Social (Media) Responsibility

July 10, 2017 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai

Unless you were living under a rock the past week, it was probably virtually impossible for you to avoid the whole Rob Kardashian/Blac Chyna debacle.  

Before you click away in sheer disgust, let us get straight to the point: social (media) responsibility. Media in brackets because while social responsibility technically refers to our civic responsibility to do good things for society, we want to talk about that civic duty as it happens online.

The debate about whether the responsibility of stopping lewd content falls to the platform or to the person has been going on for some time.

On one hand, people say the platforms need to do more to prevent it from happening. On the other hand, some would say the people who posted it have the full responsibility.

Well, we think it’s both.  

This is what captured our minutes this week.

Here’s why:

Platforms DO need to do more to keep up with monitoring and removing inappropriate content.

It kind of comes with the nature of being a social media platform. If you’re going to give mass amounts of people the ability to post mass amounts of content and distribute it instantaneously to a bunch of people, things might get messy.

Rob Kardashian’s tweets of nude pictures of his ex-fiancé remained online for 30 minutes before being taken down.

That kind of content shouldn’t even get to the “post” or “send now” phase. It’s never okay to do that to another person in any kind of circumstance. Period.

And unfortunately, some people misuse social media to do just that.

For example, take a look at Facebook and its incidents involving fake news or videos of disturbingly graphic and violent content.

Since it’s so easy to get access to these platforms and use them exactly as the word “platform” suggests, big whigs like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram need to have safe guards up to prevent these things from happening or rectify them immediately when they do.

After all, we’re willing to bet that none of these platforms are naïve enough to think that people actually care about the terms and conditions they quickly hit “accept to.”

Luckily, each of the aforementioned platforms has continuously rolled out new updates, tools and features to help make their communities safer places.

The next hurdle is doing it faster and more accurately. Thirty minutes is a lifetime on the internet and fact-checking doesn’t have to be dead.

PEOPLE need to take responsibility and be held responsible for the things they post. 

Business Insider posted an article called: “Twitter let a celebrity with millions of followers post revenge porn for 30 minutes before it was taken down.”  

So, we’re not here to be grammar police, but Twitter did not personally, as an organization, sit down with Rob Kardashian and approve his rage-filled posts.

No, Kardashian did that on his own.

This is the thing: people need to be held accountable for their actions. If people engage in actions like Kardashian did, that’s a conscious choice.

You don’t take things like this public, celebrity or not.

Furthermore, there are millions and millions of active users on social media platforms every single day. While the platforms are responsible for having teams that can handle that capacity, we can all be human for a second and realize that there’s no algorithm out there advanced enough to always cover for them when they can’t work fast enough to vet and remove content.

It’s time to get realistic here.

People who post things online are fully aware that their content has the ability to reach just about anybody around the world. There are ways to download, embed, rip, screenshot, etc. just about anything.

Because of this, we need to start pointing our fingers at the people who abuse these privileges. Yes, access to the internet and social media platforms is a privilege, not a right.

So how do we rectify the two sides? Firstly, we can start with holding BOTH sides accountable. After that, it comes down to having a larger conversation about what the online global community’s responsibility is to work together to create a safer internet.

No one needs to have their hand held. But accountability and enforcing that accountability needs to be top of mind when it comes to the law, social media and everyday users coming together.

As content creators in the marketing world, we have a responsibility to think about what impact our work has on others.

Guess what: so does everyone. We’re all everyday people regardless of our station in society or job title. What we do affects the world around us and we need to start recognizing exactly how it does. It's called being a decent human being.

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?


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