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Photo Publication Behavior of Adolescents on Facebook


A persistent theme in Facebook concerns publishing photographs. This chapter aims to describe and analyze adolescent photo publication behavior on Facebook in terms of the young person’s age, gender, privacy settings, and the sexting aspect. Collected dates are based on an online survey, which was conducted with 199 adolescent participants (aged 13 to 20 years old). Main constituents were prototypical pictures of 11 general picture categories, such as Portrait or Sexiness. Survey participants rated whether they would 1) choose such pictures for their self-presentation and 2) tolerate them for their friends’ use as profile pictures, cover pictures, photos in their timeline, or a photo attached to a private message. The results lead us to conclude that, in general, users’ tolerance for friends’ usages of photos is higher than for their own self-presentation. We found that the most often used and tolerated picture category for cover pictures is a photo without any actual people in it. For all other picture types on Facebook, portraits are the type most often used and tolerated. Teens are quite careful regarding nudity. We found no adolescent willing to post photos with naked bodies on his/her timeline, and only 2 % would even distribute such images via a private message. In hindsight, it is clear our survey, conducted online, and the results it provided demonstrate our developed research model with the six dimensions User, Use, Privacy, Sexting, Picture Category, and Picture/Photo Publication Behavior works well in studying adolescents’ photo publishing behavior on Facebook.

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Preferred Citation
Dorsch, Isabelle; Ilhan, Aylin: Photo Publication Behavior of Adolescents on Facebook. In: Knautz, Kathrin;Baran, Katsiaryna S.: Facets of Facebook: Use and Users. Berlin: de Gruyter 2016, S. 45-71. DOI: 10.25969/mediarep/11947.
 author = {Dorsch, Isabelle and Ilhan, Aylin},
 title = {Photo Publication Behavior of Adolescents on Facebook},
 year = 2016,
 doi = {10.25969/mediarep/11947},
 editor = {Knautz, Kathrin and Baran, Katsiaryna S.},
 address = {Berlin},
 booktitle = {Facets of Facebook: Use and Users},
 pages = {45--71},
 publisher = {de Gruyter},
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