Be careful what you type. We are constantly hearing stories of people getting into hot water over their use of social media. A recent story out of the US tells of a man being in contempt of a protective order after he posted comments about his ex-wife on Facebook. In this case, he was ordered to make a daily apology on his Facebook page for 30 days or face 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Unsurprisingly he chose the Facebook apology option because no matter how bad humble pie tastes, it sure beats doing time. This example shows that it’s not just celebrities who get into trouble for social media mistakes.
However, celebrities still give us plenty of examples how not to use social media. Last week former AFL player Dermott Brereton and disgraced former player agent Ricky Nixon found themselves in hot water over derogatory comments they made on Facebook about a female journalist. While people constantly claim that these kinds of comments are just amongst friends, they need to realise that the comments are far more accessible than mutterings over the drip tray at your local watering hole. We should use these two examples as a handy reminder that we need to keep safe on Facebook and other forms of social media. This means reading and understanding the privacy settings on your accounts.
I’m certainly not a social media wowser. I happily use a couple of different sites and appreciate how it is a great way to keep in touch with friends, stay up-to-date with news and most of all have some fun. But I still think that we need to be aware that what we say on social media has the capability of coming back to bite you. We need to learn from these stories and acknowledge that ignorance is no longer an excuse.
Do you agree with Ged? Do people overreact to comments made on Facebook and Twitter? Can you share some tales of Facebook folly? Do you think you adequately use your privacy settings?