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How Private Is Your Profile?

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Unknown to the majority of teens, Myspace and Facebook aren’t as personal as one would think. The former Attorney General, McCollum, came to MCDS on Wednesday, May 14th to speak about the dangers of posting information on Myspace and Facebook, but students should be wary of not only what information they post, but also what pictures they have on their profiles. This may concern the majority of students with Facebook and Myspace profiles; profiles that often contain pictures that they don’t want anybody except their friends to see. However, when a picture is put on Myspace or Facebook those images are completely open to the public. This includes colleges, employers, and parents. The worst part is that Facebook keeps permanent internet records of all pictures downloaded – records that a parent might not have access to, but that the government certainly can see.
This may be an infringement of privacy, but it is legal and widely used. When the Eliot Spitzner scandal was uncovered, reporters not only found the name of his mistress, but found her Myspace profile as well. Soon after, her face graced the cover of the New York Times, without ever posing for a photograph. Reporters uploaded pictures of her at the beach and in a club from her profile and inserted them into their newspaper.
In a recent issue of the Spartacus, we uploaded an image of a senior dancing at prom (a picture she considered embarrassing) from Facebook. We apologized to this senior, not meaning to cause her any embarrassment, but legally anyone (including a school newspaper) has the right to upload photos from the public domain of Myspace and Facebook and reprint these images in a variety of ways.
While posting pictures on one’s personal profile is a fun alternative to scrapbooking, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a ‘personal’ profile when it comes to the internet.





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