The Good,The Bad and The Ugly
By: Michelle Masci
Photo Source:Flickr CC2.0“Social Media apps”by Jason Howie
Social media has become an engrained part of society,
and while it is a useful and powerful tool, there are
negative aspects that are hard to ignore…
Photo Source: Flickr“Tablet”by Esther Vargas
are just to name
In short,social media use requires some level
of personal responsibility.
Photo Source: PixelBay“Bullying”by Jedidja
Justine Sacco, a victim of online shaming, knows all too well what happens
when responsible social media use is neglected, when she tweeted what she
thought was a harmless joke:
“Going to Africa.
Hope I don’t get
AIDS. Just kidding.
Photo Source:Flickr“FIGURE 10.1 Flocking of birds”by Jurgen Appelo
Many didn’t see the
humour and the backlash
was almost immediate,
She lost her job and
becoming a social
Photo Source: Flickr“Outcast”by Stewart Black
But Did the Punishment Fit the Crime?
Jon Ronson, a publicist who interviewed Sacco in the
wake of the aftermath, didn’t think so: “I also began to
marvel at the disconnect between the severity of the
crime and the gleeful savagery of the punishment.”
Photo Source: Flickr CC2.0“Lemme outta here”by Sean Hobson
Sacco was irresponsible about her tweet but what
about the large number of people that viciously
shamed her online? Are they really any better?
Photo Source:CC2.0 Flickr“happy_sad_face_smiley”by Alan O’Rourke
“Their motivation was much the
same as Sacco’s own - a bid for the
attention of strangers… hoping to
amuse people she couldn’t see.” -
Jon Ronson 
“On the Internet, it turns out,we’re not
entitled to demand any particular
respect at all, and if others don’t have
the empathy necessary to forgive our
miss-steps,or the attention spans to
judge us in context,there’s nothing we
can do about it.” - Jeffrey Rosen 
Photo Source: CC2.0 Flickr “background” by Markus Sandy
As we can see, social media is a
powerful tool,that can have
some huge and serious
consequences when used
Like online shaming,cyber-bullying is another aspect of social media that
happens when responsible social media use is ignored.
Almost 10% of
living in a household
with children knew
of an instance of
involving at least
one of the children
in the their
Photo Source:CC2.0 Flickr“We R family”by Amdolu
Research by Microsoft
discovered that 55% of
parents of 12 year olds
said their child was on
Facebook and 76% said
they helped them
access the site.
restriction is 13+.
Photo Source: Flickr CC2.0“Social Media”by magicatwork
When parents create underage social media accounts for
their children,kids are exposed to cyber-bullying and
other content,people or situations that are out of their
depth and which they're not emotionally prepared for. 
Photo Source: CC2.0 Flickr“Growing Social Media”by mkhmarketing
Not only should parents be
responsible for protecting their kids
from cyber-bullying but also ensuring
their kids aren’t bullies themselves…
In 2013 Rebecca Sedwick,at the age
of 12 committed suicide by jumping
off a silo,partly due to excessive
cyber-bullying.Two female students
were arrested on charges of
Photo Source: Flickr CC2.0“Pidgeons Party”
by Giuseppe Milo
Though the charges were
dropped due to lack of
evidence,the accused’s names
and mugshots were released.
One of the mothers of the
“It’s been a horrible
experience for me,
my daughter and
my whole family.”
 Photo Source:CC2.0 Flickr“Gdynia
Design Days 2010”by Michal Jaskolski
Responsible social media use could prevent cases like this,especially if
parents are more aware of what their children are doing on social
media and can advise them on using social media responsibly.
“A 2009 study from
Common Sense Media
found that parents
children's use of social
networking sites and
often are unaware of
how they are used.“
– Jennifer Holladay
Photo Source: CC2.0 Flickr “...next generation” by zeitfaenger.at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwarz/
Responsible social media use is important
in preventing cyber bullies and victims of
T.H.I.N.K b4 U Send
is a campaign supported by
the OPP to get children and
families to think about what
they post before
sending/posting in light of the
growing concerns of cyber-
T – is it true?
H – is it hurtful?
I – is it illegal?
N – is it necessary?
K – is it kind?
Photo Source:CC2.0 Flickr“Lightbulb”by Francis N.
The question“Is it true?”in
T.H.I.N.K is important not only
when posting online but also
when assessing the copious
amounts of online
information we interact with
Photo Source: CC2.0 Flickr “cmd.exe” by *n3wjack's world in pixels
“Platforms should also take an active role in
educating their users and readers to always check the
truthfulness of information they read and endorse.
However this is not the sole responsibility of the
platforms: appropriate ICT literacy should be
introduced in schools.”
Photo Source:CC2.0 Flickr“social media”by Sean MacEntee
Accessing the truthfulness of
spreading it is important,
especially when it comes to
matters of science,politics
Photo Source:CC2.0 Flickr“Beakers”by Alex
In the case of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, rumours propagated by
Twitter users, arose such as:
“Ebola could be
airborne in some
Ebola and spread it
While these seemed likely to be untrue to most who saw them, they
are unnecessary fear-mongering.
Photo Source: CC2.0 Flickr “Twitter-birds-social-media-leader-crowd” by
Alan O’Rourke, Changes: Cropped
Social media is better used
when used responsibly.The
negative side-effects of social
media,such as online-shaming,
cyber-bullying and propagation
of misinformation, would be
minimized if people took time to
verify information and think
Photo Source:CC2.0 Flickr“3D Social Networking”by Chris Potter
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11. Thorne, Liz. 2016. "OPP Want You To T.H.I.N.K B4 U Send". Windsoritedotca - Windsor's Neighbourhood News.