悪ふざけ投稿 ネット交流に潜む危険な誘惑

The Yomiuri Shimbun August 31, 2013
Prank Internet postings can have serious consequences
悪ふざけ投稿 ネット交流に潜む危険な誘惑(8月30日付・読売社説)

It is deplorable that young people are causing serious problems by taking photos of themselves playing pranks and posting them on Twitter and other social media.

At a convenience store in Kochi, a male employee took a photo of himself lying in a refrigerated case for ice cream and posted it online. The head office of the chain store was inundated with complaints such as “your education of employees is problematic” and “your management of sanitation is doubtful.” The store ended up having its franchise contract terminated.

At a ramen shop in Osaka where two female employees posted photos of one of them on Twitter with the shop’s frozen ingredients in her mouth, the shop was forced to dispose of the foodstuffs and suspend its business.

Due to rash acts by their employees, stores and franchise management companies lost the confidence of the public. It is not unreasonable for the shops to ask such employees to pay damages in addition to being fired.

This recent series of pranks includes one that developed into a criminal case. Two 19-year-old boys who posted a photo of themselves on the roof of a parked police car in Hokkaido were arrested on suspicion of damaging property.

Stern action against such malicious acts cannot be avoided.

Exhibitionism a factor

The young people who caused these problems seem to be exhibitionists who want to attract others’ attention in cyberspace. The boys involved in the Hokkaido incident posted a message saying, “We trampled a patrol car.”

Social media are tools for increasing social contacts by making connections through individuals. If the services are used well, it will be possible to communicate with many people. Some young people may want to show off to get others’ attention, but the problem is how they go about it.

If they had considered the consequences of their acts, the incidents would not have occurred.

Why have actions by young people displaying a considerable lack of common sense become rampant?

Some experts say that people immersed in the Internet world tend to lose normal judgment. They are preoccupied with what they should say and post on the Internet even at work and are tempted to do things that will attract the attention of friends on the Internet.

The incidents all happened within a short period, possibly because messages on the Internet encouraged others to follow suit. This could represent a facet of the situation underscored by the recent survey showing that 520,000 middle and high school students are addicted to the Internet.

With the rapid spread of smartphones, the number of users of social media and other Internet services is expected to continue rising. It is necessary to instruct people how to properly interact with the Internet world both at school and in employee training.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 30, 2013)
(2013年8月30日01時28分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2013-09-01 06:50 | 英字新聞

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