Regulating privacy in interpersonal online communication: The role of self-disclosure

Franziska M. Thon, Regina Jucks


Establishing privacy is a key demand in interpersonal online communication. Do people regulate their privacy through self-disclosure regarding specific interlocutors and privacy contexts? One hundred and fifty-seven participants answered an inquiry in a 2 (communication situation: public vs. private) × 2 (interlocutor's self-disclosure: high vs. low) × 2 (inquiry length: short vs. long) between-participants design. Results showed that participants were aware of the degree of privacy in the context and sensitive to the interlocutor's self-disclosure. However, they did not adapt their communication behavior to this awareness. We conclude that awareness of privacy is necessary, but insufficient for regulating privacy.


Social interaction; Online communication; Privacy; Self-disclosure


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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896