So You Think You Know

Social networking sites. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. We all use them on a daily basis to catch up with friends, connect with strangers and see what’s going on in our world. Here’s a few offbeat stories about social networking sites that you may have missed:

Student falls from 12 metre scaffolding after tweeting about high winds

Last month, Notre Dame junior, Declan Sullivan, was preparing to film his football team in action. Before heading out, he jokingly tweeted, “Gusts of wind up to 60mph, well today will be fun at work … I guess I’ve lived long enough.” While filming atop a 12-metre high scaffolding, he again tweeted, “holy fuck holy fuck this is terrifying.” Only 30 minutes later, Sullivan was swept from his perch and sent plunging to his death.

Makes you think twice about the status updates you skim through in your news feed, huh?

Greenpeace smear campaign goes viral

Ever heard of palm oil? It’s a product used by Nestle and many other companies in making most of the chocolate bars you can buy at any convenience store. This oil is extracted from the fruits of palm trees, and Greenpeace has launched a smear campaign across Facebook and Twitter (check out the gory “Kit Kat parody” on YouTube) against Nestle, accusing the company of contributing to the destruction of the rain forest.

The campaign has prompted thousands of the 136,619 people who “like” Nestle on Facebook to turn against the multi-national corporation, demanding the company justify their actions.

So, social media: an avenue to post drunken pictures from last night, or a potentially uber-powerful PR and activist weapon?

Be careful what you post

Using new technology, similar to phone tapping but much stronger, police in Australia are now able to intercept and receive emails, access Facebook and other sites on people’s computers.

After the Telecommunications (Interception) Amendment Bill of 2006 passed in Australia, police were able to request an “interception warrant,” which would allow them to gain unimpeded access to pretty much any of your personal information stored on your computer or online.

In 2009, another amendment on the bill was passed, allowing network operators the ability to intercept a customer’s connection in order to “operate, maintain and protect” the network.

To know something is to be sure of it and to be sure of something you must have a complete knowledge of that something.

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