Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Skalski, Paul

Subject Headings

Facebook (Electronic resource), Online social networks, Communication and technology, Stalking, Information behavior, Facebook, stalking, creeping, social network, browsing, information, seeking, cyber-stalking


One of the fastest growing modes of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Social Network Sites (SNS) are revolutionizing the way that people communicate andacquire interpersonal information. The largest of these is Facebook, with more than 500 million users (, 2011). A new lexicon of terms has evolved to describebehaviors specific to Facebook, including the term "Facebook stalking," a term which is used to describe a specific type of browsing behavior on Facebook. This exploratory research study attempts to define and measure "Facebook stalking," a behavior that has anumber of interpersonal and network communication implications.Using previous research as a guide, the terms Facebook Anonymous Information Seeking (FAIS) and Facebook Anonymous Information Seeking with a Conscious SocialNorm Violation (FAIS-CSNV) have been invented as more precise names for the behavior behind Facebook stalking. Survey data from a Facebook snowball sample with more than 1,000 respondents is used to study the relationships between FAIS, FAISCSNV and other traits. Based on the survey data, FAIS and FAIS-CSNV have significantstatistical relationships with gossip, social comparison orientation, interpersonal curiosity,tendency towards voyeuristic behavior and age. Descriptive results establish that FAIS and FAIS-CSNV are common, well-known behaviors, and open-ended survey results offer further clarity on the way the term "Facebook stalking" is being used by current Facebook users of all ages. The findings of this study will add to the body of knowledge on Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) as well as afford an opportunity for further research in understanding human behavior and social norms in the context of SNS

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Communication Commons