47% of Facebook Walls contain profanity

Summary:Around 47 percent of users have profanity on their Facebook Wall. Do you care?

Social media monitoring service Reppler launched over a month ago, and has been collecting information from users' Facebook Walls ever since. After analyzing data from over 30,000 users, the company has made the following observations:

  • 47 percent of our users have profanity on their Facebook Wall.
  • 80 percent of our users who have profanity on their Facebook Wall have at least one post/comment with profanity from a friend.
  • 56 percent of the posts/comments with profanity on a user's Facebook Wall come from friends.
  • Users are twice as likely to use profanity in a post on their Facebook Wall, versus a comment. Whereas friends are twice as likely to use profanity in a comment on a user's Facebook Wall, versus a post.
  • The most common profane word is a derivation of f*ck, the second most common profane word is sh*t, and b*tch is a distant third.

Reppler argues that the prevalence of profanity on Facebook is something that you need to look out for, especially given that profiles are coming under increasingly closer scrutiny by employers, schools, and other parties that may want to indirectly learn more about you. They are all looking for professionalism, or lack thereof.

While 44 percent of content with profanity can be limited or completely eliminated by simply watching what you write, the rest comes from your friends. This means that you don't have complete control over the language used on your profile, and your friends can have an impact on how others perceive you. Of course, you can always clean your Wall from any such posts, but that's a hassle, and by then it could be too late.

The reason Reppler has published this data is simple: it has a vested interest in doing so. If you sign up for the service, it will help keep your Facebook image "clean" by making you aware of inappropriate content and showing how others could perceive you. It also makes sure to highlight your public information that should be private and flagging malicious links that could result in malware, spam, and so on.

My Wall currently does not include any profanity. That being said, I have definitely sworn on my status before. I simply felt that it was necessary at the time.

What are your thoughts on profanity in general? I personally believe that swearing and cussing are part of every language and I am not offended if someone uses profanity. If profanity is used to insult me, then I am just as offended as when "normal" words are used to insult me.

I have one last inquiry. How did you feel when I censored the three words of profanity above? Would you have preferred if I didn't or would you have rather I avoided including that statistic completely?

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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