Delete, Delete, Hang-Up: On Social Media

Delete, Delete, Hang-Up: On Social Media

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4555-3.ch003

Abstract

Whereas most members of social media are enthusiastically exercising their legal right to express themselves freely, some seem unwilling or incapable of assessing the high risk of disclosing information about their most private thoughts, interests, opinions, work, and health status, particularly in times of psychological distress or personal tragedy. This chapter updates criminal activity associated with frequent use of social media. Some believe that the conceptual elasticity of the term “cyberbullying” has been used to push for a tougher crime agenda, while obscuring tragedy of the suicides in Canadian federal parliamentary debates.
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A Coalition Of The Willing

Social networks like Instagram (Facebook Inc, 2020), Facebook (Facebook Inc, 2020), Twitter (Twitter, 2020), Tumblr (Automattic, 2020), SnapChat (SnapChat Inc, 2020), and others (Mann, 2009), are in fact, global villages (McLuhan, 1962) or at least, town squares (Zuckerberg, 2019), where the young and not so young eagerly share their opinions and personal data. These young and not so young comprise a coalition of the willing.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is complicit in providing platforms for the willing. Section 2 is a collection of fundamental freedoms - of expression, of religion, of thought, of belief, of peaceful assembly and of association. “Everyone has the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication” (Charter, 1982, at S2). Similar language appears in a much older document, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (UDHR, 1948, at 19).

So what’s the problem? The problem is that many seem unwilling or incapable of assessing the high risk of disclosing information about their most private thoughts, interests, opinions, work and health status on social media, particularly in times of psychological distress or personal tragedy. It’s a form of non compos mentis and is no argument for breach of confidence, which begs the question, why do they do it? The answer, according to Danah Boyd (2006) is to provide their personal data with 'context, context context':

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