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Why do you guys think this should be all so serious?

posted 16 Oct 2010, 21:16 by Jess Maher

 After all its just a Facebook page and a few 'questionable' emails maybe, but seriously....

In the recently very publicised case of blogger @Whaleoil who was recently charged with breaking name suppression orders, the case set an important legal prescident for all users of social media. Regardless of where you post comments (be it Facebook, a personal blog or some encrypted 'private' forum) the courts have stated that a comment made online is effectively comparative to printing a whole lot of pamphlets and distributing them in the letterboxes of your neighbours. 

You can not only be held accountable as a result, but you should expect that you could be. Now before you go deleting everything you have ever posted online, or you Facebook account, be aware that you are not really ever able to technically delete these as a user. Everything you post online is fundamentally both public and permemant. 'Deleting' anything you have posted to Facebook particularly deciving, while the data does not appear in your feed, any simple code run on the cache of the site, including an of those external tracking programs (such as Postlings) see the 'deleted' text appear much like this. Whilst it is not showing it is still very much there and whilst slightly more difficult to access, if there is for any reason the need for someone to investigate your online use for any reason, it would not be beyond thier access (view the recent post on the name suppressed individual from the recent alcohol related school boy death in Auckland of James Webster case).

The problem issue that current users do not to a large extent realise the extent + significance of their social media use, largely till it is much too late. It is a much better idea to not get youself in trouble with such medias in the first place than it is to try and fix the problems incurred after the fact. The publicness and permenance of our ''virtual realities'' force the value of transperancy throughout our societies and the best way to excel in your positive and valuable use of social media is to be honest and true to your word. If everyone gets a voice, misleading or deceptive statements will quickly be made very obvious under investigation. 

With the NZ Police Force already signed on to the Governments social network the examples of this real life integration and implications are endless (there is a register of stories, news articles and links which can be found in the think-tank). Considering the move towards e-govt in 2020 we are hoping that more Kiwis can catch on to the importance and significance of this change and reality before it is to late for them to do anything about what they post from this moment forward. Just think, while it can be bad getting caught out saying something in appropriate to that your boss or mum sees on Facebook, the government and policy might not be so forgiving. We are hoping Kiwi users get this potential risk as soon as possible as the evidence of 'stuff-ups' is already a massive pile and at this point we all have the opportunity to do what it is that makes Kiwis so special + unique. That is use our size, location and culture to our advantage and utilise our international place in the world as a representative test market and case study for the western world, showcasing to others the potential value and usefulness of social media when it is excecute in the right circumstances.