Users Deceive Social Networks To Protect Selves

    September 18, 2007

Most people would be reluctant to provide a stranger with their personal information, and it seems that social networks – as warm and welcome as they’re supposed to make us feel – can produce the same reaction.  So, according to an emedia survey, people lie.

Users Deceive Social Networks To Protect Selves
Users Deceive Social Networks To Protect Selves

This isn’t a comprehensive, end-all conclusion – a press release states, “Over 100 individuals replied” to the survey, and that’s not anything to brag about.  Still, emedia believes “almost one third of users (31%) have already entered false information about themselves to protect their identity.”

We’re probably not talking about listing Tool as your favorite band when you’re more of a Metallica fan; perhaps phone numbers, addresses, and birth dates have been faked.  But since so many parts of a profile can be left blank, are there really that many logical ways to deceive social networks?

In any event, emedia also uncovered some statistics about the popularity of different networks.  “The top five websites respondents have heard off are MySpace (89%), YouTube (88%), Friends Reunited (81%), Facebook (73%) and Bebo (51%).  But the most popular sites amongst users are Friends Reunited (47%), YouTube (42%), MySpace (39%), Facebook (26%) and LinkedIn (19%).”

To explain those results, I should probably mention that emedia is based in the UK.  And I should also give a hat tip to Marketing Pilgrim’s Andy Beal, who first discovered the survey.