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SOCIAL NETWORKING AND PRIVACY

Social networking privacy concerns are relevant issues in today's world. No matter how careful you are about the information you choose to share, it is possible for your private conversations to be distributed worldwide.

ARTICLES | BY K.K.BROWN

OCT 20, 2015

Social networking privacy concerns are relevant issues in today's world. No matter how careful you are about the information you choose to share, it is possible for your private conversations to be distributed worldwide.

Think about this: Once you publish something online, whether it is a text document or a video, it is in the public domain. It can be redistributed again and again without your permission for years to come.

Even copyright laws seem to have little bearing on what goes on over the internet unless money is involved. Which is more important to people, their reputations or their money?

Becoming the butt of a rumor or a joke might seem like a minor annoyance until you read about the suicides caused by those rumors. Having your identity stolen is more than an annoyance. It costs people thousands of dollars annually to repair their lives once they become victims, and there are no documented cases of people committing suicide due to identity theft.

Being embarrassed has a detrimental effect on a person's self-esteem. An adult can probably handle the embarrassment better than a teenager. Most of the documented suicides caused by cyberbullying or internet harassment involved teenagers.  This is one of the social issues that we all have to deal with unless we want to avoid the internet entirely.

Although you might be quick to share moments from  your private life on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, you might hesitate if you think about who is going to see this? Its about numbers. You might share a post, a link or a video with 50 friends. Each of those friends has the ability to share what you have posted with their 50 friends and so on and so on. In a matter of hours, over 100,000 people could be reading your post.

Advertising and marketing firms  have been taking advantage of this phenomenon for years now. They call it viral marketing. So, that private moment you shared with your husband/wife/girlfriend (who, incidentally is an extremely private person) just went viral and you'll have to deal with the decision you made and the ensuing drama that naturally follows.

Scientists consider internet privacy (or the lack of it) one of today's serious social issues. There are some things that people share intentionally, and they only have themselves to blame when it falls in the wrong hands. Other things could be distributed without your permission. Practically every cell phone doubles as a video recorder. People have the ability to upload videos directly from their phones to Facebook or other websites. Has it become necessary to constantly be on guard?  Short answer: Yes!

At one time, only the celebrities had to worry about reporters and paparazzi. Today, ordinary college students are sometimes the subjects of unflattering photos and videos that are posted online. If they know who posted it, they can ask that it be removed. But what if the other person doesn't comply? That photo showing a twisted drunken face will be on the Internet for other people (a potential employer?), to see and comment on.  That seemingly funny joke is not a joke if no one is laughing and the situation is now serious.  The ability to choose and make your own decision about what is shown to the world is gone.

Sociologists believe there is a need for legislation concerning social networking privacy and all of the things that we say and do online. The laws would help, but public awareness is just as important.  That's something to tell your friends.

Image: Anders Jilden @Unsplash.com

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Abstract: Social networks have become a part of human life. Starting from sharing information like text, photos, messages, many have started share latest news, and news related pictures in the Media domain, question papers, assignments, and workshops in Education domain, online survey, marketing, and targeting customers in Business domain, and jokes, music, and videos in Entertainment domain. Because of its usage by Internet surfers in all possible ways, even wee would mention the social networking media as the current Internet culture. While enjoying the information sharing on Social Medias, yet it requires a great deal for security and privacy. The users’ information that are to be kept undisclosed, should be made private.

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