In today’s world where access to technology reigns supreme, there is no doubt that we are in the age of social media. Platforms such as Snapchat or Twitter are outlets where we can connect with friends and discuss our ideas.
This has led to new questions being asked about First Amendment rights and what you are allowed to talk about and share on social media. So, what exactly are your rights on social media?
Technically, as long as it follows whatever guidelines laid out in the terms of service by the creators of a social media app, it’s generally OK. However, even though your post may be allowed, it may not save you from repercussions from other groups.
It is important to remember that any public post you make can be seen by anyone from teachers to the police.
Social media apps also manage posts in order to protect people from threats. If someone posted a picture on their Snapchat story with a caption reading, “don’t come to school tomorrow,” the platform will report it to the authorities once they see it. Twitter and Facebook will also hand out bans if someone has a threatening post or offensive profile pictures.
If thinking before you post is too difficult for you and you are on social media, at least make your account private and accept only people who are close to you. Don’t be surprised, though, if someone from your tight group reports you for posting something inappropriate or cyber bullying someone else, either.
Know what the laws are before you post as well. For example, it is a felony to even threaten to bring a gun on a school campus. Even if you were just crying wolf, you will still be in major trouble.
In all honesty, it is not hard to keep yourself safe on social media. It only takes one thing: common sense. If you think that it’s a good idea to post a picture of you holding a weapon and threatening your school, you don’t need to be on social media.
Remember, anything you post publicly can be seen by anybody, including police officers, teachers, officials, and other students.
You have the right to speak your mind on social media. Your school cannot punish you just because it doesn’t agree. However, that doesn’t necessarily protect you from the repercussions that may occur as a result of what you said.