"We are the last generation to know privacy as it was," says Brian Solis, Chief Data Analyst for PeopleBrowsr. "As Facebook moves human connections and society into a more public spotlight, people and the press will push back. But this will move things forward collaboratively. Over time I believe the debate will evolve into a series of productive forums and memes that explore the risks of living in public and the rewards for participation."
Some of PeopleBrowsr's findings from the study:
- Prior to the F8 conference on April 24, privacy tweets hovered between 1,000-3,000 references per day, then spiked to 9,000 on the day of F8
- On April 25 (day after the conference), privacy-related tweets fell to 3,500 – then surged to 7,500 when politicians joined the fray. Around May 25, privacy discussions hit the ceiling in this study with 20,000 unique discussions.
- In terms of context, Facebook dominated the landscape for mentions of #privacy
- Conversations followed media reports
"We see that even on the day when privacy took center stage, the media sensationalized the topic. But the public, at least those on Twitter, did not flood the streets with 140 character picket signs. 9,000 tweets does not seem to account for the millions of Twitter users or the 500 million people who have Facebook accounts," says Solis.