The double edge of the InternetWritten by Heather Miller | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Be careful what you say because it just may end up on the Web. This is a phrase could save your dignity, career, marriage, etc. (Insert additional nouns here). Every 12-year old with a cell phone can capture video. And no doubt, if it catches you doing something stupid, it will end up on YouTube.
It is the double edge of the Internet. It may be fun to chat with friends, and watch funny videos of goofy people performing even goofier stunts. But what are the chances that goofy guy could be you?
Five years ago a former Youngstown TV Anchor found herself making headlines after pictures of her showed up on the Web. The pics were not headshots. The photos showed her topless during a wet T-shirt contest she took part in while on vacation. If a woman who has a camera on her every day can slip up, it is obvious anyone can.
There once was a time when news outlets were the watchdogs of society. Now journalists share that power with anyone with a computer. You would think this would stop people from doing outrageous things in public, but it apparently has not. It is evident in some of the scandals YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking Web sites have started and uncovered. The recent violence in Iran following the presidential election there has been aided by Twitter and video blogging. According to CNN, constant new updates continued out of Tehran despite an attempted media blackout.
We’ve seen similar internet fueled scandals erupt here in Toledo in recent weeks. First Toledo police officers were caught on tape allegedly beating a teen. Then the Mayor was captured on video calling a kid “fatso” and other similar (and not so nice) terms. No one is safe. It is all the more reason to watch your P’s and Q’s.
I went to college to become a television journalist. You don’t need a degree to post anything on the Internet. According to YouTube’s press section, the Web site hosts hundreds of millions of videos. It is hard to keep an accurate county because ten hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. If that is the case, what are the chances some of that video might feature you?
Heather Miller is a reporter for FOX Toledo.