Who is in your social media ‘family’?
It is inevitable that anything humans create, that allow us to connect to other people or share information, will eventually be used for two things.
Porn is normally the first thing that new networks are used for. This internet is rife with it, after all.
And next comes criminal activity, which takes advantage of the ability to connect to people, in order to extend the numbers of people they can easily reach.
The level of the criminal activity varies, from full blown organised crime syndicates that can bilk people for thousands of dollars, to local thieves using Foursquare to find when victims homes are empty, and right down to cyber-bullying.
It almost seems inevitable that something which is created with the intention of being used for good, will somehow be used to promote negative behaviour.
We even have a category for people who perform all of their criminal behaviour online – Cyber Criminals.
Nothing on the internet, or mobile devices, is excluded from the reach of those that want to use technology to commit criminal acts.
Sometimes the people doing this may not even be aware that what they are doing is criminal.
Cyber-bullying, for example, is on the increase and it is only in the recent past that cyber-bullies have been charged for their actions.
Another very common activity that can be a criminal activity is peer-to-peer file sharing. (Of course, this really depends on what you are sharing, and with whom.) But the act of sharing files on line is so common now that many users do not stop to consider if they are breaching copyright laws.
Similarly, sharing and re-posting images that are found online, is an extremely common activity,which many people simply do not think twice about when they copy an image from a website.
There are users that will actually argue that images/art/comics/videos, become public property as soon as they are published online.
Therefore, taking them to use for your own purposes is totally fine and is actually what the creator intended.
This is, of course, just not true and often the theft of creative pieces can have a very detrimental effect on those creators.
Sometimes, it can even result in those creators never making anything again.
So next time you are going to repost a comic,video or photo, take a few seconds to include a link back to the creator of the piece.
You don’t have to buy their stuff unless you really like what they are doing. (But this DOES help them to make more of what you like)
As long as you at least show the location of where you found what you are re-posting, then that is all we can ask for.
So, please remember – Link back so there will more in the future.