Half of Brits have used people search sites and social networks to spy on former partners and enemies, according to research of over 1700 members of the British public.
Research carried out by the world’s most popular people search engine has found that 1 in 2 people have searched for an ex or somebody they dislike via social networks.
Women were more likely to search for exes, with 62% admitting that they had on at least one occasion used the internet to look for an ex-partner. A further 46% of men admitted to the same.
The research was conducted by people search site, yasni, in a bid to understand who people search for online, and why. 97% of people have searched for themselves online via search engines and people search websites in a bid to find out just how much information is online about them.
Expectedly, the results showed that 96% of people have searched for friends and family online, although just under one in two, 46%, admitted to searching for people they claimed to dislike on people search and social network sites.
The third most common people search online is for celebrities and public figures, with 93% of people claiming to have searched on social networks and search engines for a well-known individual. When participant responses were broken down, the over 30s were much less likely to search for famous people via search engines and on social networks than younger more fame obsessed counterparts; 86% and 100% respectively.
An astounding 54% of respondents had searched for an ex-partner online. When asked ‘If you have searched for an ex-partner online, have you searched for that ex-partner on more than one occasion?’, over a quarter of people agreed, meaning that one in four people have used online channels to check up on ex-lovers more than once.
When asked ‘If you have searched for an ex-partner online, what were your reasons?’, curiosity was the majority answer, followed by jealousy, with 57% and 21% respectively. A mere 9% answered to the option ‘Because I knew I wouldn’t be caught’.
When broken down regionally, women in Newcastle are more likely to stalk an ex online. Percentages of women who have searched for exes at least once by region: Newcastle 72%; Liverpool 68%; London 68%; Leeds 65%; Edinburgh 64%.
Steffen Ruehl, CEO of yasni, said: “Curiosity is an interesting thing. It is human nature to investigate. It can make people search for people they may dislike, or people they have had personal relationships with in the past. The fact that so many Brits use the internet and services like ours to provide them with undetectable access to other people’s lives is a fact of today’s online society.
“The only way to ensure people do not access personal information about your life is to ensure that social network profiles are set to private and that any information about yourself online is hidden or deleted. Today’s society is intent on using the internet as a medium through which to broadcast personal details, which means that it has become increasingly easy to find information.”