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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

4) It is said that that social networks can lead to social upheaval and destroy peoples lives, explain how Social Networks can be a way of connecting people and discouraging people to communicate Within the twenty-first century it is said that social networks can lead to social upheaval and destroy peoples lives. This shapes the ways in which people are able to connect and also discourage them from communicate. Social networking can be defined as the ways in which people are able to interact through various forms of digital mediums enabling them to connect and communicate. Through this ability to connect and communicate, within society people are able to interact with each other and build stronger relationships with those around them. However, social networking does not always allow for people to be able to connect and communicate, it can sometimes lead to social upheaval and the destruction of lives. The various forms in which social networks can lead to upheaval can be broken up into three distinct categories. These three categories include; cyber bullying, cyber stalking and online predators. It is evident that within our society, social networks can come in various forms, these include; internet social networking sites such as facebook, twitter and youtube, blogging services such as blogger, wordpress and tumblr, multiplayer online game services such as second life, age of empires online and habbo hotel , chat/video rooms such as chatroulette, and stickam, newsgroups and fan sites. Robin Mason and Frank Rennie (2008) pose the notion that these technologies are pandering a net generation. However as the net generation continues to grow and develop, some may see this as a way of influencing their social mobility and interconnectedness. However this also leads to other users becoming more vulnerable to attacks made by peers and strangers online. Thus eliminating the power of social networks to be used as a tool to allow people to connect and communicate.

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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

Due to the increased reliance society has on technology people have become more susceptible to being attacked online and due to this it has changed the way in which we utalise social networks. This change has impacted on the security measures that people now take when they use social networks. An advantage of an ever changing social networking landscape is the fact that social networking companies, for example Facebook are understanding peoples need for privacy and security when utalising these social networking mediums. Although there is every precaution made to keep information safe online, people are still uploading various sources of personal information to social networking sites which everyone has access to. On the Facebook data use policy they advise users to Always think before you post...information you share on Facebook can be copied or re-shared by anyone who can see it. (Facebook, 2011) Due to these sources of information being available online it has allowed people to be able to connect and communicate more effectively and efficiently. However, although people are able to communicate and connect with ease this can lead to social upheaval and destroy peoples lives through cyber bullying, cyber stalking and online predators.

It has been said that social networks have the ability to be able to connect people and allow them to use online platforms for intimate self-expression...a key component of the overall social environment for many... (Kwang & Choo, 2009; P39). A further example of this can be seen through the research conducted by the Department of Speech at the University of Hawaii who state that ...Facebook reports that its users upload over 2 billion photos per month and 14 million videos per week... (Kwang & Choo, 2009; P1). Many see uploading information (pictures, videos, personal information etc) as a common social practice, especially among females. The reason more females upload information and other content to social networks is due to the fact they seek reassurance of their self-worth among their peers. This allows them to feel good about themselves. However not all comments from peers reassure people and allow them to feel as though they are important, some may be said

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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

in a derogatory manner. The way in which these comments are made is known as cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying is defined as bullying through information and communication technologies to cause harm. This is due to the proliferation of text messaging through mobile communication devices, emails, phone calls and the latest trend, being social networking such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. In a recent magazine article, an anonymous interviewer stated that ...Theres no safe place anymore. You can be bullied 24/7...even in the privacy of your own bedroom... (Dolly Magazine; P90). This illuminates the fact that that there is no safe haven for people to be able to escape the insidious effects of bullying. Some of the detrimental effects which cyber bullying may have on people, especially teenagers is early depression, anger, withdrawal, self harm and in extremely serious cases, suicide. Through the advent of social mediums it has influenced todays generation to be able to communicate more effectively with their peers, however it can also discourage people from communicating due to the effects which cyber bullying may have. In a survey conducted by BoysTown, among 548 teens and young adults in Australia, the most common methods of cyber bullying include name calling, abusive comments, spreading rumors, threats of physical harm... (Kids Help Line, 2011) The highest percentages of respondents include chat rooms with 44%, social networking sites 43%, mobile phones with 41% and the highest rate of cyber bullying occurs within emails with 46% (appendix A). A further study conducted by the University of Toronto in 2010 drew the following conclusions between students in years 6 and 7 as well as 10 and 11 about the trends of those who were cyber bullied and those who were doing the bullying. Of the research conducted, over a 3 month period a third (33.7%) of the 2186 participants indicated they had been bullied. And when categorised by gender and grade (years 6,7,10 and 11) it was evident that it was evident that in younger boys and girls ...there was no difference in having been cyber bullied among girls and boys in Grades 6 and 7... (Agatston, Kowalski, Limber, 2007; P4) (appendix B). The evidence as to the break down of cyber bullying behaviors
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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

are categorised as being called names, subject of rumors, someone pretending to be you, threats, sexual content etc

However due to the nature of cyber bullying, those who become victims of it are ...reluctant to report cyber bullying to parents because they feared the loss of online privileges.... (Hall, 2011) According to an article written by Loretta Hall, cyber bullying is ...an act that can go unnoticed by parents... (Hall, 2011) due to the above mentioned factor that those who have been bullied fear that they will have their privileges revoked. In turn, this is a leading cause for those who have fallen victim to cyber bullying to continue to put up with their abuse and not seek help for what has been occurring. Which further proves the central premise of the argument that social networks can lead to social upheaval and destroy lives. There are various reasons and motivations as to why people may cyber bully each other through the means of social networks, these reasons include; revenge, anger, frustration, entertainment, torment or to boost the ego of the power hungry. According to Stop Cyber Bullying, an organisation developed to inform young people about cyber bullying have compiled a list as to the four types of cyber bullies, ...The vengeful angel, the power-hungry or revenge of the nerds, the mean girls and the inadvertent cyber bully or because i can... (WiredKids Inc, 2011) The website continues to detail that there is no one-size fits all approach in being able to deal with each of the bullies as their motives will differ. Although there may not be a simplified method to counteracting cyber bullies, psychologist Andrew Fuller, has developed a website with advice for parents to be able to try and minimise the risk of their child being cyber bullied. Hall cites Fullers website stating that parents should MONITOR your childs internet use...TALK...about cyber bullying...HELP...to block anyone who sends offensive content...ADVISE...not to respond...TELL your child to never share their passwords... (Fuller, 2010 cited in Hall, 2011) As a guide to assisting in the prevention of cyber bullying occurring it can still have detrimental effects on those who have been bullied and therefore

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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

discourage people from communicating. This idea can further be seen through cyber stalking.

It is further evident that social networks can also be a way for people to be able to find people they have attributes in common with. It is evident that social-network sites may function as tools through which people maintain meaningful relationships with people they have known for a long time and are emotionally close to... (Stefanone, Lackaff, Rosen, 2011; P44). The relationships that develop through social networks can be seen as a web of interrelated, interpersonal connections with the relationships which are developed online. Social networks allow people to maintain these connections they have these relationships with. However these relationships may cause people to deviate from regular socially acceptable behavior when they become ignored. This deviance is known as cyber stalking. Cyber stalking is defined by Bocij as a unique form of deviant behavior involving a wide rang of activities including repeated unwelcome emails, attempting to sexually entrap children, and in the business world, disrupting the commercial activities of competitors... (Bocij, 2004: P268 cited in Mullen,
Path & Purcell, 2009: P152) Through social networking it has made it easier for

people to commit acts of cyber stalking, which can also lead to victims no longer wanting to communicate with others due to their ordeals. It is understood that cyber stalking may stem from people wanting attention from those around them or to get to know another person better, however in doing, what may seem harmless they cause problems which can lead to their victims being traumatised and discourage them from communicating.

It has been said that the internet, especially social networking mediums have developed an entirely new way for people to be able to commit crimes which were once had to be carried out in the flesh. According to Emma Ogilvie there are three primary ways in which cyberstalking is carried out email stalking...internet stalking...computer stalking... (Ogilvie, 2000; P2). Email
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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

stalking occurs through the receiving of unsolicited emails which contain obscenities in them such as racial slurs, pictures of the victim or threatening messages. These messages are sent to the victim in order to intimidate them. However it is further suggested by Ogilvie that email stalking is actually less invasive...the victim can undermine the interaction by deleting, without opening, any unsolicited messages... (Ogilvie, 2000; P2). An example of cyberstalking in relation to emails can be seen through the Queensland women who complained that her life was threatened in a series of unsolicited emails (ABC Local Radio, 2000). Through reviewing the information it is clearly evident that social networking has the power to be able to connect people, in this case email, however it also has the power to discourage people form communicating due to various ordeals they may go through if the technology is used in a criminal manner. Further ideas which also make evident the notion of cyber stalking can be seen through computer stalking. The idea of computer stalking is for the stalker to have complete access to their victims computer through peer-to-peer social networks in which two or more computers are able to connect and share information. This is one form of stalking that does not require the stalker to be extremely knowledgeable on how to perform the hack. According to Ogilvie instructions on how to use the technologies in this way are available on the Internet. It is likely that progressively easier scripts for the cyber stalkers will be made freely available for anyone so inclined to download them. These scripts can be in the form of complex programs which may be downloaded by the victim unknowingly or remotely installed by the stalkers. Once the stalker has the information they need from their victim they are able to use it on various other social networking sites to inflict damage and destroy their victims lives.

There are a multitude of reasons for people falling victim of cyber stalking, these reasons include sexual harassment, obsessed with gaining the love of their victim, revenge for rejection or hate, as well as being power hungry and wanting to dominate their victims. Cyber stalkers, may also impersonate their victims in order to destroy their lives. According to Mullen, Path and Purcell,
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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

cyber stalkers may order goods and service on their victims behalf...with the internet...publicising private information...damaging or embarrassing nature... (Mullen, Path & Purcell, 2009; P153-154). The second reason alone may prompt the victim to not want to connect with people as it may have a lasting impression on their personal lives. In order to reduce the risk of cyber stalkers intruding on peoples lives; around the world, in order to prevent it from taking place and reduce the risks of the destruction of peoples lives and social upheaval. Laws have come into affect to stop incidents occurring. Many of these laws came into affect in 1999 such as the Australian Stalking Amendment Act (1999) includes the use of any form of technology to harass a target as forms of "criminal stalking." and the maximum penalty if caught is 40 penalty units or 1 years imprisonment... (Queensland Government, 1999; P9) (appendix C) and a restraining order may come into affect as well. . This law makes evident the fact that how social networks allows people to connect but also discourage them from communicating. It further highlights the fact that social networks can also be grounds for online predators.

Social networks are the perfect place for people to be able to interact with each other and organise upcoming events for users to be able to interact faceto-face. Due to the advancements in technology it has allowed for individuals to communicate efficiently and effectively in real time, when they do not have the means to be able to meet up together. Social networking has become an important element in the lives of many people. However due to the increased reliance we have placed on technology and the increased availability of various resources, people have been able to abuse the ways in which they are able connect with others. The internet now, provides a way for online predators to be able to have access to young children without the need to approach them in a face-to-face environment. For those who have an inappropriate sexual interests with children, represent a very real threat for the safety of children who utalise social networking websites. Research has indicated that social
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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

networking internet sites are being used extensively by children and that some communications are of an improper and illegal nature, in which personal information is gathered to facilitate financial fraud as well as for use in establishing relationships with children for purposes of sexual gratification. (Kwang & Choo, 2009; P19). This in itself is the under lying idea of the problems surrounding online predators. It can be said that predators create fake profiles on social networking sites to attract underage children and make them grow attached to the idea of having a close friend online which they are able to confide in. However when these close friends see that they need to have a varying relationship with their underage counterparts they groom them. Grooming is the process by which an online predator establishes an emotional connection with a child. This is done to lower the child's inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity.

Online predators attack the most vulnerable of victims, these may include, children with low self esteem, lacking in confidence and sexually curious adolescents who are more willing to take risks. A news article in 2006 made the discovery that a fourteen year old girl and her mother were suing the social networking site myspace. It was alleged that the girl was assaulted by a nineteen year old male whom she had met on the website, who claimed he was fourteen. The company was being sued for negligence, gross negligence, fraud, fraud by nondisclosure... (Gehman, 2007; p157). In light of these events myspace developed a policy about online predators ...If MySpace customer service determines you are under 13 and pretend to be older, we will delete your profile. If customer service determines you are over 18 and pretend to be a teenager to contact underage users, we will delete your profile.... (Myspace LLC, 2011). This can therefore translate to the protection that is attempted to be given to minors who utalise social networking sites, to limit the amount of destruction and social upheaval in peoples lives which can discourage people form communicating. It can also be a way of monitoring who people are connecting with to maintain a certain level of security.
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Chris Khoury 42457076!

ISYS100 Research Paper Q4

In a survey conducted in 2007 of 886 teens aged between 12 and 17 years it was evident that 44% of those who participated in the survey were contacted by a stranger who had created a social networking profile and 9% were contacted by a stranger who made them feel uncomfortable. (appendix D) It can be seen that these figures highlight that there is an advantage to the way in which research is carried out. It can be said that through this research methods which can deter online predators from attacking their young victims, through this researchers are able to gather the relevant data they need to be able to develop laws such as those in Australia. In 2007, New South Wales amended its Crimes Act 1900 with the Crimes Amendment (Sexual Procurement or Grooming of Children) Bill 2007 to criminalise an adult procuring or grooming a child for unlawful sexual activity. These amendments were made through the proactive surveying and profiling online sex offenders.

Conclusively it can be understood that that social networks can lead to social upheaval and destroy peoples lives. It can be understood that social networks are able to aid in efficient and effective communication between people. However further assumptions which can be made, being that although people are able to communicate and connect with ease, this can lead to social upheaval and destroy peoples lives through cyber bullying, cyber stalking and online predators. Due to the increased reliance society has on technology people have become more susceptible to being attacked online and due to this it has changed the way in which we utalise social networks.

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