Social Media Matters: Parents should be ‘in the know’ online

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
Metro section

Parents should be ‘in the know’ online

AllFacebook.com posted an article on Feb. 2 that every parent should read called 33 Codes Your Kids Use On Facebook.  The post reproduces a chart developed by SocialShield which acts as an easy reference tool for the code words – many of them sexual or bullying in nature – used by teens when chatting with friends online. There were certainly a few of them that raised my eyebrows!

SocialShieldIn a SocialShield news release issued Feb. 2, CEO George Garrick said, ‘Many parents think friending their child on social networks is enough to monitor their activities and protect them, yet time and time again it’s shown that it isn’t. Most parents don’t have the time to keep up with the sheer volume of interactions or have the understanding of the online language to really get what their kids are saying or what people are saying to their kids. This makes it really easy for problems to go unnoticed.’ Some of the code words include POS (parent over shoulder), P911 (parent emergency), AITR (adult in the room), HSWM (have sex with me), BIH (burn in hell), sugarpic (a suggestive or erotic photo of oneself, i.e. ‘She sent me a sugarpic.’) and 5 (wait a few minutes, parent in the room). There are many others that parents should acquaint themselves with, as well. (Click here for a PDF version of the entire list.)

According to the news release, SocialShield is ‘the leading cloudbased social network monitoring service’ and ‘gives parents affordable, easy-to-use, state-of-the-art tools to help them enhance Internet safety for their children in the online environment.’

Twitter threats anger singer

Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue

Popular Australian singer, songwriter and actress Kylie Minogue has called in the police to investigate threats made against her on Twitter. On Tuesday, she tweeted, ‘I love 1,033,861 of you LOVERS, but 1 is not a lover, just a deluded weirdo making threats #andthatdoesnotmakeyouspecial SO..police alerted’. (Minogue’s pet term for her fans is ‘lovers.’) Minogue and her team provided no further details, according to a report published on Feb. 7 in the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph.

I’ve always found it astounding how brave people get when they post to ‘anonymous’ Twitter accounts. They’ll say anything, no matter how defamatory or preposterous. These trolls need to remember, though, that the people they’re trying to attack are watching – and printing every single one of their tweets as evidence for court when the inevitable happens and a lawsuit is launched. Anyone who thinks they’re tweeting into a void just because they have very few followers is deluding themselves. Once someone becomes aware that you’re spreading lies about them, the jig is up.

Everything is printed for evidence in court. Trolls can try deleting their Twitter accounts and tweets, but they never truly disappear. The ‘print’ button and screen captures are wonderful things for those being attacked – but not so great for the bullies and trolls who believe they’re protected by the fallacy of online anonymity.

I hope Minogue finds the Twitter user who thinks they’re getting away with it and that authorities throw the book at him or her! This won’t be the first or last time this happens, either. The number of similar cases will explode as court precedents are set and it becomes easier to find out who is spreading lies about you on Twitter.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I suggest three YouTube channels for you to check out. Statistics are current as of Feb. 7.

1) Tetesaclaques.tv (4,108 subscribers): If you haven’t seen the hilarious Têtes à Claques videos produced by Salambo Productions, they’re a real treat. Produced in Quebec, these animations feature a combination of crude animation and real-life facial features (eyes and mouth) that make for a visual that is a combination of creepy and gut-bustingly funny. The videos are in French, but English versions exist, as well. (Personally, I find the French ones a lot funnier.) While earlier animations clocked in at just a few minutes long, recent ones are full-fledged sitcom length of just under 23 minutes long. If you’re a fan, the company’s channel hosts nearly 200 videos. (Most popular video: Le Willi Waller 2006 – 1,231,876 views.)

2) TACtv (778 subscribers): This is the official channel for English Têtes à Claques videos. While the French channel has nearly 200 videos posted, the English version only has 24. Still worth watching, of course, although a bit of the humour is lost. However, if you’ve never seen the French-language originals, you won’t have a reference point and will likely be thoroughly entertained. No new English videos have been posted since June 2009, so it’s a safe bet to assume they never caught on. (A good reason to learn French!) (Most popular video: The Pilot – 83,663 views.)

3) SourceFed (245,426 subscribers): This channel created by YouTube star Phil DeFranco has only been online since Jan. 23 but already has a quarter-million subscribers. Not bad, huh? According to an article about DeFranco published in The Tech Chronicles on Feb. 6, ‘SourceFed includes shows like 20 Minutes or Less, which features rapid-fire takes on the news; Curb Cash, a man-on-the-street quiz show; and One on One, an interview series.’ (Most popular video: Being Gay Makes You Better?! aka How to Alienate your Audience on Day 1 – 466,345 views.)

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