Do You Respect the Rules of Social Media Web Sites?

By Margaret Orem On July 1st, 2009 in business impact, employment, social media, social networks /

Do You Respect the Rules of Social Media Web Sites?

Does it seem that you often run across individuals who deliberately violate the rules and standard practices of various social media sites? They may do this overtly, such as setting up profiles using corporate names instead of their names, including email addresses or unusual characters in their names, creating two profiles in different names, etc. They may do this covertly, such as deliberately posting employment opportunities or commentary in the wrong place on a web site assuming that the moderator will not move or delete the postings. They may deliberately misrepresent their status offering commodities or services or jobs or skills that they do not possess or to which they do not have access.

They may farm email addresses and use them to spam. They may attempt to monopolize a group by posting repeatedly or pretending that their postings inadvertently were duplicated on the site.

There seems to be a major issue with integrity that each of us observes on a daily basis. Putting aside the schemes, the sensationalist stories, and the criminal acts and individuals, many individuals whom you may know and with whom you may even do business may have violated the rules on any particular site. There has been an ongoing discussion about authenticity, but complying with the rules is more than being authentic.

Compliance is a fundamental reflection about the respect that some individuals have or do not have for the medium, for the participants, for the creators of the web site, and for the owners and moderators of the site. By failing to abide by the rules and engaging in what amounts to “online civil disobedience,” individuals are demonstrating that they simply are in it for themselves and have little regard/respect for others. It is an unsettling social commentary that violations of policy are prevalent on so many sites, and that many individuals participate or appear to be indifferent about that fact.

Moderating Your Own Conduct

You have a continual opportunity to choose how you conduct yourself. Choose to show respect for the sites in which you participate and work within the system to have the rules changed if you do not agree with them.

Moderating the Conduct of Others

You have a continual opportunity to help the owners and moderators ensure that others conduct themselves with integrity.  You can refuse to connect with violators and miscreants. You can report violations to the moderators, etc.  You can address individuals off-network and encourage them to follow your path.  There are a myriad of choices –choose wisely but choose to become active.

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