Digital footprints or digital shadows means the trail of data you leave behind while using social media platforms. Two kinds of digital footprints are known. Passive digital footprints collect information from an original media user without the user’s knowledge, while active digital footprints collect data with the user’s knowledge. Social media has grown so broad and diverse.
THE ETHICAL ISSUES WHICH MAY ARISE DUE TO SOCIAL MEDIA
People are becoming victims of financial scammers on social media. Most scammers are taking advantage of the underlying poverty in most African countries, this poverty has come along with a lot of anxiety in public, and many people are becoming victims. For instance, some applications suggest requesting people to make deposits in their accounts with a return of interest. However, most do not fulfil their pledge and go out of existence after acquiring a vast sum of money deposits from people.
Human rights violations
Many scary and fear-causing photos and videos are being uploaded daily on social media. Incidents of crimes are recorded and uploaded to different social media platforms to cause fear and panic. Terrorists are using powerful tools on social media to persuade the populace and the youth into terrorism.
Obstruction of social relationships
A study from Pew Research shows that 62 percent of people get their news from social media; therefore, the more extended the information is in circulation, the more discussion it generates and the more significant the impact of social media. Thus, the overuse of social media lowers the physical and social relationships among people, and many associations, jobs, families, and partners have been seen to fall out due to social media. This is mainly due to the lack of social cohesion among people and their responsibilities hence coupling up with many related issues.
Addiction and psychological consequences
People spend hours on social media, often forgetting their responsibilities. The more one spends time on social media, the more time. Also, the mind sees social media as a centre of happiness. Therefore, falling victim to social-media addiction. Many people fall victim to pornography, online games, and others.
Abuse of social media is used as a defamation tool to hack down people’s personal information. There is too much passing on of false information and propaganda. This has provoked, manipulated people’s emotions, and brought down public figures.
Your digital prints can be searched, shared, and shown to the public. One of the most prominent digital footprints is share, status view, re-tweet, comment, and snap. All these are part of our record. Therefore, in this era of “we share everything”, we should consider being cautious, friendly, respectful, and professional.