Social Media Redemption

Categories: News, Social Networking
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: March 9, 2015

For another example of taking back social media or using it for good, check out this story about Dancing Man Found. You may also have seen it making the rounds on Internet news sites, and it has apparently been picked up by mainstream media as well.

The nutshell:

Some jerks spotted an overweight man dancing at a party, laughed at him, and he stopped dancing. Said jerks took pictures and posted them to the Internet to share the laughs.

Someone on Twitter saw it, and decided it was not okay for someone to feel like they shouldn’t be allowed to dance. Now there’s going to be a huge dance party for this guy, with proceeds going to charity.

The jerks may be the most visible or most obvious, but there’s still a lot of good people out there in the world, and they use social media, too.

Great story.

A Takeback in Action

Categories: Social Networking
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: December 18, 2014

Earlier this month, I discussed sending teachers to social media to turn it into a positive environment and encourage responsible usage by students. This week, I learned professors at Colgate University did just that.

In the wake of protests surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, a number of racist comments were appearing on the university’s local Yik Yak feeds. Biology professor Geoff Holm helped unify faculty efforts to counter this behavior, and 50 staff members took to Yik Yak with positive messages and encouragement to students.

This is exactly what I was talking about in my original post: they are bringing an element of humanity to their local Yik Yak feed and promoting socially acceptable use.

I’ve also been monitoring our Yik Yak feed, and I’ve forwarded a couple of problematic posts to our administration and guidance counselors for intervention. I’ve flagged a couple of posts as inappropriate, and downvoted a few more. However, I’ve also noticed there’s a little bit of self-policing going on. College students are shouting down the high schoolers abusing the service, and Yik Yak does have a policy for handling users whose posts are frequently flagged as inappropriate or are downvoted all the time.

Even if our local staff doesn’t jump on board, it’s possible the local Yakkers will police their own community and the behavior will solve itself. There are always going to be a few trolls hanging around, but hopefully their impact will be limited—or even eliminated—by the community itself.

Time will tell.

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