Be Careful What You Tweet, Blog, Text, Post Or Send
A couple of years ago nobody would know what you were talking about if you warned them to be careful what they tweet, blog, text or post on Facebook.
Go back a few more years and sending via email was a novelty.
Many of us still dont have a clue what they all are. But a growing number do and it is rapidly becoming clear we have to be careful what we say on these new methods of communication.
In recent months there have been some landmark legal developments that have a huge impact on how we all use social media.
It was reported a prominent author had to pay about $13,000 to settle a legal defamation case after shed used her blog to falsely accuse another blogger of being the person who had posted a hate message directed at her.
She was part of a campaign by female bloggers to expose the extent of anonymous hate mail they receive over the internet. But shed accused the wrong blogger and found herself at the end of a law suit.
The case illustrates an ugly side to the new media the high level of abusive and hate filled language as well bullying and threatening messages.
Usually the abusive writer hides behind a pseudonym. Its hard to find out who they are. United States providers argue its free speech and theyre not responsible.
But in Australia an internet provider such as Google can be described as a re-publisher and may be held liable for a defamation they carry if theyve been warned about it.
A Queensland court has ordered Google to reveal the identity of a person behind a blog whod called someone a thieving scumbag. Other courts have ordered providers to reveal the identity of people whod made nasty comments on news and travel websites.
Instantly tweeting what comes into ones head, particularly when under the weather, has got loads of people into trouble. Similarly, how many times have we sent emails only to realise seconds later wed said something wed regret, or worse, sent it to the boss or a spouse.
It makes sense to think twice before you tweet or post in the heat of the moment. You can even set up an option on your email account to delay the sending by a few minutes which gives you precious time to think it over.
Remember, nothing is truly secret when it goes out over electronic communications. Two British men were refused entry to the United States recently after one tweeted to a friend they were going to destroy America. The men said they only meant they were going to party and get trashed. US global communication monitoring had picked up the key words and officials deemed them a threat.
The simple solution is to think twice before you send once.