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Social media is not inherently bad. Rather, it can have both good and bad qualities, and it often falls on the user to make responsible decisions about using social media. While social media providers try their best to eliminate bad content from their websites and applications, their products are often...

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Social media is not inherently bad. Rather, it can have both good and bad qualities, and it often falls on the user to make responsible decisions about using social media. While social media providers try their best to eliminate bad content from their websites and applications, their products are often designed in ways that make it easy to get by without notice. For example, a number of racist groups make use of Facebook's easy photo sharing and social networking as a way to spread their ideas and help racists get in touch with each other. Facebook tries their best to eliminate these kinds of user pages, but they often don't know such pages exist until they are reported by users.

Social media helps friends and family stay in touch and can connect people to new ideas and experiences. Those are both really good things, and typically the reasons people sign up for social media. Unfortunately, it does come with the risk of exposure to negative aspects of society. In addition to racism, sexual content poses a big problem for young social media users and their parents. Many parents don't want their children to use social media because they can't control what other people will post and their kids might come across. In services like Instagram, it is not uncommon to come across sexual material, even when searching for something wholly non-sexual. Social media gives users the opportunity to tag their posts, blogs, photos, and videos with keywords that may or may not really describe the content they are sharing. Social media engines (and other services like Google) do their best to match users with content they might be interested in, but if someone has mislabeled their web-content, it is harder to tailor this experience.

Some people feel that social media makes too much of private life a public display, while others find it a rewarding way to network. As a social media user, you must decide whether the good outweighs the bad, as well as speak up about what could be made better!

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