The post anachronism: The temporal dimension of Facebook privacy
This paper reports on two studies that investigate empirically how privacy preferences about the audience and emphasis of Facebook posts change over time. In a 63-participant longitudinal study, participants gave their audience and emphasis preferences for up to ten of their Facebook posts in the week they were posted, again one week later, and again one month later. In a 234-participant retrospective study, participants expressed their preferences about posts made in the past week, as well as one year prior. We found that participants did not want content to fade away wholesale with age; the audience participants wanted to be able to access posts remained relatively constant over time. However, participants did want a handful of posts to become more private over time, as well as others to become more visible. Participants' predictions about how their preferences would change correlated poorly with their actual changes in preferences over time, casting doubt on ideas for setting an expiration date for content. Although older posts were seen as less relevant and had often been forgotten, participants found value in these posts for reminiscence. Surprisingly, we observed few concerns about privacy or self-presentation for older posts. We discuss our findings' implications for retrospective privacy mechanisms. © 2013 ACM.