The Impact of Social Networks and Privacy on Electronic Word-of-Mouth in Facebook: Exploring Gender Differences

Namsu Park, Yoojung Kim


Using a privacy calculus perspective, this study examines how Facebook users’ social networks, privacy concerns, understanding of privacy policies, and privacy protection behaviors influence electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). It further investigates whether gender difference exists in relationships among variables. The results of an online survey of Korean adults (N = 522, 49.4% females) showed that users’ social networks, privacy concerns, and privacy protection behaviors are significant factors in the increase of eWOM. Conversely, understanding privacy policies has no significant impact on eWOM. The findings about gender difference revealed that women, who have more actual friends, were more likely to engage in eWOM than were men, and that women prefer to create eWOM when they have a higher level of privacy protection behavior. Further implications are discussed in light of expanding social networks and effective privacy settings as well as the need for a gender-sensitive social media marketing strategy.


electronic word-of-mouth, privacy concerns, privacy policy, privacy protection and gender

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