A Tale of Two Social Media Woes
As “digital natives,” young people virtually live their lives on multiple social media platforms. Keeping them connected but also protected poses unique challenges in an age of oversharing and easy access to contact information. Insite was working with a COO of a multi-national corporation in a business context, when she enlisted our expertise in social media control. Her two daughters, we’ll call them Holly and Cathy, were being threatened by a male stalker and a mentally ill woman via social media.
In Holly’s case, a chance encounter with a “townie” her age at a bar turned into a frightening stalking experience. She used unsecured social media platforms to publicize her social plans and athletic practices, which gave the stalker access to her whereabouts.
For Cathy, a therapeutic group turned into a nightmare when a mentally disturbed member began harassing her with gruesome videos and death threats.
We dealt swiftly with the stalker by documenting, blocking, and reporting his incoming messages, which led to a criminal investigation. We created “digital fences” for Holly and Cathy by analyzing their social media usage, scrubbing legacy content, tightening their privacy and security settings, and reviewing online safety practices with them.
Takeaways: Oversharing on social media empowers stalkers and harassers. The best defense is a good offence: Preventive “digital fences” and monitoring can foil online predators. Privacy settings are fluid and require constant fine-tuning.