Chat as if everyone can hear you

By · Friday, May 9th, 2014

A story in the news about Snapchat has us talking, again, about the need to be careful when sharing on social media.

In her New York Times article — “Off the Record in a Chat App? Don’t Be Sure” — Jenna Wortham explains how “Snapchat, the popular mobile messaging service, agreed to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission that messages sent through the company’s app did not disappear as easily as promised.”

A phrase in her story sums up the issue well:

Snapchat has built its service on a pitch that has always seemed almost too good to be true: that people can send any photo or video to friends and have it vanish without a trace. 

In time, we have come to see how the right people and the right technology have found ways around anonymity and ways to retrieve material that was supposed to have disappeared.

Consider this take on the issue from an expert quoted in the story:

“The Internet is forever, and people don’t realize that,” said Nico Sell, a security expert and one of the founders of a rival mobile app called Wickr that also lets people send self-destructing messages. “You think you can delete a tweet or a Facebook post, but it doesn’t go away. Most people don’t know how hard it is to make a message disappear.” 

Check out Wortham’s article for a full view of the issues, reactions and potential consequences of the settlement with the FTC.

And keep in mind the following tips to maintain your professional image on social media.

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