Social media vandals: a fact of life

I enjoy using social media and will continue to promote its benefits. But I can now speak from personal experience about its dark side. I’ve had to deal with two instances of online vandalism in the past couple weeks. In one case, a MySpace profile was hacked and then used to spam people on the Friends list. Absolutely and utterly embarrassing. In another case, a Wikipedia entry (for a faculty member, no less) was vandalized. Both cases remain unresolved.
The MySpace profile may need to be deleted altogether. I hate to give the hackers that satisfaction. But on the other hand, many of the Friend requests originate not from real people but from make-a-buck schemes. Is it really worth it?
The Wikipedia entry has been repaired, but the vandalized page still resides in Google’s cache and comes up on the person’s name search.
The Wikipedia editors have been responsive and helpful; the MySpace staff have been much less so.
If you’re communicating via social media you will run into problems. Consider what you’d do in such cases.

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