In this political season, much has been made about late-night Twitter rants targeting women and other social media attacks on individuals and celebrities. Although these harsh online critiques create a more hostile cyber community, more imminent danger may arise from the safety risks that accompany online activity in general. Law-enforcement officials have long warned users against disclosing travel plans on social media to would-be thieves by, for example, posting pictures of a boarding pass from that long-awaited trip to Barcelona. But what about apps and services like Find My Friends, where users can share their location with up to 50 friends, or Snapchat, which shows a user’s location when posting an image or video? With a culture focused on sharing and instant access to information via social media feeds, it bears considering if location-revealing apps engender some inherent danger, whether the app developers disclose potential risks, and what steps can be taken to protect personal safety.
Social media has become a must-have medium for most companies and celebrities. The medium provides an easy, inexpensive and instantaneous connection to customers and fans. However, as social media marketing continues to expand and evolve, so do concerns about deceptive advertising.
When Kim Kardashian speaks, the FDA listens.
Or, more precisely, when Kardashian, who has 46.8 million followers on Instagram, posts an enthusiastic endorsement—and advertisement—on the social media platform for Diclegis, a prescription drug for treating morning sickness, the agency takes notice (and gives it). In a letter to Duchesnay Inc., the drug’s makers, the FDA reprimanded the company for the “false or misleading” post and requested not only that Duchesnay take down the post, but that it submit a “comprehensive plan of action to disseminate truthful, non-leading, and complete corrective messages” about the drug.