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Social Media Advocacy and National Tragedy
By: Jessica Cherok
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You’re a good person, right? Someone who cares about the goings-on in the world around them? Someone who aligns themselves with the most just cause?

Of course you’re a good person. So am I. But — at least statistically — the biggest difference between you would I is who ultimately bows to social media pressures. I love women in tech, support gay marriage, and have thought about Boston a lot in the last two days, but does your propensity to change profile pictures trump my solidarity?

Apparently it does, at least a little.

Buzzfeed’s Anna North posted an article this week about our social media need to contribute to national tragedy. As with many natural and man-made disasters before, social media has been a huge contributor for the spread of information.  

Of course, this is great. I desperately wanted to know my NY friends were safe after 9/11, or that my long-time bestie wasn’t suffering in Haiti post-quake. The answers were quickly — and easily — received via social media. The rapid spread of information is exactly what social media is for.

But with all the tragedies, we find ourselves simultaneously obligated to post messages of solidarity and the feeling of “what is it all worth?”

In case you’re wondering who looks at what you post and/or like in the wake of tragedies or other major human events, you can, at least, rest assured that Facebook is collecting the information related to your every human emotion.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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