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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

With great power comes great responsibility...The Facebook fiasco

As we all know, social media is a powerful tool which can be used for good or evil.

The good: 
The new(ish) phenomena gives a voice to people who otherwise might have not been heard and allows them to strengthen social confidence. It brings people together, whether creating new relationships or simply reconnecting with old acquaintances. People share their thoughts, dreams and hopes on social platforms, creating an umbrella of different views which promotes empathy, acceptance and understating. Trends start, celebrities emerge and businesses strive by likes, shares and comments.

From a corporate point of view, social media platforms are an excellent source for gaining a greater understating of customers and creating better engagement. This not only builds trust, but also help in creating and developing a long term relationship. Social media platforms provide live information about a company's new products, what their competitors are up to and details on the market as a whole.

The bad: 
But sadly, there are those who seek to take advantage of these platforms for other purposes. Many users go online to vent negative thoughts and emotions for everyone to see, without a second thought of the might it hurt. Humiliating pictures and videos are uploaded which can certainly damage and disturb the lives of other users. In addition, they can be used as a tool to spy on people as many of the comments made are published with exact time and location. In extreme cases social media platform have been used for fraud, it is very easy to assume someone else's persona and post material on their behalf.

And the ugly 
There are times however when things go horribly wrong. In a recent incident, where a girl decided to plan her 16th birthday celebration through Facebook, she had left the even invitation open for all users to see. One thing led to another, a friend told the next and without her knowing her birthday invitation had reached 30,000 people. On the day of what was supposed to be her sweet 16, 3,000 guests turned up. The party, which turned into a full blown riot, ended up with 600 riot police and 20 arrests.

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