Online Custom «Social Media Content» Essay Sample
In the modern world, social media platforms allow people to communicate on higher scales than in the previous years. These websites enable users around the globe to create and share textual, video, and audio information with other users, both known and unknown to them, in a collaborative process. Through social media networks, users from different parts of the world can communicate without the need of meeting each other face-to-face. Although social media sites did not use to have much influence on people, today they make an enormous impact on different aspects of users’ lives. This increased effect is attributable to the technological advancements that have been made over years and availability of mobile phones, computers, and other communication devices that support access to the Internet. Despite the fact that millions of people across the globe use social media, many of them are not aware that there are legal and ethical issues related to their use. While in many countries users of social networks enjoy unrestricted Internet use, in the UAE, users of these social media platforms are not allowed to spread information about the royal family, data that threaten the internal security or are considered blasphemy.
At present, millions of people have a profile on one or more social media sites. They share written or graphical content with other users on these platforms. However, similar to other media channels, users should remember about possible legal implications of their actions while sharing content online. Some of the legal issues arising from posting information on the Internet include defamation and infringement of privacy. Therefore, before sharing material, one must remember that social media content gets scrutinized as much as formal communication. When spreading information in social media, users should comply with copyright laws established to protect the original material from plagiarism (Ossian, Paddock, & PLC, 2011). Unfortunately, many Internet users post content that is not original without acknowledging the author or seeking their permission. To avoid legal issues, users should obtain official permission to share unoriginal material or indicate its authors in their posts. Additionally, users should be aware that posting information deemed to promote criminal activity can lead to criminal investigation. In such cases, material posted in social media sites will act as evidence (Ossian et al., 2011). Additionally, when using social network sites, users must ensure that they read and understand the terms and conditions of the website in which they are sharing information. They should also avoid distributing materials that others could deem defamatory. Posting such information could result in legal actions against posters, especially with social media bullying being on the rise.
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With the rise of social networking sites and an increased number of people posting material on these platforms, there may also arise some ethical concerns. These concerns arise from the fact that users get unlimited communication making, them more disposed to deceitful people. Therefore, Internet users should observe media ethics in the course of their interactions and information sharing (Khan, 2015). In posting information on social sites they must be diligent not to invade the privacy of other users. This invasion includes applying illegal methods to obtain information about users or sharing personal information collected from social sites without the consent of the users. Such conduct is unethical as sharing such information can potentially harm a person. Spamming is another ethical issue rising in social media environment. Some users overpublicize information unasked. Such information gets annoying to other users and does not achieve the intended results as people start to ignore it. Additionally, media ethics requires individuals to share credible information, and even though it permits the freedom of expression, bashing others in social sites is unethical. Moreover, with an increase in the number of users using and trusting social media content on such platforms, it is immoral for users to post content under false profiles and usernames. Such conduct is unethical and particularly harmful when one tries to receive money from other users without their consent.
Unethical behavior in social networks is illegal and affects people and businesses negatively. If a company engages in unethical conduct, it ultimately loses its credibility. Such was the case in the Nestle Company, when one of their employees posted an offensive comment as a reply to a complaint from one of their online followers (Khan, 2015). The company has a mission of supports consumer integrity, and their commitment is to avoid any conduct that could damage the image of the company. Following this event, the company faced consumer backlash with calls for people to boycott Nestle coffee products. Additionally, fans of the group joined in to criticize the company for the employee's unethical conduct. Therefore, one must consider what they share on social media platforms as adverse consequences might arise from such actions.
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Countries have different laws governing the use of social media platforms and the freedom of users to post content of these websites. For example, in the United States of America, the Constitution holds that owners of such sites are not responsible for the content the user's post. Hence, in a situation where a user posts defamatory information on a social media site, the owner of the site cannot be sued . Furthermore, in the United States of America and many other nations, social media companies regulate themselves (Ossian et al., 2011). Consequently, many companies have terms and conditions of use; however, unfortunately, a large number of users do not read and understand these conditions. In other countries, such as the UAE, the right to speech is limited (Duffy, 2014). Thus, freedom of writing should not violate the constitutional laws of the state. Unlike in other nations where social media users post contents on whatever topic they choose, in the United Arab Emirates, sharing material deemed defamatory to rulers or blasphemous according to the Islam religion is a crime, which car result in prosecution and penalties (Duffy, 2014). Nevertheless, social media platforms continue to gain popularity among citizens and various organizations of the country as they provide a platform through which information reaches people faster compared to traditional channels of communication.
When sharing social media content in the United Arab Emirates, one should observe ethical conduct to avoid facing legal issues. The geographical location of the country predisposes it to terror attacks, and the authority realized this fact. Besides, since the content shared on social media reaches thousands of users, the administration must be diligent to prevent the spread of information that could be damaging (Allagui, 2017). The government of the UAE also does not support criticism of the authority online or offline. In 2012, when the citizens of the nation embarked on complaining through the Internet, the administration was quick to tighten the restrictions on the Internet use (Wissing, 2015). The restrictions imposed by the government included a ban on sharing images and content that is considered threatening to the national security. Thus, Internet uses risk facing up to three years of jail sentence for sharing inappropriate content on social media regularly. Following enactment of this law, a 29-year-old American citizen was sentenced in 2013 to serve a year jail term for posting an offensive YouTube comedy (Wissing, 2015). After the sentence, the UAE citizens launched a campaign on Tweeter to persuade the authorities to release the American, who had served nine months in jail before he was freed. Similarly, an Indian man who shared a video of the UAE police beating a civilian was arrested and tried for defamation (Wissing, 2015). However, the restrictions on the Internet use in the UAE faced criticism of human rights advocates, who claim that they restrict the freedom of expression of Emirati, which should be a universal right of every human (Allagui, 2017). Therefore, users argue that social media regulations are a restriction of their fundamental right to speech. On the other hand, the authorities hold that the framework is necessary to prevent legal issue on Internet platforms.
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In conclusion, social networks affect various aspects of their user’s lives. However, this form of media regulates itself, allowing people to share information at their own discretion. Due to the lack of tight social media regulations, some ethical and legal issues may arise. When sharing content on social media websites, one should observe moral standards to avoid legal problems. Some of the legal issues associated with social media use include sharing third-party information without their consent, extortion, defamation and sharing illegal content. The ethical standards of using social media involve respecting the privacy of other uses, avoiding spamming, posting harmful content as well as bullying. In the USA, social media companies regulate themselves, and users are responsible for their actions in such sites. Though users in many nations enjoy the freedom of expression, the UAE authority enacted harsh measures to regulate the use of social media, which is seen by human rights activists as an infringement on the users’ freedom of speech. In the UAE, users should not share blasphemous content or information that, according to the authority, could threaten the internal security of the nation. In the past years, users who failed to observe the law regulating social media use faced jail terms.
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