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Social Media Activity and Updates on Safer Internet Day

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As it is Safer Internet Day we decided to look into how social media are tackling safety on the internet. But the fact is that some companies need to focus on it more as abuse is a bigger issue on their services and unfortunately, Twitter is one of those.

Last month we reported on their redefined hate policy and then later the controversy of what happened when a verified account lost his tick for posting abuse. It seems like these events haven't really changed anything in the Twitter sphere and that's really kind of sad. Twitter is a great service that allows you to share short messages with the world and gain followers. Because it's not necessarily tied to your real name - unless you're well known or choose to share it - many people feel like they can be vocal about their honest opinions there. When something bad is going down, that can be great, but when those opinions lead you to insulting or threatening someone who has a different view to you, that's when you're in the wrong. A lot of people will use the idea of free speech to claim that its okay for them to say that, or that people shouldn't be so sensitive or online if they're going to get upset about it but that's ridiculous. The definition of freedom of speech means that you don't have to worry about the government censoring you; it's not an excuse to say hateful things.

As Twitter's current methods don't seem to be working, they have decided to form a worldwide Trust and Safety Council. This group contains representatives from more than 40 organisations from 13 regions. These are just the inaugural members and more companies may join in as they realise what good this is doing. The idea is that with these organisations by their sides, they'll be able to tackle issues easier with the experts by the side explaining to them what they should do.

But Twitter isn’t the only social media service being talked about this year. A recent study by Newsround has found that most children under the age of 13 on social media were using Facebook. The problem is that websites like Facebook and Instagram have a minimum age of 13. This is to protect young children from being targeted or bullied online. Many adults and services try and warn young people about this but many do not listen and nothing is going to stop a younger person from jumping onto social media before they're old enough as all they need to do is enter a fake birthday. Facebook say they delete any accounts of anyone reported to be under age but there's still going to be many more out there. If your child insists on keeping Facebook and you don't want to report them, then at least make sure you know who they're friends with. If it's just family and a few friends they trust then it could be okay, but still make sure to talk to them about it regularly so you know they're not being bullied or targeted.

The second most used social media service is Instagram and that's even more risky. Anyone can see a person's Instagram profile unless it's private and since it's primarily a picture sharing site, it could be used to find and groom kids. If a child has an Instagram account then it will be important to report them immediately. Instagram is also a site where women especially tend to be harassed over their pictures. If someone is making lewd comments that you don't want then you can report or block the user. If you choose to post a picture that some idiot seems to think is an invitation then you're not asking for such comments. Please remember that you’re free to post what you like provided it doesn't contain anything illegal or against site policy but always be aware that not everyone is going to like your pictures or someone might like them too much.

If you truly wish to be safe on the internet or for your kids to be there are many different ways to protect them. But most importantly you should talk to them about it, don't sneak around and check what they're looking at unless you think they could be in danger as this will break their trust in you. The best way to protect your kids is to trust them and open a dialogue about it so they know if they make a mistake, you will be there for them. For teen and adult users also there are a lot of different tips out there but the biggest is always going to be that you make sure to know who you're sharing to, whether it's on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever.

Rosina Brooker

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info: TheSMFGroup.com
Social Media Activity and Updates on Safer Internet Day Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, February 09, 2016 Rating: 5

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