Saturday, 2 March 2013

# 35 (2013) The Social Media Stalker

We are all aware that social media is a minefield of privacy issues and that to a degree everything is accessible. Or, at least, we should be.

Even when we know we have to 'friend' people on Facebook or we can monitor our followers on Twitter many of us do not check our privacy settings to be sure we're not getting unwanted attention from individuals or companies.

It also pays to be a bit savvy when you're running a business or making certain people or companies the subject of your blog posts or status updates. Because you never know when it might become an issue.

That employers will look for you on social media when you apply for a job is a fact. That your university may well be watching you years after you graduate is a fact. That an ex may be trolling your latest photographs is creepy but also a fact. But let's face it, these are not unexpected scenarios.

All social media platforms are able to give you some protection against unwanted stalkers but it's remarkable how many people do not use these settings to their full capacity. The number of times I have been able to view the Facebook profiles of people I am not friends with, is worrying.

Even Twitter has settings that allow you to get follower requests rather than letting anyone follow you. You can also restrict your Tweets to your approved followers only.

If you're running a blog or Facebook business page things are a little different. I try to keep business and personal profiles separate and I also try to operate a business minded policy when posting anything under my company name no matter how tempting it might be to slate a company who has wronged me or I think needs taking down a peg or two. It can be more difficult to restrict your followers and once it's in the public domain it's hard to retract a comment completely.

I am currently very tempted to write about a certain establishment which grates on me but I am in two minds about how to go about it in a professional way that means I can't be accused of targeting them. I believe that what I have to say has valid points for discussion and I don't want it to come across as a witch hunt.

Research your subject and try to leave your emotions to the side in these instances. Take a step back. An impulsive comment now could cost you dearly later on.


No comments:

Post a Comment