Monday, 9 January 2017

Why Facebook and Twitter can be a dangerous place to be ...



I spend way too much time scrolling my Facebook news feed. I know but I am working on it. I am trying…

I would like to delete my account as a good resolution for this year. But when you live abroad, it's an easy way to keep in touch with friends and family around the world. You don’t necessarily need to send an email to see how life has been for them. Though I think the word ‘social’ lost its true meaning, as there is no interaction; you passively observe.

Lately, I reconnected with a friend I met in China. She and her family went to the same beach spot as us but at a sister hotel one week after we left. We briefly checked in with each other and were happy to learn that everybody is doing well. That’s the positive aspect of social network platforms.

BUT true danger cannot be ignored when you decide to build a social presence.

Here is why…

I felt nauseous as I read an article about a French feminist. Here for the French readers 

Do you remember the mass sexual assaults reported last year in Germany, mainly in Cologne? In a tweet, she asked people who accused the migrants to be behind the sexual assaults to unleash their hate somewhere else.

A journalist retweeted her and it spread like a wildfire. She received many death treats and calls to sexually assault her in a very disrespectful way. No doubt the tweets to her intention were nauseous.

She filed a complaint that lasted a year to eventually result in a dismissed case! Mainly because Facebook and Twitter didn't want to disclose data that would help to identify and arrest people behind those hateful tweets.

Deon Meyer the South African author said in a recent interview to a French paper (Le Point) how the word friend lost its value with Facebook and how the social network platform allows cowards and tyrants to freely express hatred and get away with it. Well said!

So let me allow using this from the Huffington Post:

Joe Biden - Huffington Post

Yes, Facebook and Twitter are new weapons to hurt people in vicious and cowardly forms. 

So a mother cannot post a photo of her breastfeeding her baby – and we know only twisted mind sees sexual content in breastfeeding – but racists, rapists and misogynists can discharge their hate and call for hate as they wish?

Being the most popular social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter should set an example and tell their users there is no room for hatred and verbal violence of any kind and they should fight online bullying from the front lines.    

Until then, my recommendation is to check your confidentiality settings on both platforms:

Facebook:
  1. Log on your account
  2. Go to settings on the top right, click on the downward triangle near the locker
  3. Then click on Privacy on the top left side
  4. And edit who can see your posts, who can contact you etc. 

Twitter:
  1. Log on your account
  2. On the top right, click on your profile picture and then on settings
  3. Then click on security and privacy on the top left
  4. And edit photo tagging, tweet privacy etc. 

I had to create a Twitter account for the purpose of my online studies but I don’t use it at all. Mostly because twit is synonym of idiot… I’d be a fool using a tool that clearly claims its users are idiots.

Happy Monday!


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