Some problems that have emerged from a lack of digital etiquette are cyberbullying, identity theft, hacking or corrupting other people’s computers and invading people’s privacy. There are people in the world who do not know how to act using technology, especially the internet, in a way that is polite and safe towards others. In this activity you will address issues of inappropriate behaviour, and its consequences for individuals and society.
Create a Blog entry in which you write an article that addresses issues of inappropriate behaviour, what the consequences of these could have on an individual’s online reputation and the broader context of society. Give real life examples as evidence for your article.
Minimum requirements for your blog entry:
Length: approximately 500 words
Make use of creative commons images
Provide real examples of inappropriate behaviour and the impact this can have on the individual’s online reputation as well as the negative impact it may have in the broader context of society
Provide a short list for guiding your audience in online etiquette
Inappropriate behaviour online could be called many things. Catfishing, cyber bullying, abuse, just being a terrible human being… the list goes on.
Catfishing is the act or creating a fictitious social media account in order to fool people for nefarious reasons. Pedophiles do it to lure children, men do it to lure other men into online ‘relationships’ for money, women do it to get back at their exes. There are so many reasons why people do it, and none of them are right. In 2010, a documentary was released called Catfish, in which the show explains how “28-year-old Nev Schulman fell in love with a gorgeous young woman’s Facebook profile and her voice over the phone – both of which turned out to belong to a middle-aged wife and mother” (Peterson. 2013). In more severe cases people have been known to get arrested and sued for identity theft.
Cyber bullying has become the new way for children to bully their classmates, or for people in general to bully other people because ‘they can’. For example in 2012 sixteen year old Amanda Todd committed suicide over an incident where a man she had met online blackmailed her and stalked her (No Bullying. 2017). The man was not found.
Racism is also big online. One case in particular happened last year on Facebook over the overcrowding on the Durban beaches. A man from Sandton wrote some really derogatory comments about how the beach must have smelled and then proceeded to insult people who replied to his comment (Wicks. 2016). He has since been sued by the ANC youth league for crimen injuria (a wilful injury to someone’s dignity, caused by the use of obscene or racially offensive language or gestures).
Here are a few tips on how not to be inappropriate online:
- Don’t use offensive language;
- Don’t pretend to be someone else;
- Don’t distribute illegal material;
- Don’t harass someone online (or in person);
- Always gain permission when sharing images;
Peterson, H. 2013. Mail Online. ‘Catfishing:’ The phenomenon of Internet scammers who fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into romantic relationships. [Online]. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2264053/Catfishing-The-phenomenon-Internet-scammers-fabricate-online-identities-entire-social-circles-trick-people-romantic-relationships.html [Accessed 20 May 2017]
No Bullying. 2017. The Top Six Unforgettable CyberBullying Cases Ever. [Online]. Available at: https://nobullying.com/six-unforgettable-cyber-bullying-cases/ [Accessed 20 May 2017]
Wicks, J. 2016. News24. Another ‘racist’ Facebook rant over crowded Durban beach. [Online]. Available at: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/another-racist-facebook-rant-over-crowded-durban-beach-20161218 [Accessed 20 May 2017]