Social media monitoring: Gauging the seriousness of the issue

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These days governmental agencies and entities are looking at the prospect of tracking and mapping the content that is being published on various social media platforms by users in respective countries. These actions on part of authorities are however not always as simple or straightforward as they might apparently appear to be. In First World countries such as the United States of America many experts and politicians have led growing calls for retention and collection of social media content generated by users. In fact, a bill that allows the monitoring of content on social media websites has also been passed at US House of Representatives. It remains to be seen what effect this bill has on social media users in that country and the content that they post on those websites. Here’s all you need to know about it. Read on to find out.

Issues being overlooked

Certain experts however feel that the issue is not being dealt with in the right way in the sense that there is a significant amount of oversimplification going on. According to them, the authorities are not looking at the legal and the technical aspects of the same. These experts are also worried that the authorities might not be aware of the serious human rights violations that they are perpetrating with such legislations.

Social media tracking

The process of social media tracking can be defined as one whereby posts and content that is open for public viewing on social media platforms are kept track of by governmental authorities, especially in the US. As Barack Obama has explained this is all part of a wider system of public surveillance. Later on, the results derived from tracking these posts and content are used while assessing the visa applications of individuals. In a lot of cases police officials also perform such functions as part of their criminal investigations. Posts and content of suspected individuals on various social media platforms are used as evidence.

Risks related to personal liberty

Experts who are against social media monitoring state that such activities pose significant threats to factors such as free expression as well as privacy of the user. Even in case of public posts on social media one can glean a lot of information about that person. Posts and messages say a lot about a person as well since they contain a lot of information that is sensitive. This is because the information is meant to be shared only with a limited number of people. In certain cases your posts can also give away someone’s location. They can also betray one’s habits and daily movements like the places he visits and people he meets.

Final Words: What are your views?

Social media monitoring is one subject which has constantly featured in important discourses. A clear consensus is yet to be reached. Do you really think that social media monitoring curbs our digital freedom to a large extent? Or, are you in favor of “improved public surveillance”? Do let us know here!

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