Big Brother Watching Your Social Media

Big brother watchingFrom cell phones that track your every move to government agencies now turning to social networks to monitor people – it seems privacy is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

We have seen how Social Media has been used to transform the way people communicate. Some say social media played a major role in the Arab Spring and the uprising of the Occupy movement. But as the government uses it to keep tabs on people, using social media may come with a price, that price being your privacy.

500 trigger words

There once were 7 words you couldn’t say on television. George Carlin, great comedian, talked about that and lampooned it. Now there are over 500 words you cannot say on Twitter or Facebook or the government will flag and monitor your tweets and your Facebook posts.

That is concerning, because most Americans have no clue about this program. In fact, the only reason we know about it is because a group called Epic that monitors privacy on the Internet have filed a Freedom of Information Act request. They found out about this program. The government is looking at everything we tweet, everything we post, making files on it.

First question: Where is this information going?

Most people tweet, they are just talking to their friends or post on Facebook and think only their friends are reading it. Guess what? It’s not! The US Government Homeland Security is reading your tweets and monitoring your Facebook posts.

Let’s get to those 500 words that will set off alarm bells from the Department of Homeland Security if you use them on Twitter or Facebook.  Some of them seem pretty harmless and words that everyone is using every day. Here are some of them: “subway”, “delays”, “cloud”, “pork.” These are some of the words that can cause them to keep tabs on you.

That really makes you raise the question of the effectiveness of this program and how well they are spending tax payers’ dollars. And there is also a concern that they hired General Dynamics, a multi-billion-dollar defense contractor who makes tanks and weapon systems to spy on American citizens.

As Americans, we should know what our government is doing, how they are monitoring us. You tweet something innocently about a wave or a cloud, and all of a sudden you are on a file somewhere.

The second big issue is the privacy issue. And that is something debatable, you have the Constitution right to privacy when you put something on Facebook or Twitter.

Second question: Is this something the American government should be doing?

It sounds more like something you would see in a country where government is trying to oppress their people. Not inAmerica, where we have this freedom of exchange of ideas, we don’t have to worry about the Big Brother watching us, but, in fact, we do.

The more freedoms we lose, the more liberties we lose, the more privacy we lose – they are gone forever. Have you seen a government anywhere in history, a government that says: “You know what? We are going to give our people more privacy again. We are sorry we took it away from you,” no, you will not find such cases.

If we do not stop now, if we do not stand up now, or at least ask questions now, next thing will be they are reading our Facebook emails and Twitter direct messages, and before you know it – your regular email.

When you give up some liberty in the sake of security, as Ben Franklin said, you lose both

Some of the comments and some of the words in the list are actually the opposite, they are so incriminatory. Do you think terrorists or drug dealers are going to post them? Some words like “ammonium nitrate”. Do you think any terrorist is going to tweet: “I am looking for ammonium nitrate? Can you help me out?” Of course no one is doing that.

It looks like government is looking for us. Not terrorists, not drug dealers like they say, but the average American, to see what we are tweeting, what we are thinking, because for a lot of people our tweets are our thoughts.

And it goes back to the slippery slope, if we say willingly: “You can have more of our privacy, more of our liberty”, we are going to lose it more and more and more. We have to at some point stand up, we have the Patriot Act – very few people object it. There is spying in New York of Muslims simply because of their faith, of students and people with whom they work and they pray. Now it is broader. If it was not for Epic following this lawsuit, we would not have even known the details of this program.

Other questions:

  • How much more is the government spying on us that we do not know about?
  • Do they employ face recognition and statistical re-identification methods described by Carnegie Mellon University professor Alessandro Acquisti in his work called Faces of Facebook?

It’s great a group like Epic filed a lawsuit. We wish the government would just come forward and come clean as much as they can.

This article is written by Alex Lamman. He is a 25 years old software engineer, snowboarder and just a loving father from Ohio.

#5 Tips To Increase The Number Of Your Twitter Followers

Increase Twitter FollowersTwitter – The micro blogging tool has been very famous now-a-days. Being famous in this famous service, could bring you lot of traffic, which you can’t even imagine.

Instead of having friends, we have to create more followers in twitter. The more followers you have, the more powerful you are. Here are 5 simple ways, by which you can increase your twitter followers by triple.

MUST READ : Twitter Definitions For Newbies

1. Be ‘TIPTOP’

This is the most important and simple part. Your page have to be very attractive before the people. Be in Style. Just add some Images, or reviews of any big websites, etc on your page. This all makes the users think that you are someone worth following !

MUST READ :

1. List of Top 10 Twitter Applications On The Web

2. Top 15 Twitter Tools for Twitter Freaks

Proverb : First Impression is the best impression

Continue reading #5 Tips To Increase The Number Of Your Twitter Followers

Reporting Abuse Or Bug To Social Networking Sites

Responding to certain things in online life is as important as in real life. Recently many people reported abuse on social networking sites regarding several issues. While reporting to such social networks, be as descriptive and detailed as possible. It helps them to easily understand the situation and problem. By this they can help you quickly. The more descriptive and detailed you provide, the more quicker you get the response from them. This is my opinion ! 🙂

1. Facebook :

facebook

Facebook encourages all its users to make use of  “Report” links whenever needed. You’ll  find a “Report” link below the piece of content. By  Selecting this link you can go to a form where you can specify the type of abuse and make a detailed report. Facebook checks these reports and makes a valid decision. All abuse reports on Facebook are confidential. You can consider Facebook Help Center or Facebook Report Page for reporting such abuses and reports.

2. Twitter :

twitter

Twitter, a microblogging website, is one of the leading social networks today. Many celebrites are there too. If you are still not familar with Twitter, consider this Newbies Post ! I’m not responsible if addicted you are to it by this ! Ha ha. Twitter, like all the other social networking sites, takes such reports importantly. Because such things help them to build themselves. I can’t find a direct link for reporting, but users can consider visiting Twitter Support for any questions and other resolved answers regarding this. I got many doubts cleared here.

3. Youtube :

youtube

YouTube is a famous online video sharing site. Google like all its services, takes care of YouTube Also. YouTube faces Cyber bullying now-a-days. So you better watch your online activity there. Let it be an abusive comment or abusive/ violating video, YouTube is there to help you anytime ! I myself tried some reports, and believe me, it indeed worked well. They took action to remove that video. I’m happy with YouTube’s help services. If you are having any problems like I mentioned here, feel free to make use of YouTube’s Report Abuse section.

4. Yahoo :

yahooYahoo! as we all know,  needs no introduction at all, like Google. But such reporting cases occur in Yahoo! too. Yahoo! welcomes such abuse and other related reports. I suggest these two links for contacting with Yahoo ! during such report issues. One is  Yahoo! Abuse and another one is Report Abuse on Yahoo! Local . These mentioned links will also be useful while dealing with Yahoo ! products and its services. Flickr is a part of  Yahoo! so you can easily get more details regarding both.

5. Flickr :

flickr Flickr, as we all know, is one of the leading online image sharing and storage service. These kind of  services have more such troubles when compared with others. But  Flickr won’t let you down easily. You can easily describe or report your problem to Flickr. You can do if you feel that a photo violates the Flickr Community Guidelines or someone posting your privates photos in their Flickr account. You can also complaint about a Flickr member regarding his/her behaviour. Flickr encourages its users to report again spam and phishing.

6. Digg :

diggDigg is a social news website. It made people easier to share and discover new ideas and content. One of the leading websites of its kind, if you ask me. I rarely came across reports and other activities I mention above. But if, by chance, you are having such problem, you can send an email to the administrators of Digg.com at abuse@digg.com or if you wish, you can also make use of Digg’s Report Bug section. Make sure you provided all the supporting evidence in the mail or in the Report Bug section. As usual be detailed and descriptive. It helps a lot buddies !

I also wrote some similar topics in my previous posts. You can check these, it will be as important as the one mention above.

  • Don’t Click Any Third Party Links In Orkut !
  • Cyber Bullying in Youtube

Cyber Bullying In YouTube

Kind note from the Author :

If you come across anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or cause distress on the Social Networking Sites or anywhere on the Internet, please make sure your parents or any other known adults aware of it. Tell them immediately about the issue.

MUST READ : Beware Of Social Engineering Attacks

YouTube like other social networking sites is only for people above the age of 13 and not below it. Bullying may look common and it may be like an issue not to be concern of. But conditions do apply. It may turn serious to the extent of unanswerable. So better be Safe than Sorry.

Youtube bullying

These are some solutions like prefer to people for preventing such problems :

1. Privacy :

Please make sure to click the Log Off or Log Out link before leaving the website or leaving the system.

  • Remove Your Age : You can remove your age from your profile or channel. Go to My Account | Channel Settings | Personal Info. Choose Do not display age on your public profile and then click Update Channel.
  • To Change Your Personal Info : Click Channel Info link for changing your personal information. It recommended not to fill details that shows all your identities. In certain circumstances this will be useful.
  • Location Information : You can change your location information in My Channel. Again it is for your safety.

USEFUL : 5 Cool Tools For Ensuring Your Online Privacy

2. Comments :

Abusive comments are very difficult to answer and it will depress the user. It will surely end in a disaster if replied to it.

  • Disable Comments : You can disable comments for avoiding these things. Go to My Videos and click the Edit Video button. You can also moderate the comments by choosing moderate comments options under Sharing.
  • Remove an Abusive Comment : You can remove a comment which you think is offensive. Go to that video and jump to Respones and Comments, find that comment and click the Remove link.

3. Report Abuse :

If you think that a video is offensive and it is somehow abusing you or the society, you can flag that video. YouTube will check that video and verifies whether it obeys their Terms Of Use. If it disobeys, then the video will be surely removed.

YouTube is friendly to its users, it often takes action against such people and they even delete that uploader’s account.

YouTube has a section for Reporting Abuse.

MOST RELATED :

  1. Don’t Click Any Third Party Links In Orkut
  2. Reporting Abuse Or Bug To Social Networking Sites
  3. Protect Your Password In Cyber Cafe and On Public Computers

Here are some useful links from YouTube and other sources:

  • YouTube – Community Guidelines
  • YouTube – Terms Of Use
  • YouTube – Report Abuse

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p style=”text-align: center;”>Better Be Safe than Sorry. Prevention is always better than cure!