Relationships on-line

It’s important in life to have friends around you that you can trust and on whom you can rely; this is no different online. It’s less likely your close friends would want to do anything serious to hurt you; very often they’re the first ones you might turn to for help. That’s why it is important to think carefully about your social network friends lists and ask yourself “Who would stand beside me when things go wrong?”

What is your definition of a “friend” or a “friend of a friend”? We often add people to our networks because our other friends know them. In reality the person may have been passed on through lots of lists like this.

There are ways in which you can choose who sees what on your profile (privacy settings) and this is something you should get up to speed with. It is also important to understand how you yourself can change or remove content that you have posted about which you have changed your mind. That profile pic of you in your underwear was funny at the time but …

Social networking sites also have photo albums and timelines which can contain images of others e.g. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter. Your content may very well be sitting on the software company’s servers, often outside of the UK or Europe but it is also worth remembering that people can download or copy these images to their own computer.

A recent study by the Internet Watch Foundation showed that up to 88% of self-generated images have been collected and put onto other sites!

Photo sharing sites like Flickr or Instagram allow open and unrestricted (as well as private) sharing of pictures. Again your data could be on company’s servers or copied to users’ personal devices.

If you do end up in the situation with compromising images of you on a social networking site there are things you can do.

It’s important to understand the different ways in which you contact and report to social network sites to request removal of content. It’s not enough just to say “I don’t like it.” Your request needs to show that it breaks the site’s terms and conditions. If it is a naked or semi-naked image of you it is highly likely to breach these conditions and the legal implications mean the site host is likely to remove it quickly when made aware.

To find out more about you can do if things go wrong click here…

© SWGfL 2012. Visit for more information.

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