February 25th, 2012 08:29 AM
WASHINGTON — Women are more likely than men to delete friends from their online social networks and tend to choose more restrictive privacy settings, according to a study published on Friday.
The study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project also found that men were nearly twice as likely as women to have posted content online that they later regret.
Sixty-three percent of social network users have deleted people from their friend lists, according to the study, up from 56 percent in 2009.
Sixty-seven percent of women who maintain a social networking profile said they have deleted friends compared with 58 percent of men.
When it comes to privacy, 58 percent of social network users set their profile to private so that only friends can see it.
Nineteen percent allow friends of friends to view their profile and 20 percent keep their profile public.
Women are significantly more likely than men — by a 67 percent to 48 percent margin — to set their profile to private, the study said.
As for the ease of using privacy controls, those surveyed were evenly divided.
Forty-eight percent said they have some difficulty with privacy controls while 49 percent said they did not experience any difficulty.
The study found that men are nearly twice as likely as women to have posted updates, comments, photos or videos that they later regret.
Eleven percent of social network users say they have posted content they regret with 15 percent of men saying they have done so and just eight percent of women.
Ninety-three percent of social network users surveyed said they have a profile on Facebook, up from 73 percent in 2009.
The popularity of rival Myspace continues to wane, the study found. Twenty-three percent of social network users said they have a Myspace profile, down from 48 percent in 2009.
While just six percent of social network users said they had a presence on Twitter in 2009, 11 percent are now using the short-messaging service.
The survey of 2,277 adults was conducted in April and May of last year and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.