Watch your mouth on so­cial me­dia

Be­ing in­con­sid­er­ate on­line has its con­se­quences.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY - By SCOTT KLEIN­BERG

WATCH your mouth, please. And please watch it on­line, too.

One of the worst things I see, and I see it of­ten, is peo­ple shar­ing hor­ren­dously in­con­sid­er­ate and some­times com­pletely in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments on Face­book and Twit­ter.

As a jour­nal­ist, I’m al­ways a big ad­vo­cate of free speech but I’m an even big­ger ad­vo­cate of com­mon sense.

I read a story not too long ago where some­one tired of be­ing the sub­ject of abu­sive Face­book com­ments reached out and com­plained to that per­son’s boss.

The com­pany sub­se­quently fired the per­son. And if that makes you won­der how some­one can con­nect a place of em­ploy­ment from a com­ment on a ran­dom Face­book post, then this ar­ti­cle is for you.

Years ago, I came up with the SMGT, or So­cial Me­dia Grandma The­ory. It states that if you wouldn’t feel com­fort­able say­ing some­thing to your grand­mother, you should think twice about say­ing it on so­cial me­dia.

But if you choose to say what­ever is on your mind, you should be a mas­ter at lock­ing down your ac­count set­tings.

In the ex­am­ple above about the per­son be­ing fired from a job, it’s be­cause your place of em­ploy­ment shows up next to your name on a Face­book com­ment when a web­site uses the Face­book com­ment­ing plug- in.

So if you’ve ever seen a story on­line and no­ticed the com­ments look like Face­book, that’s why. But even out­side of the plug- in, hov­er­ing over your name or any­one else’s name on Face­book proper can re­veal the same in­for­ma­tion.

But wait! There’s more. Much more.

The vis­i­bil­ity of per­sonal in­for­ma­tion can be com­pletely edited in the About sec­tion of your pro­file:

You can re­strict your place of em­ploy­ment to friends, a spe­cific list or no one if you choose. You can do the same with your date of birth ( so you don’t get all those birth­day wishes) or your education or the places you’ve lived.

Re­veal­ing cer­tain in­for­ma­tion can ac­tu­ally be dan­ger­ous:

What if you ac­ci­den­tally share your phone num­ber and per­sonal e- mail with the world? Be­lieve me, you def­i­nitely don’t want to do that.

Your words can have con­se­quences:

There’s a huge dif­fer­ence be­tween tex­ting some­thing to some­one and shar­ing it on a pub­lic so­cial me­dia site. So while tex­ting and Snapchat, for ex­am­ple, might stay be­tween you and the per­son you are com­mu­ni­cat­ing with, post­ing a com­ment on Twit­ter or Face­book or In­sta­gram or Google Plus may not be pri­vate or friends only. Some set­tings, de­pend­ing on the plat­form, are not pub­lic by de­fault, but my rule of thumb is al­ways to as­sume some­thing is pub­lic and then dou­ble check.

Your words can be fea­tured on some­one’s web­site with­out your per­mis­sion:

When you make your con­tent pub­lic, it’s out there. Web­sites of­ten em­bed con­tent that jux­ta­poses tweets and Face­book posts in with their con­tent. This is called em­bed­ding, and do­ing that is not ac­tu­ally steal­ing or copy­ing it, but show­ing it as it ap­pears on Face­book in an­other place. Not only can any web­site with the tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity do it, but the peo­ple who run that web­site don’t have to ask your per­mis­sion or take it down if you ask them to do so.

If you’re still not con­vinced:

My goal is not to si­lence you, but rather to ed­u­cate you. I want you to re­alise that it’s easy to over­look po­ten­tial con­se­quences when you think that all you’re do­ing is speak­ing your mind to some­one in re­sponse to a tweet or Face­book post. Nine times out of 10, what you say is be­ing read by a much wider au­di­ence and in­for­ma­tion about the per­son say­ing it is more widely shared than you’d ever imag­ine.

So re­mem­ber to watch your mouth. Please. And watch your set­tings, too. — Tribune News Ser­vice

Do not be in­con­sid­er­ate or share your per­sonal info too freely. — 123rf. com

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