"It's not exactly prominent or direct, but it's there": Understanding Strategies for Sensitive Disclosure Online

Annika Pinch, Jeremy Birnholtz, Ashley Kraus, Kathryn Macapagal, David Andrew Moskowitz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Sharing sensitive information online, such as one's sexual identity or medical information, can be a complex decision. Many people do not share sensitive information out of fear of being stigmatized, yet sharing can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. This study examines two instances of sensitive disclosure within the SAA (same-sex attracted adolescents) community: people revealing their LGBTQ+ status on social media and revealing the use of an anti-HIV medication, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), on both social media and dating platforms. By examining these two disclosure decisions, we can better understand how designers can support sensitive disclosure. Ultimately, results suggest that designing for disclosure doesn't mean designing to get people to explicitly disclose, but rather enabling users to subtly communicate sensitive information. Moreover, rationales for disclosing sensitive information play out differently between social media and dating platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2021 - Conference Companion Publication of the 2021 Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450384797
StatePublished - Oct 23 2021
Event24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Oct 23 2021Oct 27 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW


Conference24th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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