STUDY: Privacy Concerns Are The Top Reason Why People Quit Facebook

By David Cohen 

When people quit Facebook, what are the reasons behind it? The University of Vienna analyzed the answers of more than 600 people who had pulled the plug on the social network, and privacy concerns were the most cited reason, by far.

Mail Online reported on the study, with the university finding that the top four reasons for quitting Facebook were:

  • Privacy concerns: 48.3 percent
  • General dissatisfaction: 13.5 percent
  • Shallow conversations: 12.6 percent
  • Fear of becoming addicted: 6 percent

The University of Vienna study found that Facebook users who left the social network tended to be older and male, and Psychology Prof. Stefan Stieger told Mail Online:

It could be possible 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.

And Brenda Wiederhold, editor of journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking, told Mail Online:

Given high-profile stories such as WikiLeaks and the recent NSA surveillance reports, individual citizens are becoming increasingly more wary of cyber-related privacy concerns.

With photo tags, profiling, and Internet dependency issues, research such as Prof. Stieger’s is very timely.

Readers: Do you know anyone who quit Facebook? If so, why did they leave the social network?