In MJD219 before our Thanksgiving break, we watched a panel discussion about the negatives and the positives of posting certain things to your social media accounts. You can find the video for the panel discussion here.
One of the major things that the panelists talked about, and the most important takeaway for me is that you have to be aware where the information that you are posting or sharing is coming from. One of the panelists, Steve Fox from the University of Masschusetts, mentioned that before Joe Paterno had actually died, he read on Twitter that one of the people who he followed had tweeted that he had died, and Steve Fox was about to hit the retweet button, but then felt that he should do some research before posting, which was smart as ESPN reported it to be false. This takeaway tells me that you cannot always trust what you read. If you are using your Twitter or Facebook professionally (and even if you are not, this is still a good practice), you should make sure that you know that what you are posting is true. You do not want to put false information on the World Wide Web. There are so many people who could see that and it could be catastrophic if it is false and it comes back to you.
One of the questions that the panel discussion raised to me was should you trust anything that you read online? I believe that the answer to this is a no (even though it could be true, it is just out of personal safety that you should not believe everything when you first see it). I think that you should wait until you see a number of powerful news sources who are writing about it for you to believe it, or post about it. One of the examples that they talked about in the panel discussion was the Sandy Hook shootings, and how people took to online and started posting about who the suspects were and this dramatically affected the lives of those who were affected, especially if they were false accusations, and they were putting false information out to their audiences which could have resulted in mass panic. You have to be aware of what you are posting because, even if it is a private account, people can make the information that you post public.
I do not think that this will change the way that I use social media. I do not really post anything that has to do with anything big really. I post mainly things that I find cool or funny, or just things about my day. I usually don’t take to social media right away if I want to retweet something either. I usually wait a few hours and see it multiple times so that I know that it is true so I am not posting something such as a famous person has died when in fact they are living happily and healthily in their home. I do not want to put out false information, and I have always been very cautious of that.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope that you enjoyed it.
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