No matter where your sympathies lie, nobody can deny that the events in Charlottesville on Saturday were tragic. As tensions that have been simmering for months erupted to a full boil this past weekend, opposing forces have been rallying their respective mobs in ways that harken back to the 1950s and ’60s in this country, and even the 1860s and ’70s. But with a twist: this time the mobs have taken not just to the street, but to social media, and vigilante justice has become online vigilante justice.
If you think that because your Facebook or Twitter profile is set to “private” that it means that you can control who will see what you post, think again. In fact, even if you delete what you have posted – in your private account – you can still be forced to let others see it, even after you’ve deleted it. That’s the Court ruling in a recent case involving plaintiff Kathleen Romano, who may have deleted postings, made to her private Facebook and MySpace accounts, which would be beneficial to the defendant, the Steelcase chair company.