: Social Networking Essay

MARKETING RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS Name : Student ID : INTRODUCTION In this proposal the main sections will be outlining the aims, research and initial proposal for my new social networking site. The subject for my research is on the impact social networking sites have on people’s social aspects and how that shapes communities physical and virtual. My reasons for choosing this research are two-fold, that in my own life I know people who are, to coin a phrase “addicted” to facebook and that my own personal thoughts on how social networking sites impact us individually and communally.

A social network service focuses on building and reflecting of social networks or social relations among people, e. g. , who share interests and/or activities. A social network service essentially consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web based and provides means for users to interact over the internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging.

Although online community services are sometimes considered as a social network service in a broader sense, social network service usually means an individual-centered service whereas online community services are group-centered. The main types of social networking services are those which contain category places (such as former school-year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages) and a recommendation system linked to trust.

Popular methods now combine many of these, with Facebook, Bebo and Twitter widely used. An increasing number of academic commentators are becoming interested in studying Facebook and other social networking tools. Social science researchers have begun to investigate what the impact of this might be on society. Typical issues such as Political-legal, Ethical, Socio-Cultural, Industry. {text:list-item} It seems that everyone is a member of a social network these days.

Whether it’s your kids on MySpace and Facebook, or your colleagues on LinkedIn, people are taking advantage of these new online meeting spaces to make friends, communicate and expand business opportunities. But what are the legal obligations that arise out of the use of social networks, both for the user and the sites themselves? The law in this area is still relatively unsettled, but some recent developments have created intriguing precedent, and legislation in motion promises to keep things interesting for the foreseeable future.

The two most important statutes to consider when discussing the legal liabilities and obligations of the social networking sites are [Section 512(c)] of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and [Section 230] of the Communications Decency Act. –Section 512(c) removes liability for copyright infringement from websites that allow users to post content, as long as the site has a mechanism in place whereby the copyright owner can request the removal of infringing content. The site must also not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity.

This creates an interesting problem for most sites that allow users to post music, photos or video. For instance, several content owners have sued YouTube, the video sharing site, for copyright infringement, and YouTube has claimed a 512(c) defense. Since YouTube is a subsidiary of Google, its future business plan most likely involves serving advertisements according to the kind of video that users view or search for. If the site does this, however, it could amount to a financial benefit directly attributable to the sharing of copyrighted materials.

Those cases are currently before federal district courts, and their resolution will greatly impact the services that social networks offer, as well as their business models. –Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act immunizes website from any liability resulting from the publication of information provided by another. This usually arises in the context of defamation, but several courts have expanded it to cover other sorts of claims as well. Thus, if a user posts defamatory or otherwise illegal content, Section 230 shields the social network provider from any liability arising out of the publication.

Websites that, in whole or in part, create or develop contested information, on the other hand, are deemed “content providers” that do not benefit from the protections of Section 230. {text:list-item} Privacy is a status wherein an individual can work on his/her information in seclusion, resulting in a selective revelation of one’s identity and information. Privacy can mean anonymity in case a person wants to remain unidentified. Privacy can also be related to the security aspect of an individual or information.

The definitions of privacy can differ across individuals and cultures. The invasion of privacy can be avoided by the issue of privacy laws. Internet, which hosts an enormous information base, has given rise to the concept of information privacy. The vast information on the Internet faces security needs. Unauthorized access to the information is undesirable. Data privacy refers to the association between the technology and the legal rights related to it. Whenever any information about a person or a person’s data is stored, privacy needs arise.

Social networking privacy is the control one has over what information about oneself, the person wishes to disclose. Privacy deals with controlling the access to information over the Internet, and whether or not, the third parties should be permitted to track the visitors on a website. {text:list-item} Recently, social network sites like Cyworld, MySpace, orkut, and Facebook have captured the public’s attention and attracted millions of users. Such sites typically enable individuals to create a profile that defines their online personae through the use of photographs, text, and multimedia elements.

More importantly, social network sites enable individuals to articulate their social connections visibly on the site, a practice that may help individuals meet self-presentational and social goals There are currently hundreds of social network sites, spanning a wide range of individuals, interests, and technological affordances. While the key technological features are fairly consistent, the cultures that emerge in these sites are varied. For example, music is the cultural glue of some sites, while others gather people around particular interests, such as political beliefs or pet ownership.

Some sites cater to a wide variety of people, while others target people based on race, age, sexuality, religion, language, or nationality. Sites vary in the extent to which they incorporate new tools, such as mobile technologies, blogging, and photo/video-sharing. {text:list-item} Companies such as MySpace and Facebook sell online advertising on their site. Hence, they are seeking large memberships, and charging for membership would be counterproductive. Some believe that the deeper information that the sites have on each user will allow much better targeted advertising than any other site can currently provide.

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