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Bad press for social media

by Bruno Deshayes on 18 Mar 2016 permalink
As social media comes of age we start to realise that we might be getting more than we bargained for. Or is it that it only takes a few to spoil a good thing for everyone else?

Project X revisited
This disgusting movie has inspired many attempts to recreate in real life mass parties of violence, drugs, sex and debauchery. The latest incident was in the Dutch town of Haren.

The police had been on high alert after a schoolgirl posted a message inviting friends to her 16th birthday party. She forgot to mark it as a private event, prompting more than 20,000 replies. She posted the invitation on Facebook and sent it to friends, who then sent it to other friends and soon it spread like wildfire across the Internet.

Several websites sprung up referring to the party as "Project X Haren", counting down the seconds to the event and claiming 150,000 people had been invited. It also published the party's address, adding: "By all means bring some friends!"

Previous Project X parties have run riot in different parts of the world including Germany, Australia and especially the United States, where teens wrecked an unoccupied Texas home, causing damage of up to $100,000.

Why not have a sequel to the movie this time replacing youth with elderly. Imagine invitations going viral on baby boomers chat rooms. They are all converging on a secret retirement home with their mopeds and wheelchairs. Any damage caused can be blamed on Alzheimer's disease.

Sport twitters
Australian athletes had been banned from using twitter while their team lost countless medals in a bout of despair. Football players had to deal with racial slurs when they disappointed their fans. Coaches are considering monitoring their team social media profiles to coerce members into towing the party line.

Cyber bullying
At school the offenders would use these tactics:

- Spread lies and rumours about the victim
- Trick the victim into revealing personal information
- Send or forward mean text messages
- Post pictures of victim without their consent
- Pretend they are several other people online also attacking the victim

At work harassment can be malicious false postings seeking to damage their victim's earnings, employment, reputation or safety. The question of liability for harassment and character assassination is particularly important for legislative protection. The original authors of the offending material are, more often than not, not only anonymous, but untraceable. Nevertheless, abuse should consistently be brought to company staffers' attention.

Identity theft
Recently LinkedIn had to confess many of their user accounts had been compromised and asked people to change their passwords. It is not just the LinkedIn account that was at stake - people tend to use the same password over and over. All the hackers have to do is try the same email and password combination to break into your facebook, twitter and whatever accounts you might be holding online.

Does that put you off social media? Do you still believe marketing experts claiming that you need to cultivate your brand on as many channels as possible? I would welcome your comments.

anonymous says:
On the other hand the social buzz about Jill Meagher mobilized a crowd and helped speed up the police investigation.


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