The other evening, the local news gave its teaser headline: A young woman was threatened on Facebook. Stay tuned to learn the details.
Well, I thought--what has happened. Every so often, there is a story about this or that breach of personal safety with Facebook as the vehicle, or some other electronic mechanism.
For example, I heard about a couple who was sued, with the actual serving being accomplished through Facebook. This story came out of Australia--and even though I "googled" to find out more details, I couldn't verify what exactly happened.
Anyone in the job market should be cautious about the information available for the finding on Facebook, or other internet sites.
And, of course, there is cyberstalking.
When the local news got around to the Facebook story, it turned out a young woman was threatened with bodily harm by her ex-boyfriend on Facebook. So, the story was NOT that Facebook is dangerous, but that it was the MEANS whereby a very misdirected young man threatened someone.
Safety, of course, is a very important consideration. We should all be aware of ways that we are exposed, with the Internet magnifiying that exposure. But, Facebook itself is NOT to blame. You can set your profile in such a way that only approved people can view it. And you can turn down any and all requests that you have no idea where they originate.
I get the impression that local news features such stories partly because they want to sensationalize the issue, and partly because they don't understand the technology. What they clearly do NOT intend to do is provide useful information that reasonable people can act upon. So, what can we do?
Use common sense--it applies as easily in the new wired environment as it did before we have such a thing as cyberspace.