Friday, October 5, 2012

Policy concerns and Social Networking sites

Image used and remixed with creative common rights from Mark Smiciklas

For this task I have read a few articles to look at the policy concerns of 'privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safely using Social Networking Sites (SNSs)' and 'information access for all and adequate bandwidth/connectivity and the digital divide', particularly with SNSs.

Because social networks have a reputation of being fun users are not aware of how these sites can be potentially unsafe. It is suggested that with an increase in the use of social networking there has been a corresponding rise in online fraud and crime (James, 2010, p.1). This are not just online crimes such as identity theft, but in the physical world such as thieves finding out when you are not home via Twitter. (James 2010 p.1)
Web 2.0 technologies are set up to encourage networking and collaboration and involves a high level of trust (McAfee, 2010 para.6). And this can be misplaced. Most people are on multiple SNSs, cross promoting their different accounts, not realizing how much information can be leaked, little bits of information when gathered into a whole can provide a lot of information. Users can share personal information and opinions, which can go viral (James, 2010, p.3). This information needs to be protected or people can use it to damage reputations or for identity theft (James, 2010, p.9)
It is important that library policies identify at risk behaviours on SNSs and make commitments to user education.

Libraries, particularly public libraries, have an ethos of information access for all, and in reducing barriers of the digital divide. Many patrons are now using library PCs for social networking. These sites use more bandwidth than static websites and are often used for communication and entertainment. They are competing with traditional library patrons using it for education, interacting with government and applying for work (Bertot, 2009, para.40). Not allowing social networking on library PC would deprive patrons of their main source of communication and entertainment (Bertot, 2009 para.46). Also, SNS have penetrated so much into our society that patrons can use SNSs to interact with governments agencies, to subscribe to news, and for most of their communication needs. To deprive then of this would then only increase the digital divide. Library policies should then confirm the growing importance that social networking has to being a digital citizen.


Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., McClure, C. R., Wright, C. B., & Jensen, E. (2009). Public libraries and the Internet 2008-2009: Issues, implications, and challenges. First Monday, 14(11). Available

James, M.L. (2010). Cyber Crime 2.0 versus the Twittering classes. Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Parliamentary Library Information, analysis and advice for the Parliament. Retrieved from

McAfee (2010). Submission number 10: Response to the Parliament of Australia House of Representatives Re: Inquiry into Cyber Crime . Retrieved from

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