HOW A SOCIAL MEDIA FAIL CAN END UP KILLING YOU

The weekend means two things: The hangover breakfast and hours spent on social media. However you should probably think before you post. As recent events show that being careless on social media can leave you unemployed, arrested or even dead.

 

Location, Location, Location.

Two IS soldiers one with a balaclava. Tagline "no filter"

A social media fail led to US forces bombing the location of IS soldiers

We all love a good selfie. Especially when we’re in a glamorous location. But if you are a member of a rebel terrorist group, it might be best to stay off Twitter.

This week the location of an Islamic State hideout was busted after an IS fighter decided to post a selfie.

US spies recognised the background and within 24 hours they had bombed the area.

If alive, the IS fighter probably hasn’t had any new follower requests.

 

#Comradefail

Similarly, a Russian soldier gave the game away when he posted on Instagram from Ukraine. You can find out all about the Russia/Ukraine saga right here, but in a nutshell Russia was NOT supposed to be in Ukraine. They’d even denied they had soldiers in the country.

Social Media Fail by Alexander Sotkin revealed that he was in Ukraine with Russian soldiers

The social media fail which revealed Russian soldiers might be somewhere they shouldn’t

 

VICE news even used social media to track down Russian soldiers;

 

Come Fly With Me

Everyone loves a good prank. Pretend to be someone else and wind them up. Classic banter. A fourteen year old girl decided to take it to a whole new level and tweeted a threat to an airline as a joke.

As you can imagine this very quickly backfired.

Teenage girl tweets an airline pretending to be a terrorist. They pass on her details to the FBI: Social Media Fail

Airline Fail: Don’t pretend to be a terrorist

 

Don’t worry though, she had things covered.

 

Social Media Fail - the girl who tweeted pretending to be a terrorist then blocked the FBI

Good plan.

However, this didn’t stop her from being arrested. Nice try though.

 

Hackers gonna hack

Hacker Chris Roberts commits a Social Media Fail and was arrested. His tweet looked like he was going to hack into the WIFI of a plane

Chris Roberts was about to get hacked off

Bragging about your skills is never cool. But if your skill is hacking… maybe keep it on the down low. Computer expert Chris Robert’s wasn’t expecting the response he got when he posted this tweet to the right:

Yeah, we don’t really understand it either. But apparently it refers to a weakness in the airplane WI-FI system which could allow a hacker to take over the flight controls.

It’s like every plane disaster movie you’ve ever seen rolled into one.

The US authorities didn’t take kindly to this and arrested Roberts as soon as he landed. Then confiscated his laptop.

Oh, and if you want the low down on hacking you can read our guide. You’re like totally welcome.

 

Funeral = Not A Photo-Op

 

David Cameron's Social Media Fail - getting a selfie with Barack Obama and the Prime Minister of Denmark

“Did you get my good side?”

It was all going so well for David Cameron. Leader of the Conservative party, then Prime Minister, he was finally invited to one of the biggest public events in history: Nelson Mandela’s funeral. What could possibly go wrong?

This.

What better way to show your respect to a dead world leader than selfie-ing up with US President Barack Obama and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt?

 

David Cameron's Social Media Fail - getting a selfie with Barack Obama and the Prime Minister of Denmark

Say Cheese!

 

 

The world didn’t take too well to this social media fail and Cameron later tried to save face by suggesting the photo be auctioned off to charity.

Bidding starts at 1p, any takers?

Don’t think President Obama got off the hook, however. Just look at the frown on his wife’s face. He’s in big trouble.

 

 

 

Poppy-gate

David Cameron also took flak after the Downing Street official Facebook page changed its profile picture to an image of the prime minister wearing a Remembrance Day poppy. Poppies are worn to honour those who gave their lives in war and conflict.

David Cameron's social media fail with a poppy photo-shopped onto an existing image

Spot the difference

The problem? Turns out the poppy was actually photo-shopped onto an existing image. Awkward!

 

By-Election Bye Bye

 

Emily Thornberry MP's tweet about Rochester features a white van and three England flags.

A political social media fail led to the resignation of Emily Thornberry

It’s not just the Prime Minister who found out that Politics and Social Media fails really don’t mix. Labour MP Emily Thornberry lost her job in the Shadow Cabinet for tweeting this picture of a white van and some England flags.

Thornberry had travelled up to support the Labour party in a by-election. (What is this I hear you say? Take a look at The By-Election: Decoded)

Residents of Rochester were furious at the tweet and many thought Thornberry was making a snooty comment about the working classes.

Then a “helpful” journalist decided to point out it wasn’t the first time she had tweeted about England flags.

 

Maybe she just really likes flags. Maybe.

 

Queen Elizabeth II is (not) DEAD

Yeah, OK, maybe not. But BBC journalist Ahmen Khawaja decided to send a tweet saying exactly that.

Tween From Ahmen Khawaja stating that Queen Elizabeth II is dead

Killing a royal is the ultimate Social Media Fail

Turns out the BBC was just running a rehearsal to work out how they would cover an event such as the Queen’s death. Not weird at all. The rehearsal coincided with Queenie’s annual medical check up.

Khawaja’s version of events; she got pranked. #likelystory

 

Learnings: Social Media Fails can be fun.

If you take fun to mean “deadly dangerous”.

Could Instagramming your brunch lead to you being arrested? More importantly  – is anyone actually using Pinterest? Answers in 140 characters or less.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter and let us do the explaining. Also Like and Follow for regular decoded news.

The truth about Sexting.

What is Sexting?

Sexting; scene from TV comedy "New Girl" where the characters mock Shakespeare sonnets

Shakespeare’s Sonnets; early forms of sexting?

Sexting; sending someone explicit photographs or messages by phone. Basically, nude-y pictures and sex chat.

The term “sexting” was coined in 2004 in a Globe and Mail article “Textual Gratification”. Picture texts were invented in 2002, so it didn’t take long for people to work out that camera + text = good times.

Some people argue that humans have always used the latest advances to talk dirty and that sexting is just the latest technological advance. In the 1900s, where the fountain pen was the equivalent of the iPhone the letters of writer James Joyce to his wife were infamously graphic. Looking even further back in time could some of Shakespeare’s sonnets (love poems claimed to have been written for a secret lover) be early versions of the sext?

 

The argument; Sexting is harmless

Sexting - the argument is that it is just harmless fun

Sexting; harmless fun?

Let’s face it; sexting is fun! Apps like Tinder are now becoming the norm where strangers meet online and flirt.

For many sexting is seen as harmless; flirting without serious consequences or the risk of embarrassment if you’re rejected.

Another argument is that sexting is an act of empowerment; it’s your body and if you wish to send pictures then that’s your call.
In this regard perhaps Sexting could be categorised as “freedom of expression”?!
Within a relationship sexting can also be a good thing. If you’re long-distance or away from your partner it can be a good way of keeping things fresh and exciting. Steady now.

 

The argument; Sexting is harmful

Is Sexting dangerous?

Sexting; is it dangerous?

However, there are some cases where sexting can lead to bad situations. The amount of cases of sexting in schools is on the rise. The National Crime Agency says it receives one case a day of a child being involved in Sexting.

Children who don’t know the risks are vulnerable to exploitation. They are often pressured into sharing pictures by friends; and even by people they don’t know. Doesn’t sound like it’s just harmless fun?

And if the picture gets into the wrong hands and is shared around; it’s very difficult to either delete the image or even find out who’s been sharing it. Images can often spread very quickly.

 

Is Sexting dangerous? A man taking a selfie by a train, gets his head kicked

Selfies are dangerous? Nahhhhhh.

Search “Sexting suicide” and you’ll find loads of stories about people who have taken their own lives. The reports say these suicides were due to embarrassment, shame and bullying due to pictures and texts being shared around their schools.

Most recently Ronan Hughes, a 17-year-old from Ireland, committed suicide last week. It’s being reported that he may have been tricked into posting images online and was being blackmailed. Of course, we will never know the many and complex reasons why these people chose to end their lives but these stories have added to concerns over Sexting.

 

Why are we talking about Sexting?

A new campaign has been launched by the National Crime Agency to raise awareness of the dangers of Sexting. A series of videos aimed to help parents are being released. There are also versions of the website for all age groups giving them the information they need to stay safe. Get the knowledge at www.thinkuknow.co.uk

 

 

What we learned; if you want to keep something private say it in person

Sexting allows us to say and do things we maybe wouldn’t in real life; is this a good or bad thing? Answers below, no pictures please 😉

 

Follow. Like. Subscribe.

Sign up to our weekly news explainer The Week: Decoded, like us on Facebook and follow @scenesofreason