Introducing the biggest dangers of social media
Not so long ago the phrase ‘social media’ didn’t even exist. Now, for many of us, life has become: Eat. Sleep. Check timelines and see what was going on when we are sleeping.
Facebook alone now has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide. This changing world has brought new opportunities but also pitfalls. Every week there seems to be a news headline about someone who has got into trouble through social media. So what are some of the biggest dangers and how can you avoid them?
Trolling is writing malicious comments to upset other people. Robbie knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end. Trolls can find themselves in trouble. In 2012 student Liam Stacey was jailed after making racist remarks on Twitter about footballer Fabrice Muamba. He later apologised but said he paid a huge price after becoming a national hate figure.
When you post content online you can never completely sure what will happen next. While some people dream of going viral – others have discovered they can get that kind of attention for the wrong reasons.
In 2012, Lindsey Stone posted a photo of herself to her personal Facebook page mocking a sign calling for “respect and silence” at a cemetery in Virginia, where over 400,000 US soldiers are buried.
She said it was intended as a joke. Others found it offensive and the image quickly went viral. Stone received angry messages, phone calls and even death threats. She was fired from her job and left to pick up the pieces of her life.
Not Thinking Ahead
Every time you write something on social media it’s got the potential of being around forever. Even if you delete it someone else may have downloaded, recorded or screen-grabbed it. You never know when it might catch up with you.
In 2015, Huw Thomas, a Labour election candidate for Ceredigion, had to apologise for comments he’d made on a forum nine years earlier.
Digital communications expert Craig McGill, who is based in Glasgow, says: “Comments don’t need to be seen by millions to have an impact. People have lost their jobs because a boss spotted something. Some companies now trawl through 10 pages of Google search results when looking at candidates, so that can involve some far-flung material from the past.”
Some would say you are only ever one tweet or comment away from getting sacked.