Tag Archives: Netiquette

You Can’t Fix Cyber-Stupid

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 8.36.55 PMAs a fair trade black coffee and tea loving, TOM’s shoe wearing Causegear fan (I sound like a hipster…get over it)…I am an avid follower on Upworthy.com, and in being an avid follower on such an ingenious site, I find myself running into a lot of interesting and new ideas, perspectives, and even life changing information . Today on my Facebook news feed (and yes I follow Upworthy on Facebook….and Twitter…and you should too because it’ll make you an informed boss of internet wonder), I had this video article come across my screen. I suggest a quick watch.


Now that I can safely assume you’ve watched the entire video. So we have an interesting problem on our hands, the world appears to be getting dumber and more distasteful. Women are targets on the internet, and we hear this time and time again to the point where we shrug it off much like Emily did when asked about cyber-sexism. We’re used to it. It’s become normal to see women and men alike being negatively admired.

Wait. Negatively admired?


Online we often feel as though we have the safety net of a screen to protect us from the repercussions of our words and actions. As you saw in the video Emily, puts up with a great deal of sexism in her field, which is both sad and unacceptable as her work is wonderfully presented and she takes a great deal of time out of her busy life to ensure the quality of her work. However, she still deals with uncouth comments that are irrelevant to her work, not that they are trying to be insensitive or hurtful, they probably genuinely mean what they say and think it’s actually flattering. But they are admiring her for things she does not represent. She isn’t a sex object, she is an educated woman who works professionally towards a future of brilliant minds and new discoveries.

The issue isn’t that she feels threatened by these comments and it’s not even sexism that I really want to touch on (though a subject I will save for another time, because the internet has a lot of it), but rather something as simple as comments on a post could be the possible prevention of brilliant minds coming to light and helping save our world. We live in a world that is spiraling downward and rocketing upward at an alarming and erratic pace, and with each new idea we see there are millions of others who are finding new and better ways to do the same thing…and new and better ways to pervert those ideas.

What am I getting at?

The reason we need to take our time considering what we say online is because there are people on the other end of those comments that those very comments are about. Those words weigh heavily on minds burdened by so many thoughts. The brilliant aren’t always the brave (it is a burden being so intelligent). Besides, your comments are not anonymous. There is always someone watching them. If I felt threatened enough at any time by one of my commenters, I could easily get in touch with law enforcement, who can then contact the web administrators to look up the personal information of any username and IP address and find the heckler. Or I can contact a web administrator myself through a “contact us” or a “report abuse” link. On my personal Instagram I’m constantly deleting, blocking and reporting people for their comments (daily if not hourly) and I hardly put up a selfie.

This isn’t so much a post about an issue we aren’t familiar with, but a reminder that the internet is compiled of humans who are not as emotionless as the desktop or tablet beneath your fingertips. Be responsible. Smh.






The Facebook Copyright Hoax

I don’t know about any of you, but I saw this on one of my dear friends facebook statuses today and it caused me to get a little nervous:

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention).
For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!
(Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place
them under protection of copyright laws.

By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute).

Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.

Being an artists, graphic designer, and photographer, I know better than to post any of my most personal info and artistic content on Facebook. Having a healthy caution of putting things on the internet is the first step to being a responsible patron of the online community (and respect of yourself). However, whenever I heard of things like this I always tend to get a little paranoid. So, I do what I do best, and take a little peek at the online news to see if I can find enough reliable resources to validate or refute the statements. Turns out this whole thing is a hoax and honestly, you cannot refute the contract via facebook status. That’s not how the law and copyright works friends (and if anyone seriously thought that it did then you’ve been seriously uneducated). Also how can you refute facebook’s ownership with a status when they own the statuses you put up?
If you are interested in legally putting your work under Copyright then please visit the U.S. Copyright Office website for more information on going through the proper channels. For more info on the Hoax and facebook policies read your Facebook Terms of Agreement, and view these helpful articles:

When Freedom Leaves Our Hands Tied: Online Parenting

Recently on my Facebook I saw a picture that portrayed an act of parental discipline. It was of a young (about twelve- year-old) girl holding a sign that read:

 “Since I want to post photos of me holding liquor, I am obviously not ready for social media and will be taking a hiatus until I learn what I should and should not post.

Bye-Bye :(

Of course a heated debate ensued in the comment section about what modern parenting should look like in terms of social media. Some thought the punishment was too severe (mostly young kids and inexperienced users) and others thought it was perfect (mostly adult women). I sat back and watch the comments fly and I pondered the words on that sign. They had a deeper meaning to me.

With the introduction of social media parents have a lot more they need to be aware of. With law enforcement consistently watching the online community it’s no wonder. Underage children are allowed to post whatever they want to “express themselves” but in the end the parents are liable for what their children post and Social Services can take children out of environments they think they are threatened or neglected…and all they need is suspicion.

Who really loses?

I’ve written enough posts about this subject before, but I simply cannot stress it enough. The most common issue with youth and the internet is improper education in Netiquette. Parents need to play an active role in their children lives on and off the net by teaching them wise internet use. The internet has been around for a bit more than 2 decades, and has already integrated a plethora of diversity. However, with this diversity came people who missed a few steps in the learning process. When I was younger, we were taught how to use the internet, but never any kind of internet safety. Social media was restricted to chat rooms that were few and far between, and parents didn’t know the extent of the online community. Generations experienced the online explosion without fully understanding it’s consequences.

What resulted from this online ignorance?

Today we have a generation that has the potential to be destructive. They can’t keep personal lives and professional lives separate because they don’t know how to log off. They say what they want, do what they want, and value “free speech” more than discretion and wisdom. They do not recognize authority or understand the emotional impact their words can make. Nor do they understand consequences because “it’s just Facebook” and “It doesn’t mean anything.” With the average high schooler having well over 300 friends “drama” can quickly become an all out war that leaves parents, teachers and principals looking to law enforcement to roam school halls and keep the peace.

In our online society…freedom has left our hands tied.

I’m not a parent. I do not claim to have any cure-all answers. I am, however, a person who has a passion for computer ethics as well as children and want to help parents become as aware as they can about the dangers and wonders of online use. I’m also a person who wishes someone had taught me more when I was younger about proper internet use (and thankfully my parents tried their best to ensure I treated people the same online as I would in public).The internet is a wonderful tool. But, as with all tools it has to be used wisely or someone could get hurt.

As I pondered the picture I found myself admiring the parents. That sign stood as a symbol. Though the daughter might have been upset she had yet to understand the importance of this message. What it really said (as I interpreted it) was:

“I love my child. I want her to make good decisions. I want her to grow up to be productive with a healthy social life. Parents, your children will be safe in our home because we do not condone this behavior. We are taking active responsibility to ensure this home is a safe place for everyone. Children, let this be an example to you to make wise decisions. If not because it’s the right thing to do or because you love and respect your parents…to save yourself from a similar punishment and embarrassment.”

For more information about how you can learn or teach your kids more about Netiquette feel free to visit this link: http://networketiquette.net/index.html

Should Employers Have Complete Access to Your Facebook?

Ever walked into an interview and been asked for your facebook username and password? Apparently this women has. To get the full original story click here.

Big controversy over employers asking for full access to prospective and current employee facebook accounts. As I understand this was recently voted down in the House as reported on March 28th (due to a few holes in the proposal as well as other arguments), but there is still legislation that can be made within states wether or not to allow such information to be available to employers (click here for more info). It’s not a wide spread practice, but one can’t help but be unnerved. We’re not obligated to give our e-mail and zipcode to stores for marketing reasons. So why should we give our employers our private and personal information? They have our Social Security numbers for heaven’s sake! As if that isn’t unnerving enough.

I understand the desire to check personal information and make sure you’re hiring a quality employee, but what does a Facebook page have to do with it? Sure there are privacy setting people put up, but usually those are specifically to prevent undesirables from contacting you and knowing where you live. What could you possibly be keeping from an employer that they couldn’t see my looking at your facebook profile? Personal and professional lives are meant to be separate aren’t they? Have we lost the art of switching hats? Are we that desperate that we need to have constant access to our workplaces?

I usually try to remain objective in my posts, but things like this friggin’ irritate me. We should have some kind of protection under the law that allows us to ask the same of our employers if we’re not able to have protection to keep it to ourselves. If I were ever asked to do such a thing, I’d ask them for their passwords so I could figure out if they’re the kind of person I’d want to work for. I as an employee have to protect myself too right? And how do I know my boss is a trustworthy person? How can I look for red flags if I don’t come into contact with them often (an issue with large companies)? I feel if employers want to ask high standards of their employees they should also be held to the same standard to their employees. A “Golden Rule of Private Information” if you will. I’d bet if something like that were to happen, very few employers would ever ask for Facebook passwords ever again, much less have anything good on there to begin with.

As usual I highly recommend to you read the provided links in this post completely so you can fully understand the extent of these potential laws.

“If you want to complain, go start a blog.” and Other Issues with Constant Communication

Found on http://kiwicommons.com/index.php?p=6970&tag=cyberbullying-infographicMy sibling inspired this particular post. The title is a direct quote from him as he gave me his opinion of bloggers. I laughed at the time because I understood exactly what he was talking about. As I got to thinking about it I began to realize the truth in it. I began to wonder if perhaps he had a deeper point? Are we using social media to associate ourselves with another identity, or use media to shield ourselves from the conflict caused by our own opinions? Or is the use of the media its self making us mean?

There has been much speculation over the past decade or so as to whether or not the use of social media has made the last generation a more cruel one. It isn’t such a wonder as to why. With Youtube videos like Llamas Wearing Hats and Happy Tree Friends, it’s more and more obvious that our media is certainly becoming more violent, and in cases such as Kiki Kannibal cruelty takes on a whole new level of online bullying. Research has been done for the issue of online bullying with little to no conclusive evidence as to its increase or decrease.

I venture an opinion/suggestion.

Personally I do not think that the internet and its use has made any generation meaner. Humanity has always been this mean. It is only because of the introduction of communication technology such as Facebook and television that we’re seeing more and more of it. Communication is faster and can reach a wider audience at the speed of light. In the last decade we’ve been introducing a younger group of people who may not have the maturity to make wise decisions online.  Kids who are bullies now have avenues to dissociate themselves from their victims through social media. They don’t understand the real world impact, because they can hide their face behind a mask of binary code. Most of it comes down to immaturity and poor choices.

Might I also go so far as to say that violence in our world probably isn’t increasing either. It’s simply easier to access. Violence has become more and more popular in our media because our world violence is getting viewed more often from news networks.  I remember the days when my parents wouldn’t let me watch The Matrix because it was rated R. When I go to see a rated R movie as an adult now, The Matrix looks tame in comparison. Video games are violent for the sake of being “more realistic.” Why not? If they’re seeing it on the news why shouldn’t it be more realistic?

Just moments ago I was talking to a friend about this particular post and the points I was attempting to make. As we talked we began to discuss the maturity level of people coming into contact with technology regularly. We ventured to suggest (by we I mean me) that constant communication also causes social dependencies. Now communicating with friends and loved ones isn’t a bad thing, in fact building relationships is a wonderful part of living and seeking advice is normal. What I suggest is that in being in constant communication with people, we become dependent in an unhealthy manner, which in turn causes us to neglect building self sufficiency. Cases such as this might be so dependent that they cannot make any decisions outside of the advice of their peer groups or romantic relationships. But, I digress.

The point I’m trying to get at for the most part, is that the only difference between this generation and all the generations before, is the amount of access we have to technologies that allow us to view the cruelties of the world. Because of this, values have changed. We’re living in an age where we don’t turn off. We don’t shut down. We only go into temporary sleep modes when it comes to instant communication. Even news networks need to find ways to be more entertaining for the sake of keeping a viewing audience. As I recall the news was never entertaining enough for me to watch it when I was young, now I see kids plopping themselves in front of the TV to watch the news with their parents (not necessarily for the news of course, but for the entertaining segments or shows afterward). We’ve become so engrossed in the ability to communicate, I think we’re paying less attention to what we’re saying, and more attention as to how fast we’re saying it.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers