Recently a New Brunswick Tory party member got into some hot water over a comment that he posted on his Facebook page. He was expressing his thoughts on the provincial budget. Now this got me thinking about how common it is nowadays to hear of people getting into trouble over things they post on the internet.
The word privacy in today’s society means almost nothing. People seem to have given up privacy for some infatuation to publicly display their lives on websites like Facebook. While I don’t feel there is anything wrong with social networking, I can’t understand why people feel the need to post everything they do and everything about themselves on these sites. The false sense of anonymity that the internet provides seems to make people keener on saying anything. But would we all go out to the middle of a crowded place and start barking out personal information for all the people to hear? I think not.
Now before you email me and tell me that only their “friends” can see it, that’s where we’re wrong! Honestly, how many people that are added to profiles on Facebook are actual close friends? I’m thinking probably not too many, and if they were all really close friends than people must have one heck of a social life to balance spending time with all of them. So my point is that people don’t necessarily know who they are adding to their network all that well and they don’t know who these people know. Most often people are quick to add anyone they had a conversation with at some point.
Take this for instance, if one was to post some wild party photos on their page or perhaps a statement on how much they hate their boss, this could land them in serious hot water. Who’s to say that one of the “friends” on their network doesn’t know their boss? Perhaps they see the photos or the statement and think they should tip the boss off. In a matter of seconds the employee’s career is finished.
Some people argue but what about my privacy rights? This is like saying I want to go swimming but I don’t want to get wet. If you post something on the internet then it is a form of publishing. Therefore it is being put out there with the intention of being read or viewed by the public, and therefore people can do with it what they please. If you don’t want people to know that the last time you called in sick to work you actually went to a beach party, then don’t post pictures of yourself having a grand old time on the internet!