Just before the New Year, I wrote a post about the benefits and horrors of Social Media. Since my last post, a lot on Social Media has changed while some of it has remained the same. Now I will access more things on Social Media that are good and bad.
Hackers have gotten really good at damaging the reputations of some Social Media networks and stealing information. Facebook phone numbers and personal information have been attacked, and Facebook is not alone. I got an email from Pinterest telling me to change my password, and Twitter accounts such as Burger King and Donald Trump have been hacked as well. Social Media is new and inexperienced to sophisticated hacks and cyber attacks. For Social Networks to survive, they have to act fast against hacks and cyber attacks.
One of the accounts hacked was Burger King, and during the hacking, a lot of people started to create blog posts about Burger King getting hacked. Many others including myself also sent out tweets telling our followers that Burger King got hacked. Since then, Burger King went from around 80,000 followers to over 110,000 followers in just two weeks at a rate of gaining over 2,000 followers almost everyday. If you want to see what I am talking about, you can look at @BurgerKing’s Twittercounter Statistics (look at the statistics from January 1, 2013 to March 1, 2013) which clearly show a dramatic increase in followers during the hacking. The fact that Burger King got over 2,000 new followers per day shows that either people are only following Burger King because of the exposure the fast food restaurant has gotten over the hacking or people are supporting a Twitter account that got hacked. I personally hope the second reason is why a majority of people followed Burger King, but ever since news of the hacking have gone away, Burger King is at a steady decline of losing over 100 followers everyday since February 21. With these hacks going on, privacy is a serious concern on Social Media.
There must be some good things about Social Media as well. The people who use Social Media are the ones who informed us about the hackers that are doing a lot of damage. Social Media is making us aware of today’s world. There are many users on Social Media which include professionals from virtually every industry imaginable. There are some Social Media accounts that tweet about very meaningful quotes that can be very inspirational. I often retweet the best quotes I can find. Social Media can be effectively used in the classroom by teachers and coaches. By texting Follow “Twitter Username” to 404-04, you will get text messages each time that user sends out a tweet. The text doesn’t say “So and so sent a tweet,” but instead the actual tweet appears with links if there are any.
Social Media has also provided a lot of real-time humor which has now become very important in Social Media. Oreo’s tweet about dunking in the dark that was tweeted during the famous Super Bowl blackout got over 15,000 retweets and over 6,000 favorites. Well what did that tweet do? Well, I think that getting an extra 10,000 Twitter followers in a couple of hours isn’t so bad considering Oreo was only getting a couple of hundred followers per day. Bravo, Oreo, bravo. There’s one example of how Social Media keeps on changing.
There are many benefits to Social Media that can result in a booming business or you getting more information about something quicker. However, there are some serious problems in Social Media that are not being overlooked. Hacking is becoming a serious threat to Social Media. This could very well be a do or die moment for Social Media because with personal information at the risk, why is it worth taking a risk for a newbie? The last thing a newbie should worry about is getting his or her account information stolen.