USERS OF SOCIAL MEDIA SPEAK OUT AGAINST OFFENSIVE POSTS - A few days ago, meebal published an article on how Facebook was used to alert police to behavior that appeared suspicious and perhaps endangered the welfare of a small child. Although it resulted in the removal of the child from the home, the story triggered a controversial response from not only Facebook users, but users of every social media site.
Now, it has happened again. In today’s news is a story from December about 21 year old Charlie Rush, who was out snowboarding with friends when he spotted a moose and decided to give chase for nearly a minute before the moose scampered off. As young people do, the entire scene was captured on video and posted to Facebook. After nearly 90 “likes” and 400 shares, one FB reader alerted Flathead National Forest Authorities who then found Rush and fined him $225 for molesting a moose.
Read the full story … FoxNews
Meebal.com Reader ‘Dee’ says…
Over this past year, meebal has brought attention to cyber bullies, trolls and offensive posts allowed on social media today. Staunch believers in the right to free speech, it’s also acknowledged that there is NO reason to allow malicious remarks, provocative pictures or posts that would encourage risky dangerous behavior.
It seems as though social media users agree and are becoming more active in reporting offensive, illegal or dangerous posts, not just to the sites’ mediators, but to law agencies. It would appear that even though each site has a reporting policy in effect, that many users have found themselves dissatisfied with the lack of disciplinary action taken against those who post questionable content.
With the complacency shown by these sites, which they argue would hinder “right to free speech,” internet trolls have grown in numbers and continue to wreak havoc on many of their younger-aged users. Take a look at just a few of stories covered by meebal of young people who have been harassed, bullied and tortured through the anonymity provided by social media.
It has been questioned by many whether this behavior is the fault of the parents, the social network or the teens themselves, but nowhere has anyone been able to provide an answer to how the situation could be changed—until now.
Just within the last few days we have heard of two incidents that have not only gone to outside agencies looking for accountability but have also made the news, alerting other users of the web to the fact that questionable posts will now be looked at differently and no longer tolerated.
We all want to have free speech, to be able to express ourselves and share our stories without someone criticizing how we say it, but at the same time as members of the human race, it is not unreasonable to ask that these be done in a respectable manner.
Social media has become a way of communication for so many people, not just young people and no one has the right to abuse someone or something and be able to call it entertainment. It seems as though we, the public, have met the breaking point of tolerance and have shown that there are those who are willing to take the necessary steps to protect one another and to hold each other accountable.
Recent stories have hinted that today’s young people no longer make up the largest portion of Facebook’s account holders; in fact it seems as though the over 40 crowd, especially those who are parents seem to utilize the site more frequently. With older folks on the site, it is only natural that it begins to take on the persona of “the watchful mother.”
As much as young people do not like to be watched or told that they have crossed a line, the very fact that the site is becoming more self-governing can be seen as a good thing. The right to free speech remains intact, and yes it is still free speech if you say it politely and when there are possible legal issues, it is brought to the attention of the authorities.
Hopefully, the stories of the last few days will continue to encourage other users to step in when there is offensive content posted and we will begin to see fewer stories about teens who have been bullied, videos of outrageous and dangerous stunts that encourage risky behavior and our internet society will become a safer place for all.