Social Media by Leah

Response 3: Bill of Rights for Social Web Users
October 7, 2009, 12:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Do those of us who use social media need a Bill of Rights?

After reading the document and the accompanying comments I feel that it would be too difficult to create a Bill of Rights and require people to follow it.

For starters, social media is just too dynamic. New applications, technology and ideas are created and developed every day. Would the Bill of Rights feature key principles that apply to all of social media, or would there be constant amendments?

Secondly, who would create the Bill of Rights? Would it be owned by an individual or a group? How would it be enforced? Would it be a voluntary or suggested document that people should follow? Many of the comments on the blog page mention trust. Can we trust social media Web sites to follow a Bill of Rights? How do we show them that trust is important?

My response to this issue is fairly simple. Social Web users sign up for these services and agree to different Terms of Service documents. Yes, we own our information, but as everyone always says, “Once it is on the Internet, it is there forever.” I feel that social media users need to take responsibility for their own content. There has always been the fear of misuse on the Internet, this is not a new problem. Users take a risk when they sign up for various sites and many of us that use these sites and applications get over this fear and use them.

However, one point did strike a cord, and that was a comment regarding the use and distribution of personal information to third parties. I suppose that this could fall under the “Control” portion of the Bill of Rights, and I agree that it is unfair that these sites tend to work off of advertising revenue and they need to submit your information. I can understand that people would be angry that their information is being sent to an advertiser when they themselves did not sign up. But, as I said previously, social Web users are responsible and must accept the fact that their information is put out there when they sign up for applications. This means that sites can use the data placed on their site in any way that they would like to.

Also, most of these Web sites are free for users…these companies need to make money somehow. So what if they give your information to advertisers?

Finally, so what if advertisements are tailored to your interests? Ignore them like every other ad you receive.


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