From 'What's Your ASLR' to 'Do You Wanna Go Private?'

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This paper is part of a series examining the role of social networks in the lives of youth living in developing nations. This report focuses on South Africa and presents the results of a quantitative survey conducted on MXit, the most widely used social networking platform in the country. The first section discusses mobile internet use and social networking in the South African context, where computer and broadband internet use is low but access to mobile phones is high. The second section discusses the prevalence of chatting on MXit among adolescents and young people across all demographics in South Africa. The latter sections delve into an understanding of the behaviour of MXit users, including the reasoning behind the customary use of the phrase “Wots ur ASLR?” (What is your Age, Sex, Location and Race?). This paper is the beginning of an in-depth understanding of the digital behaviour and risks faced by MXit users, and may be used to inform future research in this regard.


Akshay Sinha, Gerrit Beger, Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda

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