Each week a question is asked to the students of Digital Media in Practice – A course in the Ryerson MBA program. The question relates to assigned readings and focuses on different aspects of digital media.
How are the views about social media expressed in the Young and Quan-Haase article different from those expressed in Joost and Schulman documentary? Which do you think is more accurate? How should we, as social media experts, be thinking about identity theft and privacy in the context of using social media for our businesses and client outreach?
The assigned readings for this week focus on trust and what people are willing to share online. The articles, Information Revelation and Internet Privacy Concerns on Social Network Sites: A Case Study of Facebook and Development of measures of online privacy concern and protection for use on the Internet deal mainly with identifying what information people are willing to share on social networking sites and what measures they take to protect their information. The film Catfish takes a different approach to online privacy and focuses on how easy it is to be manipulated and deceived online.
While I believe that the level of deception shown in the movie Catfish is absolutely possible, it is not an accurate representation of the typical social network user. The movie illustrates how easily people can be manipulated and impersonated online.
There is no way to entirely remove the threat of identity theft and breaches of privacy. It is important to be both critical of content that we consume, and cautious of the content we contribute. When consuming content – reading, viewing images, listening to audio – it is crucial to be critical and skeptical. Since there is no way to control the accuracy of information online, individuals must analyze content at a deeper level. Caution when uploading or contributing content is also important. Sharing information is an important part of building networks, however disclosing personal information to a wide audience can be dangerous.