Children’s Objections to Parents’ Social Media Sharing

Over at the New York Times, KJ Dell’ Antonia writes about children’s  objections to their parents’ sharing on social media of baby pictures etc.:

….there was one surprising rule that the children wanted that their parents mentioned far less often: Don’t post anything about me on social media without asking me.

As in, no pictures of them asleep in the back of the car. No posts about their frustration with their homework. That victory picture after the soccer game? Maybe. The frustrated rant about the fight you just had over laundry? No way.

The answers revealed “a really interesting disconnect,” said Alexis Hiniker, a graduate student in human-centered design and engineering at the University of Washington who led the research. She, along with researchers at the University of Michigan, studied 249 parent-child pairs distributed across 40 states and found that while children ages 10 to 17 “were really concerned” about the ways parents shared their children’s lives online, their parents were far less worried. About three times more children than parents thought there should be rules about what parents shared on social media.

SeeDon’t Post About Me on Social Media, Children Say @ New York Times.

We don’t now expect parents to receive permission from their children before posting slice-of-life photos of those children, but I would be surprised if we don’t see efforts in the next decade (however outside the current sense of legitimate American parental activity) to restrict the range of parental postings either legislatively, administratively in child-welfare actions, or in litigation on behalf of children aggrieved over adults’ postings.

Reddit Wisely Expands Ban on Offensive Content

On July 16th, Reddit announced a ban on some offensive content, and a policy of concealing other content to prevent easy access of display to readers. This two-tiered approach to offensive content was novel, and a response to conflicting demands for an open forum and for a site free of racist posts, for example.

A few kinds of content, including child pornography or other patently illegal activities, were banned:

Anything illegal (i.e. things that are actually illegal, such as copyrighted material. Discussing illegal activities, such as drug use, is not illegal)
Publication of someone’s private and confidential information
Anything that incites harm or violence against an individual or group of people (it’s ok to say “I don’t like this group of people.” It’s not ok to say, “I’m going to kill this group of people.”)
Anything that harasses, bullies, or abuses an individual or group of people (these behaviors intimidate others into silence)[2]
Sexually suggestive content featuring minors

A second category wasn’t banned, but instead restricted:

Adult content must be flagged as NSFW (Not Safe For Work). Users must opt into seeing NSFW communities. This includes pornography, which is difficult to define, but you know it when you see it.
Similar to NSFW, another type of content that is difficult to define, but you know it when you see it, is the content that violates a common sense of decency. This classification will require a login, must be opted into, will not appear in search results or public listings, and will generate no revenue for Reddit.

A subreddit that was to be concealed was the astonishingly crude, inveterately racist subreddit /r/Coontown, to offer a sense of how offensive some of this content was.

How long would Reddit be able to keep some of these subreddits (even if concealed) in the name of free expression (although, of course, not on inapplicable First Amendment grounds)?

Not long: CEO Steve Huffman expanded the ban on August 5th. It’s impossible to see how Huffman could have done otherwise than ban /r/Coontown and subreddits of similar ilk, and expect Reddit to be a welcome destination for readers or corporations.

However well-intentioned Reddit’s July 16th desire to balance speech and decency, Reddit was never going to be able to balance the two without looking like (a less candid version of) Stormfront. Reddit a large concern needing and expecting a wide readership; concealing vile content was never going to satisfy expectations against racist trolls, etc.

I cannot think of a circumstance under which I would have advised Reddit to keep but conceal subreddits like /r/Coontown. A client is owed more than a mere assessment of what may be done; they’re owed a practical assessment as well as a black-letter one.

Steve Huffman made the right decision to discard these subreddits entirely.

Next: Answering an Objection to the Language of Reddit’s Expanded Ban.

(Some) Startups Can Lawfully Tweet to Test Investor Interest

Startups are now able to post a Twitter message about their stock or debt offering to gauge interest among potential investors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said this week. The announcement continues the SEC’s trend of warming up to social media, which began two years ago when it approved the use of posts on Facebook and Twitter to communicate corporate announcements such as earnings….

The SEC’s latest endorsement of social media only applies to companies looking to raise as much as $50 million a year. New small-business fundraising rules were approved in March, which increased the limit for capital raised to $50 million from $5 million to enjoy the perk of fewer required disclosures.

The changes were required under the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which deregulated fundraising rules for small businesses. Firms that use Twitter to solicit investor interest must include a link to a required disclaimer that says the firm isn’t yet selling securities, the SEC said in this week’s announcement.

Via SEC Approves Tweeting by Startups to Test Investor Interest @ Bloomberg Business.

See, alsoJumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act @