Date of Original Version

2013

Type

Article

Abstract or Description

As social networking sites (SNSs) gain in popularity, instances of regrets following online (over)sharing continue to be reported. In June 2010, a pierogi mascot for the Pittsburgh Pirates was fired because he posted disparaging comments about the team on his Facebook page. More recently, a high school teacher was forced to resign because she posted a picture on Facebook in which she was holding a glass of wine and a mug of beer. These incidents illustrate how, in addition to fostering socialization and interaction between friends and strangers, the ease and immediacy of communication that SNSs make possible can sometimes also negatively impact their users.

In this Article, we summarize empirical research that our team has conducted in the past few years, aimed at understanding what actions people regret having conducted in SNSs, and whether it is possible to help them avoid those regrets without diminishing the value users can extract from participating in these online communities. In particular, this Article is based on qualitative and quantitative studies investigating instances of regret on Facebook and alternatives to prevent it.

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Published In

Ohio State Law Journal, 74, 1307-1335.