Ameera Mansour är doktorand i biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap vid Högskolan i Borås och kommer att tala på Forskardagen som vi arrangerar 1 december.

För närvarande är hon gästforskare vid Institutionen för kommunikation och medier, Lunds universitet. Ameera Mansour forskar om slutna Facebook-grupper. Hur hög är integriteten i dessa grupper? Och hur säkra är informationen inom dessa grupper?

Why do research about people’s privacy practices on Facebook?
– In my view, in the age of social networking sites, privacy is an important matter that needs our full attention. This is very important because the use of these sites as communication and information tools is very persuasive in our contemporary digital society. Private Facebook groups, for instance, which I primarily focus on in my research, offer amazing opportunities for people to connect with peers who share common interests or concerns to exchange information and support on private topics that they may lack support on offline, or may feel uncomfortable to discuss in public. But sharing information on Facebook may carry various degrees of risks. So, in my view it is very important to understand how people think about, and manage, their privacy in Facebook groups and whether they have any strategies or tools to help them protect their privacy.

What have you learned?
– In discussions of privacy management online, the focus is often placed on how individual users manage their information and protect their privacy. But on Facebook we share information with and about others. Others share information about us. We read information shared by others. The information we share is visible, read, documented, and can be used by expected and unexpected others. What we have learned from our study is that privacy management on Facebook is very complicated and it requires a collaborative effort and shared responsibility among different people to protect and respect each other’s privacy.

What do you want the participants to take with them after listening to you?
– I hope that the participants will find it useful and interesting to hear about my research results on the privacy risks and challenges people face in seeking and sharing information and support on Facebook. Another hope is that the participants will gain new knowledge from my presentation, knowledge that they can use in their personal life and work activities. I want to encourage them to engage in further dialogue around the role libraries can play in helping to protect privacy by increasing people’s awareness and understanding of the potential benefits and risks of disclosing information on social networking sites.

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