In the last two weeks, two people that I know personally have been involved in sex scandals involving social media. Both incidents involved individuals posing as someone that they aren’t. And both incidents involved people being extorted over nude photos and videos they had sent using social media. The shock of knowing people who were both victim and perpetuator forced me to stop and consider the much darker possibilities that social media opens up. Here are my thoughts on it.
Behind the safety of a computer screen, anyone can be anything without much ramification. In person, we have to live with what we do and say, and thus maintain a different code of ethics because our actions are linked directly to us. However, hidden behind a computer screen and perhaps even fake profile, people may not fear judgement of their personal character and may be more likely to prey on unsuspecting victims. It’s sad to see what having that sort of power can drive others to do.
If there is any wisdom I can pass on to others from what happened to the people I know, it’s this:
Guys, if a girl who you only know online or through social media asks you for naked pictures or videos of yourself, don’t send them. Women are not the only ones who need to worry about online predators targeting them. And chances are that “girl” isn’t actually a girl. Even if she is, she may only want the risqué photos and videos to blackmail you with.
What are other people’s experience with this type of stuff? Do you know anyone who has had an experience with being targeted on social media? Or what are other instances where someone online did or said things that you think they would never have said to anyone in person?