Week 5 Reflection: The Expectation of Privacy on Social Media

This week’s live session discussions were particularly interesting. We spoke a lot about transparency, privacy, and security on the Internet, and even talked about those silly Terms of Service that nobody ever reads. What stuck out to me though, was the particular discussion about privacy on social media — or the perceived privacy expectations when it comes to social media. The idea that some people expect their ideas and thoughts, and even information, to stay private when they post it on social media is almost crazy to me.

Isn’t the entire idea of social media to be able to share your thoughts and ideas? And to post updates and pictures? If that’s the case — and I believe that it is — I am surprised that people have any expectation of privacy. With the click of a button, anyone can share or retweet a Facebook or Twitter post, and anyone can take a live screenshot via their computer or smart phone at any time. So why then is there a sudden expectation that what we put on social media is not going to go viral?

Moral of the story: In the digital world that we live in where “going viral” can happen in a matter of minutes, don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t want to leak out to the public.

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