Social Media and Privacy

In today’s day and age there really is no ‘privacy’ given to users in regards to social media. When you click and agree to their terms and conditions, you are essentially signing your rights, information and posts away to the social media site. It owns your content.

According to this article, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says that privacy is “no longer a social norm” and claiming that it is “just something that has evolved over time” as a result of social networking.

I learned in the Media and the Law class I took last semester just how much authority Instagram has over it’s users. They are, and just like all other websites, taking our content and ‘selling it’ to advertisers. AKA they are making money off of us. When I read this I was furious. BUT yet we all feel the need to have social media accounts and in order to have them, you must agree to their conditions. It’s just a vicious cycle that I don’t see changing anytime soon. Unless… we start to actually talk to people when we are with them instead of scrolling on our phones.

As far as social media sites in different cultures, I know that other countries substitute what we have here in the U.S. For example, China does not have that ‘WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger’ apps so they use ‘WeChat’ as a mobile platform and for payment, gaming and social media services.

I also heard Facebook is adapting its own site with new rules in China. Ren Xianliang, deputy director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, was asked by a reported if Google and Facebook would soon be back in action in China any time soon. According to Quartz Media, Xianliang replied with,  “China’s internet development has always maintained a policy of openness. As for foreign internet companies, as long as they respect China’s laws, don’t harm the interests of the country, and don’t harm the interests of consumers, we welcome them to enter China, where they can together share the benefits of China’s developing internet.”

In addition Quartz Media also reports that Facebook has an office in Beijing, and many believe Mark Zuckerberg’s China charm offensive is a bid to get on the government’s good side before launching a product there. Meanwhile, it’s long been rumored that Google is attempting to launch an app store in China.

I think that the U.S. social media apps just do their own thing and make their own rules. If people from other countries want to use the apps, they have to obey by our rules and if their country doesn’t allow it, then they cannot use it. Or their country can come up with an alternative platform that follows their nations privacy and protection laws.

But in a perfect world, U.S. social media creators would want people from all over using their apps, because we all know it’s about the $$. I just think that with privacy laws varying all around the world, it’s not going to happen. No one is going to agree on everything especially because we all have different protection and privacy laws.

Foreign countries should just create their own app, from the original one in the U.S., and work with the original creator to come up with a compromise under the foreign country’s rules. Lastly, I feel that U.S. users should be entitled to the same protective privacy measures from sites that a foreign country uses, for free. If we offer our privacy policies on our social media platforms out to other countries, than why should we not get the same in return?

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