Social Media Should Be Regulated

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SOCIAL MEDIA SHOULD BE REGULATED

ABSTRACT

As social media becomes a heavy influence in our online presence, certain elements need to be policed, as laws can still be broken. This is an insight into if social media, more specifically social networking sites, can be regulated to avoid recent spates of ‘trolling’ or whether it only serves to strip people of freedom to speech.

INTRODUCTION

Social media has now become a part of our modern day society and has a huge impact on our lives on a daily basis. Social media is the use of web and mobile-based technology to support interactive content. This content tends to be user generated and then might be promoted by other users to a new outlet or audience. Social Networking is a great advocate of social media, where content is distributed amongst a network of online friends, which can then be reposted or ‘Retweeted’. Twitter and Facebook are the main social networking sites and have had a great impact on the debate of regulating social media.

ANALYSIS
The phrase ‘trolling’ has become popular to describe a person “who posts inflammatory, extraneous messages in an online community with the primary intent of provoking readers”[1] This version of bullying has actually gone unnoticed by mass media and law enforcements for years, with victims usually having to suffer on their own. However, in 2011, the first person was sentenced for trolling under the malicious communications act [2]

Sean Duffy, the accused, had actually started his trolling attacks in 2010 and was involved in 4 different cases.[3] One of his attacks involved making a YouTube video ‘Tasha the Tank Engine’ with the face of Tasha, who had taken her life on a railway track, following an anonymous attack on social media platform Formspring.[4] These incidents were in no way related but clearly show the risks unregulated social media has to society, especially the new generation who have grown up with the internet always being available....
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