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Social networking sites are gaining a lot of popularity these days with almost all of people regardless of age using one of the networking sites. These have played a crucial role in bridging boundaries and crossing the seas and enabling them to communicate on a common platform. It has become a popular and a potential mean for them to stay friends with the existing ones and to grow up their social circle at least in terms of acquaintances.

The question regarding the safety, privacy and the legal issues have been cropping up all this time. The impact of these networking sites on the personal and professional lives of people using them is every evident with how people are interconnected regardless of their location and state.

I am guilty of this addiction. Devoting at least two hours of my time in linking up with my pals and mates and trying to get abreast of who’s who and what’s new with them. A click way is like getting them in person and knowing it at first hand on what they are now, how they have been and how are they going to be. I have had contacts recently with people that I have not seen in years just because of these networking sites. I’m sure that all of you agree that they are a good way in coping with the social aspect of your life.

Although many people don’t think of it, social networking web sites harbour many dangerous elements and many people are concerned about some major problems that they contain. One such problem is privacy issues. With social networking web sites like Facebook.com and MySpace.com, it is almost too easy to retrieve personal information about someone and use it to harm them. In a case with MySpace.com, the availability of being able to customize one’s own site has allowed people to use phishing html code to create phishing profiles that allows that person to access anyone’s profile who have visited the phishing profile. Phishing can often lead to the loss of personal information such as usernames, credit card numbers, and passwords. This in turn causes great privacy issues since that person can now access personal information and then sell it off to marketing companies for a profit. This selling of

Information to companies has led to the rise in spam emails that we all receive.

Another great issue of concern with social networking web sites is that of child safety. Research has shown that almost three out of every four teenagers who use social networking web sites are at risk due to their lack of using online safety.  A lot of the web sites do have an age requirement but it is easily bypassed by the lying about of one’s age. Even if they don’t lie about their age the average age requirement is around fifteen years old. Myspace.com has been specifically targeted for these child safety issues after a sixteen year old girl flew to Tel Aviv, Israel to meet and engage in sexual relations with a twenty year old male whom she had met through MySpace.com. (MySpace, 2007) Although a lot of the social networking web sites are trying to implement new ways to keep children safe, MySpace.com included, predators are finding ways around these new implementations and kids are still naive to the fact that not everyone online is who they say they are.

A third issue of concern with social networking web sites is that of copyright infringement. With the massive amount of files shared through social networking web sites it has to tell sometimes who the original owner of the selected file is. Also, commercial products are being reproduced by individuals and uploaded to these social networking web sites. YouTube.com is a great example of how copy right infringement can come about using a social networking website. Members can pretty much upload anything they want on to YouTube.com to be viewed by anyone who comes across it. This leads to many people committing copyright infringement and uploading files and video clips that don’t belong to them. The only real way that copyright infringement is reported is through the self-policing of the YouTube communityWith the easily missed copy right infringement YouTube has been sued many times in the past and is now being sued for over one billion dollars by Viacom on the claim that YouTube.com has 160,000 videos that belong to Viacom on their site without Viacom’s permission.
Regardless of age, the Social Networking sites are of great help to us should we know how to use it and how to maintain something that needs not to be flaunted. Hope everyone be cautious with every single data about you since you can be a victim of these vicious syndicates who are now penetrating here in the Philippines claiming to be someone else’s identity.

*****

Calling all BNHS Batch 1996 to contact yours truly ASAP at 09165324593 or email me at ronnie.natividad@gmail.com.

We are doing our last minute finalizing regarding the Reunion that we will have this May 14, 2011.

By Ronnie Natividad




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