There’s been a lot of focus, especially in the past year, on internet censorship. From the battle against online piracy to the recent use of Facebook and social media channels to apprehend criminals, many people are stopping to wonder where their privacy ends on the Internet – in my humble opinion, it starts and ends with you.
You can hear some of my opinions on the “post” button on your Facebook profile being another symbol of your automatic forfeit of privacy on fishbat’s podcast, Reel Time, but I wanted to take the time to elaborate.
Even with the most recent attention, the issue of privacy on the Internet is no earth-shattering dilemma. As far back as my own days in high school, we were warned that once something was put on the Internet there was no taking it back. The decisions we make or what we post can affect admissions to school and future employment. Employers have been noted to request the private Facebook information of potential employees, and unsavory posts online via personal profiles have had an unfavorable outcome in regards to professional and academic life.
No one should be censoring you on the internet, but you should be censoring yourself. I don’t think that this means misrepresenting yourself, but it does mean keeping things that you want to be private off the Internet. I can tell you with certainty that your privacy settings on your post visibility don’t mean jack diddly.
Do I think that your privacy should ever be invaded? No. But I do believe that once you make the conscious decision to post something in cyberspace, there is no taking it back. This is an issue of common sense and decorum. As someone who works in marketing and public relations, I know that one of the most valuable things you have is your own public perception. So why would you post something that could damage the way others view you?