Make Social Networks Safe!

Everyday spams surface on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I usually ignore most of them but recently there is this spam that annoys and bugs me so much that I need to express my views and share my tips to make social networks a better place for everyone.

Lately on Facebook some irresponsible bloggers out there have brilliantly photoshopped a lotus on a man’s neck and claimed that it is an adverse effect of using a particular shampoo brand. The image is so revolting and disgusting that it gives me goosebumps everytime it appears on my timeline. It is these kind of spams that make our experience on social networks awful and could potentially leave a psychological scar in viewers.

We cannot control what others out there are doing but as a social network user, we are responsible of what we write, post, tweet, comment, like and share on social network. For example, this lotus photoshop case could have been avoided or prevented from going viral if people learn to use our social networks appropriately and responsibly. Here are some tips that we could all use to avoid spams from going viral in the future.

(1) Check the source of the link. I always open up links only from trusted sources such as Twitter, YouTube, Weibo etc. If you are unsure, upon opening the link, if it prompts you to allow a third-party website to access your Facebook information, DON’T DO IT! Chances are that once you have given the green lights for these third-party websites to access your information, they could misuse your PERSONAL INFORMATION! If some websites prompts you to share the page before you can continue reading, DON’T DO IT too! If someone genuinely wants to share information with the rest of the world, they would offer to readers or viewers without any T&C. Otherwise, hit search engines like Google or Bing to search for similar articles from different sources. If it is a GENUINE piece of information, other websites could be sharing the same information too.

(2) ‘Like’ verified pages. There are thousands or millions of pages out there. I like the idea of Twitter verifying accounts of celebrities, organisations, companies, political parties etc. End of 2013, Facebook has also incorporated this feature. Verified accounts mean that information, photos and links posted by these pages are 100% SAFE and they are monitored on a regular basis by professionals. If some pages are not verified yet, check with the companies or organisations OFFICIAL WEBSITE and from there, click on the social network links to link you to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages.

(3) Report. Whenever you see or suspect something that is potentially a spam, do the right thing and report! There is a report feature on Facebook and Twitter. Report any suspicious articles, links or pictures, comments that violate or breach the T&C of the social network. For example, revolting pictures like the recent lotus photoshop image, semi-nude photos, child pornography, racist comments or remarks and so on. Together we can help to bring down all these to make our social networks spam free and safe for everyone to use.

These days social networks are not only used by teenagers and young people. The population demographic has even extended to adults and older generations. Every social network user is responsible of their own action on social networks to keep them safe and sound. We should have zero tolerance for spams as they are potential source of viruses that could harm your computer or even hack your personal information. Do not let this happen again in the future.

Together we can make social networks safe for everyone.

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