Another week, another media s*#@t storm about social networking.
This time it relates to a (admittedly tasteless) new Facebook group called “the brocial network”.
The premise of the site is for “bros” (it only allows male members) to upload photos they have found on Facebook (or on other sites) that feature scantily clad women.
Now, I’m not defending the members of group’s behaviour which is, by most people’s standards pretty creepy and a little sad.
What gets me is the hysterical reporting the group has attracted from the media.
The Sydney Morning Herald's report on the group is a prime example.
They felt it important to tell everyone in the second paragraph that, and I hope you’re sitting down because it is very shocking, that “at least four players from a Melbourne-based AFL club” were members of the group.
They must have been salivating into their keyboards when they realised they had another story containing the holy trinity of news stories, AFL players, Facebook and scantily clad women.
They quote Jade (21), who’s photo was uploaded to the group saying “I think it's just perverted and disgusting and wrong … it's wrong that they can take photos of innocent women who have no idea that these photos are being used on a public site where men can just go [look at] whenever they like.”
While I can sympathise with her feeling betrayed, her complaints are like someone getting upset about who hears them yelling about something private at a crowded train station.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you upload a photo (or anything else for that matter) to Facebook, you have no rights as to what is done with it by other people.
It’s like if you give a hard copy of a photo of yourself to someone.
You don’t have rights as to what they do with it then, it becomes their property.
My advice to people is, if you wouldn’t say, or show it in a crowded room of strangers, don’t put it on Facebook.
The only thing sadder than the “bros” who signed up for the group, is the media’s hysterical and hyperbolic reporting on the issue.