Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beware of what you share online

What would be you reaction

on seeing the information from your social networking profile

printed on a newspaper article, without your permission?

There are a thousands of articles on the net advising us caution on sharing personal information on social networking websites like , , , etc. But still, today's New York Times article on Ashley Alexandra Dupre - Woman at the Center of NY Governor Eliot Spitzer's Downfall managed to surprise me on the amount of information that was used from Ashley's Myspace page.

With Ashley spending the last few days out of the public eye, the New York Times uses the myspace profile information as the basis for most of their article. A Sample below:

She left “a broken family” at age 17, having been abused, according to the MySpace page, and has used drugs and “been broke and homeless.”

I don't know whether it is legal to use information from the social networking profile page without the owner's permission but it is not surely ethical in my eyes. If the New York Times itself has no issues using information from social networking profile pages, think about others. Who knows who will read our Social Networking Profiles. So Always, Beware of what you share online.


Miracle said...

agreed absolutely...i hav been a victim of the internet hooks as well...not to an extent that my stuff being published on newpapers and all... but ya some jobless ppl playing dirty stuff on the net...GOD knows how they do such things...

Unknown said...

@ Miracle,
This incident is a little different to internet hooks.. Since it shows how social networking websites has changed the way that sex scandals are getting reported... If New York Times itself uses social networking profile page, then think about others like hiring managers would use others social networking profile pages..

Anonymous said...

Robin, The 'ethical' debate will never see an end.

BUT, a lot of people are still living in a fool's paradise that their open scraps/comments left on other people's blogs are 'private' and 'ephemeral'. Similarly, the profile details one shares are 'public' as soon as they are published.

In fact I look at this as an instance of mainstream media wily-nily acknowledging the power of newer media forms. Cheers!

Miracle said...

Ya I understand what yu r tryin 2 convey... ethical or not...but info from n/wking sites is public...and when public it can be used by anyone...def people hav to be careful when they write anything thats on a "PUBLIC" site..

Unknown said...

@ Rahul & Miracle,
Yeah. the profile details are public.. that does not mean i can copy it and reproduce wherever i want to.. I m supposed to get the permission from the author.. right?. That is where i disagree with NY Times..

Any way Fred aptly titled this as "Scandals of the Social networking age".. :)