Tweets can be used as evidence

In the last few months, tweets and Facebook posts by people who have allegedly committed crimes have led media and police directly to them. Now comes the news that tweets can be used in evidence by courts of law. The Age reports:

London: British lawyers have warned that people’s tweets could be used as evidence against them, after a California teenager had a manslaughter charge upgraded to murder partly because of boasts on Twitter. 

Barrister Mark McDonald told Britain’s Metro newspaper: ‘‘ The police … may ask someone alleging rape to send a message to the person they are accusing asking why they did it. Their reply can then be used in evidence.’’

 

Joining your teenagers on Facebook improves your relationship

Although I’m sure many teenagers would disagree, the Huffington Post is reporting that parents who friend their teenage children on Facebook enjoy a stronger relationship than those who don’t.

There’s a new study out of Brigham Young University that says engaging with your kids on social media sites helps strengthen your bond. The study found that teens who were the most connected to their parents on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media felt closer to them in real life. Those teens were also less likely to be depressed, delinquent or behave aggressively.

However, article author Ann Brenoff states that

I am unconvinced of the value of parent-teen bonding versus the potential harm of a misstep by a kid on social media. Learning to use social media safely and appropriately is a process. Some kids get it and some kids will learn it the hard way. For now, I will continue to monitor my kids’ online gaming activities, perform spot Instagram checks just like the spot urine tests given athletes — all the while teaching my kids about what is safe and appropriate “sharing” with real and virtual friends. The Internet is full of land mines and parents shouldn’t need social media to talk to their children about it or anything else.

Read the whole article here.

I’m 13 and none of my friends are on Facebook

Last week, Mashable published this post on the waning appeal of Facebook by a New York teenager.

Now, when we are old enough to get Facebook, we don’t want it. By the time we could have Facebooks, we were already obsessed with Instagram. Facebook was just this thing all our parents seemed to have.

Let’s say I get invited to a party, and there’s underage drinking. I’m not drinking, but someone pulls out a camera. Even if I’m not carrying a red Solo cup, I could be photographed behind a girl doing shots. Later that week, the dumb-dumb decides to post photos from that “amazing” party. If my mom saw I was at a party with drinking, even if I wasn’t participating, I’d be dead. This isn’t Facebook’s fault, but it happens there.

Facebook is also a big source of bullying in middle school. Kids might comment something mean on a photo of you, or message you mean things. This isn’t Facebook’s fault, but again, it does happen there. If my mom heard I was getting bullied on Facebook, she would tell me to quit right away.

An interesting insight into teenagers’ thoughts about social media. Read the whole post here.

Parents underestimate risk of cyber-bullying for teens

Recently The Sunday Age published a report stating that

Nearly 80 per cent of Australian children under 10 years of age use social networks. Among older teenagers – those 16 and 17 – parents underestimate bullying and risky online behaviour. But the most likely candidate for cyber-bullying is a 14 year old girl who checks her Facebook account daily.

By the time teenagers are 16, parents start to underestimate the likelihood of their child being bullied or involved in upsetting experiences. Only 17 per cent of parents said their 16-year-old was bothered by something on the internet, but 26 per cent of teenagers of that age said they suffered through an upsetting experience.

What is of concern is that once parents believe that their work is done, that their children know how to successfully navigate the social media world is when they are actually most at risk.

Read the whole article here.

 

Twitter changes its rules to help protect users

Twitter has just updated its rules to help protect users from abuse and spam.

Abusive behaviour has been targeted with a new “I’m reporting an abusive user” page:

This makes it so much easier to report abuse than previously. Hopefully, this will also discourage abusers.

1 in 4 young adults regret social media posts

Mashable reports that

Among younger adults aged 18 to 34, 29% said they have posted a photo, comment or other personal information they fear could compromise their current or future job prospects.

FindLaw, the organisation that carried out the survey on 1000 American adults suggests that

social-media users: Think before you post, check your privacy settings, limit your personal information and seek legal help if you think you’re ever wrongfully terminated. The survey did find that a sizeable 82% of young users “pay at least some attention to their privacy settings,” while only 6% leave the default settings as they are.

 

Read the whole report here.

Twitter to add ‘report abuse’ button

This week The Age reported that Twitter will finally add a ‘report abuse’ button to all versions of their site.

It follows an online petition for a crackdown on abusive tweets after hundreds of rape threats were directed at Caroline Criado-Perez, an activist who campaigned to keep women on UK banknotes.

The petition on the website change.org has attracted nearly 70,000 signatures, and says abuse on Twitter “frequently goes ignored”.

Twitter introduced an abuse-reporting button to its iPhone and mobile versions three weeks ago. Ms Harvey said the company plans to “bring this functionality to Android and desktop web users”.

This is great news for those who tweet. Read the whole article here.

Lady Gaga on Twitter, haters and change

US school librarian Gwyneth Jones has written an outstanding blog post looking at how Lady Gaga uses social media for good, rather than evil…

Lady Gaga says “I truly believe I have so many followers on Twitter just cause I write nice stuff! …I don’t whine, I don’t make fun of anybody. I’m just happy to be here!

That’s a philosophy that I believe we all should adopt. Read the whole post here.