All posts tagged “Sketchy”

Is Myspace Still Sketchy?

MyspaceIt’s no secret that the social networking site, Myspace, is no longer the number one social media platform online. When the inevitable question of, “What happened?” gets asked, most people chalk up the website’s struggles to the simple answer of, “Facebook and Twitter came along, and everyone just kind of switched over.” That’s true. Facebook certainly played a part in stealing eyes away from MySpace pages, and now that Google+ is surging in popularity, the realm of social media has gotten pretty crowded.

But, many argue that Myspace lost its sparkle when the site got blamed for a teen suicide gone horribly wrong, became associated with underage girls getting preyed on, and sexual harassment scandals. Yikes. This is why it’s always a good idea to follow a background check site like Instant Checkmate so you have constant access to safety tips and of course—background checks!

The “Myspace Suicide Case”

Back in 2007, Myspace was dominating headlines in the worst possible way when the story broke that a mom from Missouri created a fake Myspace profile for the sole purpose of harassing a teenager who ended up committing suicide as result of this incessant cyberbullying. The story went national and headlines like, “Myspace Suicide Case” were all over the Internet.

It turns out, not all press is good press, and having your brand associated with topics like cyberbullying and teen suicide puts your company in a pretty deep, dark PR hellhole that is nearly impossible to crawl out of.

Not The First Time

Unfortunately even before the teen sucide scandal, Myspace was already gaining a reputation for being unsafe, and this highly publicized suicide proved to be the final nail in the cyber coffin for this social media site.

In 2009, Myspace revealed that the company had removed over 90,000 sex offenders from their site. While this safety measure was comforting for some, for others it just reinforced how absolutely sketchy this site was becoming. One couldn’t help but think, “OK, so how many more are out there?” It felt like 90,000 was just the tip of the seedy sexual predator iceberg.

Myspace Gets Linked To Sexual Assaults

To make matters even worse, Myspace was already fighting back against a tarnished reputation. In 2006, the social media site was involved in a highly publicized lawsuit when a 14-year-old girl sued the company over being sexually assaulted by another Myspace user.

Her lawyers were seeking a staggering 30 Million from the company claiming that Myspace takes “absolutely no meaningful protections or security measures to protect underage users.”

Think the social media site only dealt with security problems in its early days? Think again! Just last year a man dubbed the “Myspace sexual predator” was sentenced to a total of 100 years behind bars for using the site to prey on girls as young as 11 years old! The Myspace predator would contact young girls, and proceed to “groom” them, eventually luring the underage girls to his home and getting them to pose naked for him.

So, can “the new Myspace” successfully shake its sketchy reputation and attract new users to its music sharing service? Only time will tell if it is in fact possible to fall from social media grace only to reinvent yourself and come back even stronger.

About the Author

Shonna Freeman is a social media journalist living in San Francisco, CA. She writes about online trends, social media marketing, and pretty much anything Internet-related or newsworthy.

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5 Ways to Spot A Sketchy Twitter Follower

twitter followersTwitter is a unique social media platform, particularly because you can follow anyone you choose, and you don’t need to send a request. Other sites, like Facebook, have privacy settings allowing users to dictate the amount of information that is visible to the public. Even if someone has a Facebook profile that is completely public, you still have to send them a friend request, which they can either accept or refuse. Facebook also allows users to block certain people from viewing their information if they choose to do so.

Twitter, on the other hand, is quite different. Your profile is visible to anyone with Internet access, whether they have an Twitter account or not, and you have no control over who can follow you. Anyone who visits your page can view your tweets, photos, and all other forms of personal information you post about your daily life. This is where things get tricky and potentially dangerous because the Internet sets the perfect digital stage for scammers, creeps, and stalkers to operate, especially on social media sites like Twitter.

On the Internet, people are more inclined to lose sight of their behavior and how it may be perceived. They’re hiding behind the safety of their own computer screen, so they’re confident that no one will know what they’re really doing, or who they really are. If you have a Twitter account, some of your followers could be super sketchy, or the account might not even belong to a real person.

Luckily, the situation is not hopeless, and if you think you’ve got some sketchy followers, there are a few ways you can find out if your suspicions are warranted. Check out the following list for five ways to spot a super sketchy Twitter follower.

1. No Interaction

Look at your follower’s page to see how much they actually interact with other accounts. The whole point of Twitter is to interact with others, 140 characters at a time. You post short blurbs about what you’re doing, or where you are, or how you feel about a certain topic. Other people interact with you by replying, retweeting, or mentioning your Twitter handle in their own posts. If your follower in question has zero interaction on their page then you can assume that they’re either super sketchy, or they’re not a real person.

2. Random Tagging

If your follower does have sufficient activity, then poke around to see what type of activity that is. Just like other sites, Twitter users can tag others in their posts, but random and excessive tagging is a red flag that points directly to one thing — spam!

3. No Profile Picture

Any account with no profile picture should be considered sketchy, especially on Twitter when the default photo is that weird little egg-shaped image. Such an odd default makes it painfully obvious when people don’t have a picture, and you must ask yourself, why would anyone join social media sites and then forgo the option to choose a profile picture. Either they’re hiding their identity, or they’re just odd, neither of which are qualities you want in a follower.

4. Weird Handle

In the Twittersphere, your handle is whatever comes after the ‘@’ symbol, and users can choose any handle they want. People usually choose their name, especially celebrities, like @WillFerrell. News outlets like @nytimes, and companies like @instntcheckmate choose handles that represent their brand and make their accounts more identifiable among Twitter users. So, if your follower has some strange, outlandish handle, then it may be a sign that the account owner is sketchy.

5. No Followers

Anyone who is legitimate and active on Twitter will have at least a few followers. So, if you look at the account that raised your suspicions and realize they have no followers, then consider it a red flag. It’s even worse if they are following thousands of accounts and not one of them is following back. That’s a sign that they’re just creeping around on Twitter doing who knows what, and they’re clearly not using the site for social interaction, which is the main point of creating a social media account in the first place.

Better Safe Than Sorry!

These tips will help you identify any potential creeps that could be lurking on your Twitter account. There have been many incidents of actual Twitter stalkers, so don’t feel paranoid. It’s always a good idea to know exactly who is following you, because they’re essentially following your daily life.

About the Author

Ashley Welter is a San Diego blogger who specializes in writing about the dangers of limited privacy on social media. Check out her Google+ page to read more of her work.

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