You do not have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that Facebook and other social networks essentially mean a threat to the privacy of their users. A voluntary threat, indeed. Creating and using a Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest account, and publishing every aspect of your private life there, implies that your contacts (and millions of unknown strangers) access to certain content about you that belongs to your own privacy. That includes, of course, what you like, what you share, who you follow and what you talk about. Nowadays, this type of behavior is perfectly normal, unlike several decades ago, when the right to privacy was defended with great vigor. However, it is still a problematic issue that may bring you awful consequences. The big problem here is not just the sensitive information about you that others could take advantage of to hurt you (or someone close to you,) but your online reputation, which can be compromised depending on what you publish online.
In this post, we are going to talk about that content that you should not post in the social media in order to protect your online reputation.
Some say that the respect for women’s rights does not depend on an extensive and specific list of elements, but is a matter of common sense. However, it is also true that common sense is the least common of all senses. For several men it is difficult to know if something they post is really offensive to their female contacts, especially if some of them are actually feminists. However, it is a matter of basic decency to know that any content that mocks or insults women by the mere fact of being women can be classified as misogynist. It does not matter if you are teasing your contacts, many people take it seriously. If you do not want to affect your reputation online, keep your social media accounts free of such posts.
All right, the world is polarized today, and different countries may have varying opinions about what terrorism is, as well as who is a terrorist and who is not. It is a question that depends, above all, on the prevailing politics of a certain place. If you belong to or follow a group in the social media that belongs or is related in some way to terrorism, someone will inevitably relate it to you. This is not a good idea if you are looking for a job if you are applying for a visa to a country where terrorism is strictly prosecuted. Even in some places, you could be considered a criminal suspect and some people may start watching your movements online. This, of course, jeopardizes your online reputation, so avoid posting, sharing, commenting or making public your controversial political opinions, unless you want to deal with the consequences that this entails.
For many people, cruelty to animals is a more frightening crime than those committed against human beings. It seems absurd for humanists, but that’s how it is. Animalist movements, the development of animal rights, the spread of vegetarianism and veganism are the causes behind it. So you know it: A perfect recipe to smear your reputation in the social media is to publish content related to animal cruelty (unless you are denouncing it or supporting a cause against it.) An innocent picture with the reindeer you have just hunted in the woods, or a photo with your new fox coat, may cost you thousands of haters. Several celebrities, including politicians, musicians, and actors, have experienced tremendous reputational crises because of it.
Many believe that there are things that no longer remain protected by the freedom of speech, and, therefore, don’t deserve social tolerance whatsoever. One of them, of course, is racism. Do not expect others to respect you if you post content from a supremacist organization. You can be sure that if you have a wide number of followers on Twitter, there will always be someone watching your opinions; and, if you give them the chance to attack you publicly because of a sensitive issue like this, your online reputation will drop down. Many celebrities who have been known for their racist comments online have tried to clear the waters with public apologies … but those stains do not usually disappear.
This is another of the new taboos of our time. Whether or not you agree with the results of the political struggles of the LGBT community around the world, you can be sure that posting offensive content (even if it’s a joke) about this can cost you a tremendous flood of hate, especially if you have reached some notoriety. For many, this issue is more emotional than rational, so do not expect quiet discussions in the social media if you tease, insult or share offensive content against this growing community.
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Think twice before posting anything. Remember the three filters of Socrates, since they will save you a lot of trouble: Is it true what you publish? Are you kind to others with it? Is it useful for someone?
* Featured Image courtesy of Susan Murtaugh at Flickr.com