City Research Online

Defining User Risk in Social Networking Services

Haynes, D. & Robinson, L. (2015). Defining User Risk in Social Networking Services. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 67(1), pp. 94-115. doi: 10.1108/ajim-07-2014-0087


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the risks faced by users of online social networking services (SNSs) in the UK and to develop a typology of risk that can be used to assess regulatory effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach – An initial investigation of the literature revealed no detailed taxonomies of risk in this area. Existing taxonomies were reviewed and merged with categories identified in a pilot survey and expanded in purposive sample survey directed at the library and information services (LIS) community in the UK.

Findings – Analysis of the relationships between different risk categories yielded a grouping of risks by their consequences. This aligns with one of the objectives of regulation, which is to mitigate risks.

Research limitations/implications – This research offers a tool for evaluation of different modes of regulation of social media.

Practical implications – Awareness of the risks associated with use of online SNSs and wider social media contributes to the work of LIS professionals in their roles as: educators; intermediaries; and users of social media. An understanding of risk also informs the work of policy makers and legislators responsible for regulating access to personal data.

Originality/value – A risk-based view of regulation of personal data on social media has not been attempted in such a comprehensive way before.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Publisher Keywords: Social media, Risk, Regulation, Privacy, Social Networking Services
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Library & Information Science
SWORD Depositor:
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