What social media brings in 2015

In a few hours 2014 will come to an end.  A year that saw its share of ups and downs in cyber-safety.

The downs included, steady reports of school related bullying, continued stories of suicides relating to online harassment and the Supreme Court of Canada redefining the definition of anonymity inhibiting law enforcement’s abilities to investigate the “trolls”.

The ups include a greater awareness created by high profile cases such as guilty pleas in the Rehtaeh Parsons situation.  Social media has played a huge role in many cases whereas; the tolerance for online sexual harassment is decreasing.   It also included recognition by the Canadian Government to update the Criminal Code to protect innocent people from becoming victims of intimate photos being distributing on the Internet without their consent.  The new law, assented on December 9th 2014, also increased the powers needed by Police to investigate incidents of cyber-bullying despite stark criticism from privacy pundits.  Bill C-13 as passed can be found here.

What lies ahead in 2015.  Social Networks continue to offer more ability to populate gigabytes of data about oneself.  Users continue to post content about themselves that they may not fully understand, appreciate or simply just ignore the consequences of such over-sharing.

Social networks constantly evolve to share their users content publicly by default.  Privacy settings have become more complex and the results are that the user data generated has become easier to search for and access.    A good demonstration of this is highlighted in this article on Facebook’s new search capabilities.

2015 will continue to bring challenges and conflict in a person’s ability to use social networks in their personal lives while attempting to somehow protect the things not intended for the greater public audience.    What’s worse is when users choose to share content with an intended and limited audience but a setting or check-mark or radial button somewhere that was on/off allowed it to go somewhere else.

Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to fine-tune all of your privacy settings wherever they exist and THINK BEFORE YOU POST.


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