- Reports claim Facebook recently lost 11 million users in the U.S and UK
- The majority of people quitting the site blamed concerns over privacy
- Other reasons included fear of addiction, and shallow conversations
Facebook users are quitting the social network in droves due to privacy concerns and fear of internet addiction, according to new research.
Increasing numbers are taking part in what's been dubbed 'virtual identity suicide' and deleting their accounts.
Analysis of more than 600 people, by researchers from the University of Vienna, found that data protection issues and social pressure to add friends were also among the reasons for leaving.
Others quoted shallow conversations, general dissatisfaction and loss of interest in the site.
Facebook users are quitting the social network in droves due to privacy concerns and fear of internet addiction, according to research from Vienna University. Analysis of more than 600 people found that data protection issues and social pressure to add friends were also among the reasons for leaving
REASONS FOR QUITTING FACEBOOK
Privacy concerns: 48.3 per cent
General dissatisfaction: 13.5 per cent
Shallow conversations: 12.6 per cent
Fear of becoming addicted: 6 per cent
Earlier this year research showed Facebook had lost nine million monthly users in the United States and two million in Britain.
Psychologist Stefan Stieger from the university recorded each of the 600 participants' responses to assessment measures based on their level of concern over various issues.
Those who stopped using social media were more concerned about privacy, had higher addiction scores and tended to be more conscientious.
Professor Stieger said: 'It could be possible that personality traits influence the likelihood of quitting one's Facebook account indirectly via privacy concerns and Internet addiction.
'In this case, the concern about one's privacy and Internet addiction propensity would not be directly in charge for quitting one's Facebook account, but would function as mediators of the underlying personality traits.
Quitters were older, on average, and more likely to be male. Reasons for quitting Facebook were mainly privacy concerns at 48.3 per cent, general dissatisfaction at 13.5 per cent, negative aspects of online friends, 12.6 per cent, and fear of getting addicted at 6 per cent
THE GADGET THAT CAN WEAN PEOPLE OFF FACEBOOK
A pair of procrastinators from MIT recently came up with a shocking way to tackle their Facebook habits - a keyboard device that electrocutes them when they spend too long on the site.
The Pavlov Poke gadget sits under the wrist of a computer user and monitors which sites and applications are used.
If the user is meant to be working, but keeps getting distracted by Facebook, for example, or spends too long chatting on forums, the device sends an electric shock.
Compared to the sample of those who continued to use Facebook, the quitters were older, on average, and more likely to be male.
Reasons for quitting Facebook were mainly privacy concerns (48.3 per cent), followed by a general dissatisfaction (13.5 per cent), negative aspects of online friends (12.6 per cent) and the feeling of getting addicted (6.0 per cent).
Brenda Wiederhold, editor of the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking which published the findings, said: 'Given high profile stories such as WikiLeaks and the recent NSA surveillance reports, individual citizens are becoming increasingly more wary of cyber-related privacy concerns.
'With photo tags, profiling, and internet dependency issues, research such as Professor Stieger's is very timely.'