Closed Groups on Facebook are Not as Private as You Think

9 Mar

Social media sites such as Facebook have tremendous benefits that incorporate communication with fellow friends and businesses. These benefits and opportunities are endless on Facebook, which explains why there were around 845 million active users this past December. However, if you are not careful with how you behave on Facebook, these benefits can turn into disadvantages in a heartbeat.

Recently, members of the Australian Defense Force wrote offensive racist and sexist posts on a private Facebook page. These members were caught depicting women as “liars” and “worthless” objects, and using derogatory terms to describe Muslims. The person who leaked the information of the content on this private group page received threats that included curse words and quotes like “pray that we’ll never find you.”

These actions by the Australian Defense Force members are a perfect example of how content posted on Facebook can severely damage an organization or person’s reputation, even when privacy settings are applied. Now, the Australian Defense Force, a once renowned group, is under scrutiny because of inappropriate behavior on Facebook.

This example of a social media scandal is one of many. It is important to realize that Facebook is less secure than it seems and that it is not difficult for someone to gain access to private content. You also need to remember that the content you post on social media can negatively affect your reputation, and may put people and organizations you associate with at risk.

There were two violations of proper Business Communication from these defense force members. First, these people did not know their audience. They communicated inappropriately considering their audience consisted of people who were offended enough to turn them in to the authorities. Second, these defense members were not professional. They are associated with a prominent group of Australians and they communicated so unprofessionally that they hurt the reputation of a popular group. Therefore, it is important to keep the scope of your audience in mind, and to maintain professionalism when posting online.

by John Meyer



One Response to “Closed Groups on Facebook are Not as Private as You Think”

  1. Kyle Seohee Lee April 17, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    The number of incidents involving inappropriate online behavior is increasing at an alarming rate, and no one is immune to such macro-scale trend. I agree with you that the members of the armed forces tarnished the Australian Defense Force’s reputation. The members should have been more careful with their words, considering how information posted on Facebook can easily be available to the public.

    As a participant in the Internet community, everyone should be responsible for what they say. Whether it be a controversial statement or a harmful comment, one has to realize that those comments will negatively affect their careers one way or another. Essentially, being professional at all times is the safest way to participate in online social networking.

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