Facebook screenshots: signs of death to privacy


I don’t mean to be an alarmist but imagine that all your chats were exposed by Facebook? Honestly I have thought of this question several times and it depresses me. I have had chats I am not too proud of and I know quite a number of people would be gutted too. But it seems Facebook screenshots are here to stay.

The other day, a lady was almost blackmailed online by a blogger. The blogger had asked for her help on his blog traffic because she had great traction on her Facebook wall, and the lady refused. This blogger went to great extremes to fabricate a chat that showed the lady sharing nude pictures of herself with him. He shared these fabricated Facebook screenshots on his wall. This quickly went viral.

It has become almost impossible to go beyond surface discussions with the opposite sex online. Honestly, I want to be able to open up about my crazy thoughts! Who wants to be appropriate always? Sometimes we flirt and it’s all just a part of the courting process wired in us. Why have we silently created a culture that supports the death of privacy?

Imagine Mark Zuckerberg decided to pull you down for having an ambition that defeats one of his goals. Say in 10 years when you have forgotten all those sweet dirty chats, when you have forgotten those nude video chats, and you cannot remember the girl you met for a one-night stand via Facebook chat. Imagine that at that peak of your life, Mark decides to expose all your private discussions with these people, how would you feel?

I think we have unconsciously started to deny ourselves the right to be human. We will all gradually become stifled by the need to not slip up, when we find ourselves constantly plagued with the fear of social media lynching. You may say “But Mark Zuckerberg is third party! Is it not my wall that I shared the screenshots? I have a right to shame animals that don’t use their brains while talking to me!” You may give various excuses for not having the decency to silently end that flirty communication. You know it deep down even while both of you were mutually masturbating that if things went south, you would use the chats against the person. But you ignore that and allow it happen. You victimise people who pester you by shaming them.

Eventually, we will all get what we are asking for: a reality where nothing is sacred or private. A reality where no one has private thoughts, no opportunity to fantasise, no opportunity to entertain those dirty little desires we all have. I pray you are holy enough to survive that torture.

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