Western Europeans are among the world’s most suspicious users of social networking websites while Asians are the most duplicitous, a study made by Belgian firm InSites Consulting has found, according to EU Observer
Focusing on the biggest player in the field, Facebook, which is used by just over half of all internet surfers, the survey noted that 47% of people in southern Europe and 44% in western Europe have “little trust” that Facebook will not pass on their private data to third parties.
Eastern Europeans, on a mistrust level of 23%, are much less cynical, on a par with people in North America (26%). But Facebook users in Asia (11%), the fastest-growing social networking region, are by far the most guileless. As a result, western Europeans are much more likely to reveal personal details in real life (79%) than people in Asia (27%), who feel happier to spill the beans online.
Meanwhile, 13% of users worldwide have a “far-from-real” online persona. The levels of internet posturing are the highest on the Netlog, Hi5, Twitter and MySpace websites. Professional networking site LinkedIn has the lowest level of out-and-out liars on 5 percent.
The survey profiled users in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Germany, Romania, the US, Brazil, Australia, Russia and China.
It also found that the typical social networking “addict,” who logs in on average 123 times a month, is a single, childless 18-to-44-year-old woman who accesses the internet through her mobile phone.