Regional Use of Social Networking Tools
Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute Pittsburgh United States
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Social networking services SNSs empower users to communicate, connect, and engage with others across the Internet. These tools have exploded in use worldwide. This paper explores the regional use of these tools to determine if participation with a subset of SNSs can be applied to identify a users country of origin. A better understanding of regional SNS behavior provides a more comprehensive profile of country-specific users, supporting computer network defense CND efforts and computer network attacks CNA attribution. The conclusions are as follows Existing open source reporting yields an understanding of the market penetration of social networking tools for various regionsand countries. Preferences for social networking tools have become somewhat universal. Irrespective of location, users are gravitating towards the same tools. The native social networking services of countries in Northern Asia and Eastern Europe have remained relevant. Thesetools can be leveraged as discriminators to resolve a users location. Reporting provided evidence to suggest that mobile devices influence SNS selection and promote social networking adoption. Cultural factors provide insights into the regional usage of social networking tools, but additional research and quantitative analysis are required to add fidelity to the employment of cultural indicators in deriving a users country of origin. Which social networking tools are used is only part of the equation when resolving a users location. Other variables should be incorporated to create an informed assessment of the social media outputs geographic origin.