For malicious virus writers it’s virtually anything that’s
breaking news. Most recently it’s been Google search results for the hype-rumoured
death of rapper Kanye West and the managerial status of Harry Redknapp at Spurs, but in
the past we’ve seen everyone from Michael Jackson to Barack Obama succumb to
their wicked ways. Of course, their real tour-de-force was purporting to offer
anti-virus software which was actually a virus in itself!
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What exactly is/isn’t acceptable fodder for announcing via social media? A pregnancy – complete with scans on Facebook? A compressed critique of landlord failings via Twitter? A video diary of your kidney stone op via YouTube?
Your viewpoint, like most questions of broadcasting ‘good taste’, will probably be influenced by your age and moral standing. However, the truth is that the question of acceptable ‘netiquette’ changes by the day. We’re all getting used to the brash immediacy that new technology brings. It’ll also differ according to the social media you use and how you use it. For instance, do you really count a loose amalgam of Facebook buddies as ‘friends’ or are they just acquaintances? Like real life, it’s more to do with what’s acceptable within your particular group than the medium itself. What if that group is made up of your mum, your manager and your childhood sweetheart though? Even worse, what’s the netiquette for announcing news second-hand? Could you be sued for disseminating the ‘secret’ forthcoming divorce of a close friend? It’s a minefield and one that the law will find hard to keep pace with.
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