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A tale of two languages: strategic self-disclosure via language selection on facebook


In this paper, we analyze the way in which international Facebook users who had recently moved to the United States used different languages to selectively self-disclose to their old (native-language) and new (English-speaking) social circles. We found significantly more intimate self-disclosure, covering a broader range of cognitive and emotional topics, in native-language status updates compared to updates in English. Self-disclosure was also more positive in English. These patterns support our hypotheses that users exploit language barriers to serve different self-presentational goals for different social circles and generate implications for SNS privacy control.

D. Tang
D. Chou
N. Drucker
A. Robertson
W.C. Smith
J.T. Hancock
Proceedings of the ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2011), 387-390. [Acceptance rate: 26%]
Publication Date
March 23, 2011