Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Facebook Rant: Facebook Privacy

Hey you!

Yeah you! Random internet hooligan! Did you re-post the Great Facebook Privacy Hoax of 2015 (and 2014, 2013, 2012 and whenever the hell else this stupid damn thing has come up)? If you did, then these stern words are for you. If not...well then go about your business, because I have no quarrel with you.

1) If you legitimately though this privacy statement was real and proceeded to copy and paste something about privacy and post it thinking, "Well, now I'm in the clear", Kudos! You should probably work on your critical thinking skills. Reading something on the internet doesn't make something true. In fact, it should make something more suspect! How many times do you hear of people mistaking stories from The Onion or The Daily Currant as legitimate and terrifying news? OFTEN. The answer is often. You CAN avoid being one of those poor saps though. Get to fact checking. Do your background research, check sources, and always take things you read or hear with a grain of salt. (eg: The Rome Statute is a treaty that established four international crimes as defined by the ICC...it has nothing to do with Facebook privacy policy).

2) Posting to a social network does not undo the usage agreement you absentmindedly clicked "I agree" on nor does it constitute some legally binding protective word shield. Its just a post. Posting "I mm Batman" with a picture of you in your Halloween costume does not actually turn you into the vigilante known as Batman. You're still Jim from Accounting and everyone knows you're just wearing a muscle suit.

3) When you spread misinformation, you are guilty of the kind of negligent thought that is plaguing every foundation of this country. You aren't just "sharing a Facebook status just in case", you are willfully spreading an untruth, a lie, that spreads like a virus until it's infected every otherwise reasonable. You are responsible for your words, and just like shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, your words have consequences.. Do not make the mistake of thinking, "I did it just in case" is some kind of justification for spreading ignorant and potentially (not likely in this case but still) dangerous information. If this was Hollywood during the Red Scare, just saying "I think Rick might be a Communist" could've been enough to ruin Rick's career and life all on conjecture. Think before you speak or share.

4) Ignore everything I wrote above. I'm one person with one opinion and frankly, I'm an idiot. Doing something because someone else said you should do it is antithetical to the whole point of this post. I can't tell you how to live your life. Just know that I, and many people like me, would find the world a much better place if everyone took a step back and used some critical thought.

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