Facebook Users Are Getting Meaner

Facebook users are becoming decidedly unfriendly, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project study released Friday.

An increasing number of social network users are tightening up their privacy settings , "pruning" their personal profiles and unfriending people, according to the Pew study.

About two-thirds of Internet users use social networks, and a huge percentage of them are getting more strict about letting others access their Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages.

The Pew telephone survey of 2,277 American adults found that 63% of social network users have deleted friends, 44% have deleted comments that friends made on their profiles and 37% have taken their names off photos that had been tagged to identify them.

The study found that 67% of women have deleted people from their network, while 58% of men have done the same.

Pew said 67% of women say they set their social networking privacy controls at the highest setting, while 48% of men said the same.

Regardless of gender, 58% of social networking users say their profile is set so only friends can view it. Another 19% allow friends of friends to see their profile and 20% set their profiles as public.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin , or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com .

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