No Freedom of Speech Online

Or Be Careful What You Say On Facebook!

Social sites are constantly shifting, changing and updating. View any trend analysis site and the graph is showing the constantly rising visitor rate especially for big community sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

You cannot afford to ignore the trends but neither should you jump in without a good plan. You need to be cautious before you post any content on the web especially if you are a business, but also as an employee.

This was brought home to me on a personal level twice. First when my nephew made unguarded comments on Facebook, agreeing with a friend's negative comment made about their boss and was fired. The boss wasn't even named!

Then my son joined a group on Facebook which was started by a workmate. This group was the opposite of a fan page and was let's say, less than positive, about the company they both worked for. They were also fired!

It's easy to say companies should ignore such minor infractions and accept the fact that people will get frustrated or be annoyed about something at work and then go into a social site such as Facebook and vent. But the web is a published document, there for all time, not just a few words soon forgotten.

Had either of them been in the pub at the time talking, this wouldn't have been an issue (unless the boss was standing just behind them listening). Facebook is like the pub to most people. They let their guard down there, they chatter and gripe in text just as if they were relaxing after work over a few drinks.

We ant freedom of speech - June 20 Iran electi...
Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

I don't know where this will go. It's hard on the boys who have had a sharp lesson in why keeping their mouths shut (especially on the web) is a good policy. At the same time, it's like the right to free speech has been taken away and Big Brother really is watching everything we do and censoring it violently.

Keeping a good reputation online is going to get harder and harder. For companies trying to keep negative comments off the web and for kids who haven't learned to hold their tongues yet. Lawyers will be scrambling to update libel laws to keep up, while enforcement agencies pick their battles between genuinely disgruntled customers and people out to cause trouble for competing companies.

Companies are going to need extra staff uploading new positive content and staff to keep an eye on where their brand is being used in inappropriate ways.

Nothing has really changed. Any freedom comes at a price, including freedom of speech. If you wish to exercise it, you take the consequences. It's just another thing to consider in our increasingly complex world. Sigh...

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What’s Twitter & Who’s Twittering?

What's Twitter and Who's Twittering?

The micro blogging social media site Twitter is fast to use and very responsive. No long articles with 500 words to post here!

Just 2 lines to say what you are doing, reading, promoting or thinking.

Twitter is a quick way to link to any page in any niche you want to promote. Its a fast way to share a video you liked or an article you found helpful without writing a long post about it.

More than anything else though it's a way to gain a fast group following and link a feed to a blog or social site and vice versa.

You can converse with people on Twitter. You can private message your followers. You can say something or nothing. You can eavesdrop on other people's conversations.

What's Twitter? One of the most unassuming and useful tools around so far as social media sites is concerned.

How to Use Twitter Video

Watch this short video guide to Twitter about who is twittering or tweeting on Twitter and why.

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How to set up who sees what on facebook

Facebook, Inc.
Image via Wikipedia

Establishing Facebook Privacy

How to set up who sees what on Facebook

Facebook is a place to relax with your friends and be yourself, to mix old friends with new friends and to have fun. But Facebook restricts you to only one profile with all your friends lumped in together.

Most people enjoy the social networking of Facebook and like to explore their friends profiles and the photos and videos that they may upload. You may not mind sharing a family photo with a few close friends but may prefer to not have the same photo available to kids at school if you are a teacher, to managers at work who may not approve or to complete strangers who can save a copy of the photo to their computer and use it as they please.

It is important if you are using your personal Facebook profile to network into the larger Facebook community to set up rules for "who sees what" on Facebook. These are called privacy settings and although it may take a little time to set up the friend groups, it's worth doing as soon as possible before your community of friends grows too large to manage.

It can be awkward if a work colleague or a complete stranger wants to friend you on Facebook. It could be unprofessional to refuse, but you'd prefer not to have your personal friends and family open to them, or to expose your personal friends to everyone you agree to friend, especially if they are marketers looking for prospects.

It is highly likely if you use Facebook for business as well as pleasure that you'll want to set up a Facebook page. You can set up "who sees what" on Facebook pages as well and establish further privacy rules. This excellent Facebook tutorial video will show you how to group your friends into networks and then to use the privacy settings to allow each of the groups to only see the specific areas of your Facebook space that you want them to.

Sun Sentinel Facebook privacy video tutorial ver 3 from andrew tran on Vimeo.

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