Tang, D., Chou, D., Drucker, N., Robertson, A., Smith, W.C., Hancock, J.T. (2011). A tale of two languages: strategic self-disclosure via language selection on facebook. Proceedings of the ACM conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2011), 387-390. [Acceptance rate: 26%]


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.