In today’s Quick Hits, we talk about “Cyber Shame,” one photographer’s stand against cyberbullying, and the White House’s consumer privacy protection plans.
“More than a third of young people admit to feeling ‘cyber shame’ after posting embarrassing photos or posts online while drunk” according to a survey commissioned by the alcohol education charity Drinkaware. In addition to the physical dangers of excessive drinking, Chris Sorek, CEO of Drinkaware, notes that there are also reputation consequences to posting drunk photos online. Sorek explains that living in the digital world “means that people who have been drinking to excess can have their actions come back to haunt them online,” particularly when it comes to getting a new job and other important life transactions.
A Pennsylvania photographer has become an unlikely spokesperson in the country’s growing crusade against bullying after she refused to photograph several high school girls whom she observed on a Facebook page bullying other students. In a note on Facebook, Jennifer McKendrick wrote that she didn’t want to make people who were ugly on the inside look beautiful on the outside. Since making her stand, McKendrick has received broad support from anti-bullying advocates across the country.
The Sydney Morning Herald writes, “consumers are increasingly turning to Twitter and Facebook to vent their frustrations at having their complaints ignored as online activism becomes a powerful tool forcing businesses to fix unresolved issues.” Citing several examples where online activism has forced company’s to change their operating procedures, the Herald article highlights an important new reality for businesses of all sizes. In a world where customers can talk directly to brands, it’s important that brands listen and talk back.
In an article for InformationWeek, Thomas Claburn argues that Google’s real name policy for its new social network Google+ is a mistake, offering five reasons why it hurts users. Claburn’s argument echos other complaints from tech writers who view Google’s name policy as a mistake and argue that it stifles open discourse online.
Danny Weitzner, associate administrator at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently outlined the White House’s plans for improving consumer privacy without stifling innovation in the economy. During comments at a Technology Policy Institute conference, Weitzner said, “You can have stronger privacy law, clearer rules, clearer principles established in law, without the costs and downsides of a traditional regulatory structure.” How privacy rules would be regulated without a traditional regulatory structure remains to be seen, but the notion of a broad “Privacy Bill of Rights” still seems to be popular in Washington, D.C.