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Take A Minute To Think Before You Post

1376 words - 6 pages

People really need to become more cautious of what they post on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Here’s why. Many people believe that once they post a comment or a photo on a social network site, it is private and only viewable to their friends and family. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. What many consider being private is actually open to the public and can be viewed by businesses, colleges and universities. Even though people believe that their social networking profile is private due to their privacy settings, they still need to be careful. Businesses have fired employees and colleges have chosen not to accept students as the result of their social networking profiles.
In today’s world people have become way to comfortable using social networking sites. People will post comments online that they would not say in person. The crude, foul, and vulgar language people post on their profiles has become costly. Posts have gone as far as to having people being fired from their jobs, to colleges not accepting a student. The opposition would say that they have set their privacy settings on their profile, which only allow the one’s they want to have access to their profile. Therefore, they have no need to worry about what they post, because businesses or colleges have no way of viewing their profile. The oppositions point is not wrong, but it also is not all correct. Privacy settings are available for Facebook and Myspace users to allow them to limit what can be seen by the public. It is not possible to hide everything one may have on their profile. Danah Boyd, an anthropologist and social – networking expert at the University of California, Berkeley, argued that “Information is not private because no one knows it; it is private because the knowing is limited and controlled” (Melber 22). What this means is that to social – networking sites the understanding of privacy is that people can limit the amount of information that is shown to the public.
What good do privacy settings do, when most of the public don’t even know how to set it up? According to The Carnegie Mellon study, “most people don’t use the privacy settings to limit access to their Facebook profile. Four out of five simply accept the default setting, which allows their whole network to see their entire profile” (Melber 23). So about 20% of Facebook users who have set their profile private are somewhat safe, while the other 80% are definitely vulnerable to having their profiles viewed by their business or a school they are applying to. So the people who say that their profile is safe, due to the privacy settings, it is most likely that they set up their settings incorrectly or did not do so at all.
Privacy settings will not stop businesses from viewing ones profile. If a person posts something inappropriate on their profile about their job it is likely that the boss or business will see the comment. That happened to be the case for Cheryl James. She was...

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