From an Authentication Question to a Public Social Event: Characterizing Birthday Sharing on Twitter

Authors

  • Dilara Keküllüoğlu University of Edinburgh
  • Walid Magdy University of Edinburgh
  • Kami Vaniea University of Edinburgh

Keywords:

Organizational and group behavior mediated by social media; interpersonal communication mediated by social media, Qualitative and quantitative studies of social media

Abstract

Date of birth (DOB) has historically been considered as private information and safe to use for authentication, but recent years have seen a shift towards wide public sharing. In this work we characterize how modern social media users are approaching the sharing of birthday wishes publicly online. Over 45 days, we collected over 2.8M tweets wishing happy birthday to 724K Twitter accounts. For 50K accounts, their age was likely mentioned revealing their DOB, and 10% were protected accounts. Our findings show that the majority of both public and protected accounts seem to be accepting of their birthdays and DOB being revealed online by their friends even when they do not have it listed on their profiles. We further complemented our findings through a survey to measure awareness of DOB disclosure issues and how people think about sharing different types of birthday-related information. Our analysis shows that giving birthday wishes to others online is considered a celebration and many users are quite comfortable with it. This view matches the trend also seen in security where the use of DOB in authentication process is no longer considered best practice.

Downloads

Published

2022-05-31

How to Cite

Keküllüoğlu, D., Magdy, W., & Vaniea, K. (2022). From an Authentication Question to a Public Social Event: Characterizing Birthday Sharing on Twitter. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 16(1), 488-499. Retrieved from https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/19309