Category Archives: Content

Taking a look at Facebook Insights

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This semester I was asked to take a look into the University of Florida’s Facebook page and make recommendations as to what I think would be the best practices going forward for their brand.

To take a look at my full less than 15 minute presentation, click here: UF MMC Final ASC 2.0

Too much honesty!

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When it comes to social media, I don’t think anyone can speak freely. Sad, but true. At the end of the day you don’t know what you will want to pursue in life and you don’t know what will haunt you. While you may not think you have any political aspirations and that you can do whatever you want, what about a spouse or a child you may have in the future? I may not want to be in politics currently, but if my children want to be, I should keep in mind that was is on the internet lives forever. For that matter, maybe as a parent I should think before posting a ton of pictures of my children doing awkward things.

When it comes to celebrities and what they post, I think that they should keep in mind what they are doing, but I think most of them think they are above it. Celebrities post all the time about fighting with other celebrities or what they think politically, which I think is fine, but sometimes I think that they should show more sense. However, at the time, when people post they think they are funny or interesting or talking to someone and don’t realize that everything stays online forever.

I don’t think that people mean to post without thinking, I think people get caught up in the moment. I also think that it is easy to do so! You experience something cool, such as going to a lazer tag game and you end up posting a picture with a gun. Later on in life you decide to run for common council, and all of a sudden whether or not you are for or against guns becomes a question. When people post online they don’t usually go into thinking that they will over share, but it does happen sometimes, to all of us. We are human, which makes it easy to accidentally go too far.

The one good thing about being human, is that everyone else is too and can usually forgive a mistake that is not too egregious. While there are some limits, and you may ruin your reputation a little bit, when you do make a mistake, the only way to handle it is to apologize.

Images on the Internet

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When it comes to the internet and images, it truly can be a dangerous place. There are so many people taking images of everything around them, or sharing content that they deem interesting or something that should be shared that there is no way for people to be safe from all images. When someone posts something on their page, it shows up on others and whether or not you are ready for them, they can be seared into your mind.

Such is the case with photos from the Boston Bombing. While it is important for people to see the tragedy, and understand the horror that people went through that day, there is also the case of people being bombarded with horrifyingly graphic images. Ethically, how does that work? What if you knew a loved one was running the marathon and while you were looking on their Facebook to see if they had posted something, an image of them in pain showed up on your feed unknowingly posted by someone else? Can you imagine the gut wrenching heartbreak? While someone did this unintentionally, while trying to get the information out to the public, it still should be thought about in more ways than one.

What about children who are on social media? On one hand, the argument is that children shouldn’t be on social media, but what is the age requirement, 13 years old? If they are friends with their aunts, uncles and cousins, odds are someone can share something that is graphic and unsettling and someone who should have warning is shocked by the images. While these occurrences are important and should not be diminished or ignored because of wanting to not scare people, at the same time, sometimes I think a graphic image warning would be great.

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I know that images that are “Not Safe For Work” or NSFW have warnings, why not images that are graphic enough to emote a reaction of shock and horror? This way people would be aware of what is going on while not having the shock of seeing an image they were not prepared for.

Ethically, I think that people do not always take into consideration that what they are posting will be seen by others. I know I have not always considered the implications of what I am posting, it is natural to only think of what you want to post, and not of what other people will be seeing. However, I think that if people put a little more thought into what they post and if major companies took the time to create a warning on articles that are being shared across the web, it would make social media a safer place.

Social Media Misinformation

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When people see information on Twitter, even if they are on the platform every 20 minutes, there is a high chance is something is shared and it is incorrect, people will not see the corrected information. People want to be the first to share information, however if that information is unverified, they are just sharing the problem. While some people do take the time to post a retraction through social media, or a new post that reaches out to people with the truth, that is few and far between.

Ethically, that can be a major problem for people who are out and sharing the information and for the people consuming it. When it was the Boston Bombing, people were hurt by the misinformation. There were a lot of people who were hurt and upset and by sharing information out that is incorrect, it just grew the cycle. Here is an article that speaks about all of the different kinds of misinformation and how it is spread not only during the Boston Bombings, but during the Sandy Hook shootings as well. Below is a map of the most used hashtags during the Boston Bombing time period. These led to people connecting and finding information out, however, it also led to people connecting and trying to find the truth from the misinformation.

Twitter-mapWhen it comes to ethics, there is always a chance that companies will capitalize on a tragedy with targeted marketing. However, when it happens, people traditionally get highly offended and call companies out on it. There are times when people commend companies for being quick to capitalize on an event, such as when Oreo quickly got an image out during the Superbowl power outage. It was considered brilliant by many! However, at the same time, when Ford thanked the Boston Bombers emergency responders, on Twitter it was quickly deemed self serving.

Looking at that link, I do think that it was a self serving image. While I think that what Ford was trying to do was done with the best intentions, there was a certain lack of thinking things through correctly. Ethically, showing their own cars during a tragedy, probably was not the best idea, however, thanking the responders for doing a great job, was a great idea. At the same time, execution is everything and when things are done, they can’t be undone, social media posts included.

Work and Social Media, Do you know the rules?

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I currently have a full time position where I work with social media all day long. While I only manage one brand, there is a lot of research that goes into finding good content to post, plan for the next week, and so on. That being said, I check Facebook about 10 times a day. While I don’t check it right when I wake up unless it is the weekend, I work with Facebook and am on it constantly. While I manage a separate page, all of the groups I monitor are linked to my personal page and in checking all of them periodically, I also check in on what my friends are doing for a couple of minutes here and there.

My company logs every site that we go on and I think it is completely ethical to do so. I know that I am being tracked because I am constantly coming across sites that are blocked while I am doing research and I know that is monitored. Ethically, I think that as long as it is acknowledged that they will be tracked it is fine. I think that while it should be common sense that everything can be tracked, I think it should be written down in an employee contract so that people really do understand the implications of what they are doing. Unfortunately, people still do not understand what they are doing when they are on social media at work.

I personally have my place of work show on my Facebook and LinkedIn page, however I am also very focused on not posting anything inappropriate on social media. I feel that I am my own brand and I am my own advocate and if I do not think it is in my best interest, I don’t post it. I don’t think posting something about having a busy day or a stressful day is a bad thing, however posting about being drunk or any kind of lewd behavior would make me think that it might just be easier to not attach anything to my profiles.

While I think that there are some policies that are more strict, I do think that there should be some kind concept of not allowing social media to overwhelm their work mainly because social media is a major distraction. While some people can handle it properly and only check things occasionally as a break, some people truly are addicted to checking and monitoring social media and it can create a really stagnant work environment where not a lot of things are getting done.

Privacy and Social Media

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I personally recheck my privacy settings every time I see through the news that there has been an update. One of the platforms that changes the most frequently is Facebook. I think they do a great job of sending a prompt when you sign in next to remind people of a new profile change, it always makes me wonder why they don’t prompt people to double check their privacy settings. I think a big part of it is that they want to share the information that is “public” at the time to create algorithms and sell the information.

If this platform and other platforms sent out notifications when they were changing their privacy policy, I think it would prompt people to be more in tune with what is going on and check it out. I personally always keep my settings on public, so I don’t feel a need to change things, but for people who are concerned with their privacy, it is important to be aware of this.

I personally don’t think that it is ethical for reporters to reach out to people through their social media sites, but it doesn’t surprise me that it happens. I think that reporters for the most part feel that they have to get the story and don’t mind reaching out to people on social media in order to do so. And truthfully, should they feel any differently? They shouldn’t, because if people don’t want to be reached, they shouldn’t post things on the internet. By putting things on social media, people are already allowing themselves to be found and searched and their information seen.

While people post whatever they want to social media platforms, they still feel that what they post is their own property, so I think that it is important to not reprint something even if it has been posted publicly. I think people should be warned before their content is used as far as ethical reasoning but to be honest, I don’t know if it has to happen. At this point, people should know that everything that they share online or on any mobile device is out for everyone to see and that they can trust no one. This would mean that whatever people post they would actually have the presence of mind to see that it could get reposted or used in an article.

My blog has been shared and written about and I am thrilled every time that happens! I know that what I am posting is online and I love when I get more exposure through someone else sharing my work. I think that if people had more presence of mind when they posted and thought of the possible repercussions, they might think twice before posting which would probably make this less of an issue.

Data Mining and Privacy

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data_miningWhen people here about data mining, a lot happens. People are very passionate about whether or not they are losing their privacy since it means that they will become vulnerable to identity theft as well as being tracked. However, for some people it weighs out and is worthwhile. For instance, I know many people who feel as though they would hate to be followed online or tracked, but do use a credit card since it is more convenient. There are ethical questions to consider when it comes to identity theft since so many companies are being shown how vulnerable that they are when they are hacked. Another factor is how people feel that since companies are using different ways to track information, it means that they will be sold to more and monitored. A lot of people have a problem with that since they don’t know where the information is going.

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While I do think that in times of national security issues or threats to the nation as a whole, I do think it is important. However, since September 11th there has been a constant theory that everything is justified. People have now gone to the other side of starting out willing to share information after the tragedy that occurred to now being upset that their privacy is being tracked.

I think there are some benefits and some things that need to be considered. While it is important for national security to have access, when the government has lost the trust of the people they serve, it is a huge problem. People need to have confidence that their country is trying to help them and not abuse their power and unfortunately I do not think that at this time the majority of United States citizens feel that data mining is done in their best interest.

When it comes to companies data mining, I think there should be an opt in option. People should have the right to give information or not to. For instance, when I would fill out surveys and forms online and in person and it asked for race information, I always circled “other” and wrote human. However, online I can’t hide that information. It is known who I am and what my race is, even though I may not want to share that information. I think there is always the chance for identification since any electronic device that someone is using can be tracked by an IP address. In the end, I think nothing is safe and everything is being tracked, but I am used to the idea since it is what is coming and will only get worse as technology advances.