Analysing Privacy Leakage of Life Events on Twitter

Dilara Kekulluoglu, Walid Magdy, Kami Vaniea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

People share a wide variety of information on Twitter, including the events in their lives, without understanding the size of their audience. While some of these events can be considered harmless such as getting a new pet, some of them can be sensitive such as gender-transition experiences. Every interaction increases the visibility of the tweets and even if the original tweet is protected or deleted, public replies to it will stay in the platform. These replies might signal the events in the original tweet which cannot be managed by the event subject. In this paper, we aim to understand the scope of life event disclosures for those with both public and protected (private) accounts. We collected 635k tweets with the phrase “happy for you” over four months. We found that roughly 10% of the tweets collected were celebrating a mentioned user’s life event, ranging from marriage to surgery recovery. 8% of these tweets were directed at protected accounts. The majority of mentioned users also interacted with these tweets by liking, retweeting, or replying.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWebSci '20: 12th ACM Conference on Web Science
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450379892
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2020
Event12th ACM Web Science Conference 2020 - Southampton, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 202010 Jul 2020
Conference number: 12


Conference12th ACM Web Science Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleWebSci 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Privacy
  • Online Social Networks
  • Twitter
  • Major Life Events


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