By Trishna Buch
“Be careful what you post online, because once it’s out there it’s out there forever.” I’m sure you’ve heard this, or a variation of this statement, several times. It has to do with the notion that, once you put something on the internet—a quote, a statement, a picture, my thing—it’s there for good. Even if you delete the post, it may be gone from your social media account, but it is definitely not gone from the Internet. And while this may not be an issue in most cases, your posts online can come back to haunt you in a negative manner. This was the lesson learned by a group of high-school females from Utah, when a video surfaced online of them chanting a derogatory slur. according to the Salt Lake Tribune, the girls recorded a video of themselves saying the term “serggin cuff.” They then used an application to play the video in reverse, so that when it was uploaded, it made it sound as if the students were saying a derogatory slur. The Salt Lake Tribune went on to explain that, under federal student privacy laws, the actions taken against the students could not be revealed
but that, according to school officials, “appropriate action” had been taken. If you would like to read more about the case, you can do so at http://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2017/10/23/ weber-school-district-concludes-investigation-into-videoof-cheerleaders-chanting-racial-slur/. The article also stated that the students said they meant no harm and that their actions were not directed to a particular
person, the damage was still done. Another person had seen the video, posted it online and sparked tensions and discussions on racism. Furthermore, through research on the issue, I learnt that the students’ names had been revealed, meaning that—if anyone searches
these names—the first items that will appear are the articles regarding their actions. And this brings me back to the importance of being careful what you post online. Now, nobody should use derogatory slurs. Even if you “didn’t mean any harm” or “weren’t directing them at anyone”, the bottom line is that you used them, and that is unacceptable. However, if you do choose to use them, and you post them online, then you should not be surprised if posts of you using these terms surface online, because acts that despicable cannot and should not be hidden. But the video of these students was only example. I used it as a basis to my point. In this case, I think it’s a good thing the video was revealed. It allowed the true personalities of the students to be revealed and led to fast action from the school. But most of the time, the things people post online aren’t bad to a point where it’s better that they were revealed, but bad enough to where—if someone saw them—it would have negative repercussions on you. Think about it this way: if it’s not something you would say to a person’s
face, don’t post it online. If it’s not a picture you would want on a billboard on I-45, then don’t post it on social media. The internet is a weird, confusing and scary place. But one thing is for sure and that is, once you click ‘post’ or ‘send’ there’s no turning back. So think long, hard and carefully on every post you make. Would you really want everyone being able to see the post? If the answer is not a firm yes, then you are better not posting it at all.
By Trishna Buch