendsters, and Top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites. First Monday. 11(12). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1418/1336#p7

      Posted by Rachel Lester | May 6, 2013, 4:48 pm
  3. Hey Rachel – first congratulations on a great paper, you should be very proud of this piece of work – have you thought about publishing it? (officially)

    I enjoyed your topic and believe it to be an incredibly relevant topic of conversation in today’s day and age, and of course for this unit.

    You write very well, your opening comment about a conversation had between yourself and a friend may not be appropriate for a conversation had between yourself and a work colleague. This was a wonderful segway into the difficulties that arise from having different relationships on social media platforms.

    In regards to the issue of content (about yourself) being provided by others – I often see people being tagged (by others) in “funny” memes which more often than not are actually rude, offensive or down right inappropriate. This does call for monitoring content provided by others.
    In the case of Ahan, my first thought was if she is so concerned that friends will post unflattering posts or continue to talk about her – why does she not just deactivate her account? I think it comes down to wanting to be involved; the thought of missing out or feeling left out is what keeps most people on social networking sites such as Facebook – do you agree?

    I also really liked your metaphor of a person not feeling comfortable to share personal information with a stranger on a train – yet more than willing to go ahead and post content to Facebook. And I very much agree with Barnes “some students may be aware that Facebook is not a private space, but many act as if it is private”

    Congrates again on a great paper

    Posted by Brooke Richards | May 7, 2013, 2:40 pm
    • Hi Brooke,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my paper.
      I agree, perhaps Ahan should deactivate her account and I think that you are right that many people just want to take-part and not “miss out”. I suppose if all of our friends are in a particular social network, there is a desire to be like everyone else and be there as well. However, I am also wondering if Ahan may have thought that if she opted out, she would not be able to see what others posted about her and she would not then have the opportunity to defend herself if she felt it was necessary. But I also think if she did opt out of the network, as time went on, would others eventually start to lessen their content that includes her, because she is not giving them new information to respond to. What do you think?

      Posted by Rachel Lester | May 15, 2013, 11:18 am
  4. Hi Rachel, great topic and paper. Reading it really made me think about my online identity and the ways that I have managed it over the years.

    You mentioned in your paper that “If a user of social media does not consider the potential audience for their content, they may post material they would normally regard as private.” I often notice people that I know post things online that they would normally never discuss in public, and as someone who is very careful of everything I post online I find this behaviour quite strange.
    I believe that this fits into the category of multiple selves, where like as you mentioned people act one way with one group of people, or in this case offline, and act another way when dealing with other people, or online. These multiple selves are what I believe to be the reason why people are often perceived to have different online and offline identities. However it seems to me now that no matter how hard we try to manage our online identity even if we do act the same way online as we do offline these two identities will always remain separate.
    Do you believe this to be true, do you think that there will ever be a day that these identities could completely become one, or does the nature of the online world make this impossible?

    Posted by Sam Moore | May 15, 2013, 11:39 pm
    • Hi Sam,
      Thanks for reading and commenting on my paper. I also find it strange that some people can post so much personal information online and not think twice about it. Perhaps in my case, this view has more to do with my age than anything else.

      Before writing this article I also perceived my online identity to be different from my offline identity. However as I stated in my paper, Goffman (as cited by Ladner, 2007) recognised people behave differently for different audiences well before we were all online. So the perception of one person having multiple identities is not new. But I think the internet seems to have intensified this issue. When discussing online spaces, Pearson (2009, para. 31) states, “the fluidity and self-conscious platforms of performance allow individuals and networks of users to play with aspects of their presentations of self”. However as Donarth (1999, para. 3) explains, “while it is true that a single person can create multiple electronic identities that are linked only by their common progenitor, that link, through invisible in the virtual world, is of great significance”. Therefore in my opinion, our identity is singular and we display different parts or aspects of our identity in different environments, whether they be online or offline. If we consider the presences of a friend on a social networking site it is easier to understand that although they exist in the real world and online, they only have the one identity.

      Donath, J. (1999). Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community. In P. Kollock, & M. A. Smith (Ed.), Communities in Cyberspace (pp. 29-59). New York: Routledge. Retrieved from http://smg.media.mit.edu/people/Judith/Identity/IdentityDeception.html

      Ladner, S. (2007). What Designers Can Learn From Facebook’s Beacon: the collision of ‘fronts’. Copernicus Consulting. Retrieved from http://copernicusconsulting.net/what-designers-can-learn-from-facebooks-beacon-the-collision-of-fronts/

      Pearson, E. (2009). All the World Wide Web’s a stage: The performance of identity in online social networks. First Monday, 14(3-2). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/2162/2127

      Posted by Rachel Lester | May 18, 2013, 5:20 pm
      • Hi Rachel, I agree with you. As we add friends, family and work mates to be our ‘facebook friends’, content that may have been targeted at our social group could now be visible to our wider circles. We are a mix of our online and offline self, as much as we are a mix of our work and home-life selves. There are ways to limit this impact but I do not think it can be completely separated from one another as we our one identity as you mentioned.

        Posted by Amanda Curness | May 19, 2013, 3:56 pm
      • Hi Rachel, thanks for your reply. After reading your response I realised that what you said is quite true, that while we may behave differently online and offline, we will always only have one true identity.
        It makes me think of the way that I behave with my friends compared to the way that I behave at work, at work I try to remain professional at all times, while when I am with my friends I know that I can behave how I want, although at the end of the day I am only one person with one identity that just happens to display different aspects of it at different times. And I guess that sums up our online identities, we are all only one person, however many people choose to display a different part of their identity while online.
        Once again great essay and best of luck with the remainder of the course.

        Posted by Sam Moore | May 19, 2013, 7:39 pm
  5. Hi Rachel,
    great paper.

    Being aware of one’s audience when posting things on social media sites is definitely something that everyone should be aware of. I agree that audiences are unpredictable especially when sites such as Facebook constantly change their default privacy settings. You need to constantly keep yourself up to date with them and make sure that your own privacy settings are not compromised.

    And the creation of multiple identities is also a very interesting area that I think raises many questions.

    I wrote a little about “collision of fronts” which is when online identities clash, and I believe that this is something that we all are faced with at some time or another. You might find it interesting. If you get a chance, have a read of my paper and let me know what you think. http://networkconference.netstudies.org/2013/keeping-in-touch-with-our-community-of-friends-is-quick-and-easy-with-web-2-0/

    Congrats again and best of luck for the rest of the conference.


    Posted by Opell | May 17, 2013, 1:32 am
  6. Hi Rachel :)

    I read your conference paper and I can say that it has some really good in-depth research that was done by you of course and it is also a really interesting one. Actually it’s all related to my conference paper as chose a topic from the ‘Identities and Social Networks’ stream as well. I can see that you have focused well on how internet users make use of the Social Networking Website (SNS).

    You mentioned that a reason “why image control is more difficult in online areas is the image that an individual wishes to portray can be impacted by the actions of others within the network.” Actually there was an incident in my country where some mentally affected or retard people stole pictures (bikinis) of girls and women and edited them in such a way that it absolutely tarnished the identity of those persons. Therefore it is indeed a massive issue that image control is becoming more difficult nowadays on SNSs. What do you think the owners of the SNS could do to stop this issue?

    Keshav :)

    Posted by Keshav Ramful | May 17, 2013, 8:57 pm
  7. Hi Keshav,
    Thanks for reading my paper and leaving a comment. I think it is really difficult for the owners of a social networking site to stop people posting false content about other people. The situation is made even more difficult because of the size of many of these networks. There is an interesting article by Ortega, Troyano, Cruz, Vallejo and Enriquez (2012) that suggests that users of a social networking site could rate other users in order to establish who should be trusted within the network. It can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/science/article/pii/S138912861200179X

    Ortega, F. , Troyano, J., Cruz, F., Vallejo, C. And Enriquez, F. (2012). Propagation of trust and distrust for the detection of trolls in a social network. Computer Networks, 56(12). Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/science/article/pii/S138912861200179X

    Posted by Rachel Lester | May 18, 2013, 5:47 pm

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