The Dark Side of Data: Protecting Twitter Users (sometimes from themselves)

The video I chose is the Dark Side of Data. Del Harvey is the speaker and she talks about how big data is helpful and can be used for good purposes but that there are also huge downsides to it. I’ve witnessed myself people being bullied or passive aggressive comments online on own personal twitter and I think that this Ted Talk is an extremely important conversation for millenials and for users of social media to have.

Del Harvey works for Twitter and her job is to: ensure user trust, protect user rights and keep users safe. Del talks about how rapidly Twitter has scaled through the years and how many users tweet a day.

This is a picture from her slide deck that has the numbers of the increase of tweets per day at Twitter from 2009 to 2014.

This is such a big increase and it is Del’s job to make sure that people are tweeting appropriate content and protecting everyone from each other and themselves. They key takeaways from this Ted Talk is that there is more to meets the eye when it comes to tweeting. She says that “People behave in unexpected ways” which from my experience from using Twitter, I can agree that that is very true.

While Del’s job is to ensure that people are protecting themselves I feel as though it is every users responsibility to do the same thing. Twitter is a great social network and sometimes it comes with great responsibility. I’ve personally have never seen tweets in where people are abusing or threatening each other but I’ve seen news articles where people have been bullied and have committed suicide as well as threatening tweets that have sad endings. I feel as though this TED talk pointed out how there is more to a tweet even though it is only 140 characters update. Something that Del does not really touch upon but it is important to talk about is how what you are tweeting will affect your online presence. Protecting yourself online about what you’re tweeting is also important when it comes to content that you might regret tweeting later and will always live on the internet. People are always making assumptions about you based on the way you represent yourself and tweeting appropriate content is a way to protect yourself and your brand.

Overall, this TedTalk showed me about how a one in a million chance happens a lot at Twitter. What you tweet is important for yourself and for others and being aware of how to protect yourself from yourself is something we should all do from time to time so that we can be in control of the data we put out on social media.

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