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Social Media for Good and Bad

It was about one year ago when a profile was created on MySpace for a cute teenage boy named Josh Evans. This boy made friends via the Internet with Megan Meier, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and ADD. For close to a month the two corresponded via MySpace and instant messages. On October 15, 2006 Megan received a message from Josh telling her that he no longer wanted to be her friend because he had heard that she was cruel to her friends. The next day Megan’s mom knew she was upset about the Internet messages and asked her daughter to stay off the computer as she took another daughter to an appointment. While her mother was out of the house Megan called her mom to tell her that there were cruel bulletins being posted about her. Later that evening Megan was found in her bedroom closet by her father.

Six weeks later Megan’s parents learned that Josh’s profile was fake. In fact, the profile was created by a mother from down the street to gain Megan’s confidence and see what Megan was saying about her own daughter online.

After reviewing the case, Dardenne Prairie prosecutors decided not to file any criminal charges. In January 2008, federal prosecutors considered charges of wire fraud and cyber fraud against Lori Drew, the mother who created the fake Josh Evans account. On May 15, 2008, Lori Drew was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress. Each count carries five years in federal prison.

This is a perfect example of how the Internet can be used for evil.

The Internet and social media sites can also be used for good, especially when it comes to your business. You should be sure that your site includes search engine optimization best practices, and if you are unsure if your site meets those requirements, DDA’s Surething Optimization program is sure to help.

The newest up and coming technique to deliver results is social media optimization. SMO involes using the reach and power of social media sites for the benefit of your business. Creating accounts on site such as Facebook and Myspace and joining groups that are related to your target audience and product is a good start. Be sure to participate in discussion boards and make friends with others.

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Entry by: Crystal


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