Stay Safe When Posting Online Video
Aside from the obvious – avoid pornography, hate speech and spewing out all sorts of personal information – there are more subtle ways to get in trouble.
When it comes to Internet safety, the basic advice has pretty much stayed the same for years, even though the technology keeps changing: Avoid giving out too much personal information in public places, be very careful before getting together with people you meet online, and never say anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want your grandmother, employer or your current (or future) love interest to see. That advice has long applied to email, chat and social networking, and now it can be applied to video-sharing sites as well.
Let me start out by saying that I’m a big fan of video-uploading sites. I’ve seen some incredibly creative videos from people of all ages, including children. I think it’s terrific that many kids today are video-literate - able to communicate in a medium once reserved for highly trained professionals with expensive equipment. It’s also a way that young and old can have an impact on their world. Videos posted on public sites have already had an impact on elections and public opinion. They’re good for our democracy.
Still, there need to be some common-sense rules of conduct. Aside from the obvious - avoid pornography, hate speech and spewing out all sorts of personal information - there are more subtle ways to run into trouble. For instance, jeopardizing your own or other people's privacy. Be aware of what's in the scene you’re recording: posters on your wall, photos on a shelf, school or team t-shirts people are wearing, address signs in front of a house or car license-plate numbers can reveal identities and locations.
Be especially conscious of videos depicting children. Be aware of what you and others are saying on the sound track, and be respectful of the privacy rights of people who might be in your video. If you are taping in a public place, be sure to ask permission before including bystanders, and never take video of other people’s children without permission. But even then, you should think carefully about any publicly posted video depicting children.
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