Research request: incentive to lie on Facebook

I wonder if you can help me.

I am working on a piece of research about the quality of Facebook data for marketers. One of the parameters considered is whether there is an incentive for users to provide false information on Facebook – regarding who you are or what you do.

I don’t mean the opportunity to lie. Rather the perception that you should provide false information – either because you want to avoid a problem or because it will give you access to some sort of benefit.

Can you think of any examples of such an incentive?

Do you know any publications, statistics, etc addressing the incentive to lie on Facebook? Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Research request: incentive to lie on Facebook

  1. Ana

    This is not the greatest example…but maybe it is.

    I have a friend on Facebook who never posts – will not put his picture up on there – and is ‘in the game’ but wont play the game.

    He has two posts in his time line – this one is from his ex-girlfirend:

    “i think you have the wrong birthday in here dude?”

    And this post is from me:

    “Sean not sharing his real info as he thinks its all a conspiracy!!! Thinks Google is spying on him so trying to put them off his scent 🙂 Ah the scent of Sean…”

    These were in 2008 – I think he was well ahead of the game in partial-disclosure

    On a similar note yesterday Skype alerted me of a contacts birthday – the date they had for him was in 1900 – that guy is detail oriented – it will not be a mistake but deliberate.

    I will keep a look out for some better evidence for you



    1. So, people who think that companies are too intrusive?

      I see that, in both cases, people disguised the age. Still about age, there is also the case of the pre-teens who pretend to be 12 years old or more, in order to be able to join FB.


      1. I remember Moira C talking about how she added incorrect details to her Tesco club card to protect her privacy – but Tesco scrubbed that data and replaced it with correct datapoints from another source.

        So a second question is on how ‘the Data Shops’ triangulate their datasets to validate them.

        Purely a hypothesis on my part – Im not currently in that mirky world. But if they can validate the identity anyway it makes a mockery of ID/profile deception by the user.

        What do you think?



      2. It shows that behaviour / transactional data speaks louder than self-reported ID data.

        I am working on a framework to assess the quality of social media data, and it includes triangulation of the type you mention. But I also need to consider each dimension individually, and one of them is whether there is an incentive to lie (I am also considering whether there is an opportunity to do that, which is different).


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