True or false?

I couldn’t imagine the day when we’d be living in times when truth and lies would be challenging to discern. More confusing is how people today use/abuse social media in order to sow more incertitude.

The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal that’s dragging Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook Team for using data analytics to promote a political thrust is an example of a social platform gone awry.

Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm which combines data mining, data brokerage and data analysis to change audience behaviour. Established in 2013 as an offshoot of the SCL (Strategic Communications Laboratory) group, the core business of CA is to influence the outcome of politics.

Recently, CA has been at the center of criminal investigation when the New York Times and The Observer reported the data breach of Facebook and CA, wherein the company (CA) used for political purposes personal information acquired by FB users, by an external researcher who claimed to be collecting it for academic research.

The breach in privacy of FB users has questioned the role of social media platforms at a time where digital technology plays a significant role in the lives of everyone in this planet.

Once upon a space, I thought that my FB wall was a safe space. You wouldn’t think that posting a rant or a celebration or a loss, would even be a public concern or outcry (however you would like to put the scenario), just for having your own opinion. It is, after all, your wall and your opinion.

But come to think about it, why would anyone give you free space to share if there wasn’t anything they’d want in return? That’s right. There are no freebies in this world. And what better source of tapping at the core of privacy than allowing social media access to it. After all, when the platform goes “viral”, the data that is mined would be priceless. Data is power!

What began as a tech tool for a couple of thousand Harvard students in 2004 evolved as rapidly as digital technology boomed. As of this writing, there are more than 2.2 Billion users monthly for Facebook.

And while social media has enraptured its subscribers as a means for reaching out and sharing opinions, pages, rants, raves, and commerce, it has also reared an ugly head. Fake news, hate speeches, rudeness, inappropriate sex and violence have enticed the gullible buffoons to “like” and “share” ideologies and ludicrous behaviour.

Social media has, unfortunately, lately been a forbearer of malice and disarray.

Here are a few tips on “posting” on social media platforms:

1. The less you reveal, the more people wonder.

While shoutouts may vary from a cause for celebration to letting people know of a loss, managing the kind of “shouts” are important. There are shoutouts that should actually be “shut ups”.

2. It’s not the number of “followers” that make you better than anyone else.

Yep. That’s right. You can have an army of idiots or trolls who follow you, but it gives no special meaning in life if the numbers don’t reflect the kind of person that can be trusted as a purveyor of truth rather than lies. Remember, Hitler had millions of followers, Jesus had only 12.

3. Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.

Social media platforms are meant to ignite the flames. Make sure that the content you provide speak of your level of maturity. You don’t have to broadcast your emotions in order to gain sympathy. Don’t be a “meme”. Unless you have no better thing to do in life.

4. Be cautious of people whose actions don’t match their words.

And yes, just because you asked me to be your friend, I truly apologize if I don’t accept it. After all, if I don’t know you that well or I don’t know you at all, I don’t want you prying into my wall or space. Be careful with people who ask to follow you just because you share common “friends”. Not all are who they say they are.

This online NETIQUETTE is a gentle reminder on what we write, post, and share.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s