Photo Credit: Sara Kurfess
Public Relations

Does Public Sharing = Public Property?

Over the last decade social media has rocketed beyond belief with pages popping up all over the place.  From pets to food, and interior design to weight loss transformations, with the right search on google you can find an account for almost anything these days. But the question I often ask myself is, is social media getting out of control?

A few days ago, a friend showed me an account that has been targeting girls who I went to school with. A Twitter page had been taking pictures from my friends personal Instagram accounts and posting them onto Twitter with totally awful, disrespectful and degrading captions towards women.

“Which thick s**t are you taking?” followed with a love-struck emoji face, or “Is his d**k big enough for her” whilst she stood next to her boyfriend in a picture are just a few examples of some of the content this account was sharing. The Twitter page was sexually objectifying women in a whole manner of ways, but what I also thought was so shocking was that the account had been up and running for at least 2 years with over 3,000 followers! I couldn’t understand how it hadn’t been reported sooner and how Twitter had allowed such content to be shared.

Online bullying and abuse is such a hot topic at the moment and I know of many people, both celebrities and non-celebs that are campaigning for stricter social media controls, but I feel like Platforms such as Twitter and Instagram can’t keep control of what is being shared. Granted, the page was removed as soon as it was reported, but who is going to stop this account being set up again? How is Twitter going to control these photos with degrading captions from being shared to a further 3,000 people? It seems to me that social media is out of control.

Despite the fact I completely disagree with this Twitter account as it was wrong in so many ethical ways, it did get me thinking about who was to blame. My friends uploaded these pictures to the internet for everyone and anyone to see, so does that mean that anyone has the right to take and use them in any way they want? I personally think no, but if such photos have been shared on public platforms does this make them public property?

I feel this an interesting discussion into a current topic and would love to hear about what others think about this. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with me about photos and content that is uploaded to social platforms.

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