Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online?
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Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online?
How do social networking sites and online communities create a false sense of trust between users?
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Why research trust in social networking sites?

The topic of How do social networking sites and online communities create a false sense of trust between users arose to me while watching To Catch a Predator. The predators completely trust the person they are conversing with and believe to be a young girl. This trust is built over chatting online and using social networking sites. When this topic came to me I thought if there are all these "predators" being caught because they trust in someone that they met online, how many predators catch helpless teenagers or adults for that matter?

When doing research on this topic so many articles came up on teenagers meeting someone they met online, in real life and it ended up being a predator. A lot of articles came up of fake Facebook pages generating trust between users only to find out that the other person was not who the claimed to be. The most abundant information about a false sense of trust being created was the false sense of trusted created on dating websites between users. This was an important topic for me to research because I am very cautious with accepting friend-requests and things of that nature online, but I know so many of my friends who are not. I wanted to see cases of the consequences of people who are too trusting online, or who have false senses of trust with those that they encounter. 

My research revealed three general ways that false senses of trust are developed when using social networking sites or participating in online communities. Most of the false sense of trust are developed between a sexual predator with a fake profile and a younger person who believes the profile is true. The majority of the cases had to do with online dating services, a woman was raped when she went to meet her date. She trusted the site and the match, but all she had to do was search her match and she would have discovered he was a sexual offender. The last major false sense of trust comes from "Big Brother" people accept friend-requests from people they do not know and they happen to be policemen or military people. These findings shocked me the most, because I would not initially think that the police or military people would be creating fake personas to influence communities. I am glad I researched this topic because it gave me a lot of insight on how to conduct myself online using social networking sites and to not trust anybody and everybody unless I personally know them and have had face-to-face encounters with them.

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Are People Too Trusting with the Internet? : The Platinum Press

The third and fifth paragraphs of this article emphasizes the false sense of security users feel when using social networking sites or online communities. Teenagers are a large portion of the members of social networking sites, along with being internet naive teens have a false sense of invinciblity as well. As Elaine Tellez says teenagers post their phone numbers as a status to get their friends to text them. What they don't realize because they feel secure using their social networking site, is the fact that anyone can find that phone number and it will reveal a lot of personal information about that person. The line that emphasizes my topic of a false sense of security is  in the fifth paragraph "People think “well, this person doesn’t know me, they don’t live in my city so if I tell them my secrets no one here will ever find out,” therefore leading to them trusting the unknown person. Well, all it takes is one secret and one cruel person to ruin another’s life." This feeling of anonymity or distance creates trust because you believe someone is far away from you and this causes many users to trust in others without thought.

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Judge: Case of fake Facebook profile can proceed

Judge: Case of fake Facebook profile can proceed | Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online? | Scoop.it

This article supports my topic of a false sense of trust between users on social media sites because of the accesibility for Dana Thorton to make a fake Facebook of her boyfriend. It is easy for anyone with access to a computer to create a Facebook page. The other part of this article that serves as evidence for my topic is that of the 13 year-old girl from St. Louis who committed suicide after being cyber-bullied by an apparent 13 year-old boy who was actually a mother, Lori Drew, who had thought the girl had spread rumors about her daughter. It was easy for the 13 year-old girl to have a false sense of trust in accepting the friend request because the fake page was that of a  like-aged boy. It links with the first case because it was a fake page and it was very easy to be made by Drew. The numerous cases of fake social networking pages is what should be a warning to not have trust in friend requests that you do not personally know in "real-life."

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Houston case shows online predators getting more careful

Houston case shows online predators getting more careful | Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online? | Scoop.it

This article proves as a consequence to a false sense of trust being created between users, even though it caught a potential sex offender. Steven Donald Anderson had been chatting online using Myspace with a posed 12-year-old boy. After months of creating a "bond" and trust Anderson went flew to Houston to meet this 12 year-old boy who ended up being Harris County Police. Although I am glad Anderson was caught, the use of social networking sites created his false sense of trust in the "boy." They had been conversing for months and he had developed trust in him, which made him not think twice to fly out to meet him face-to-face and just like in To Catch a Predator, he was duped. This creates a double-standard, police create fake identities just like regular people do, so now there is more false sense of trust between users because you don't know if you are talking to a predator or a policeman, just like in the class article we read Facebook Friend Turns into Big Brother.  

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The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating « OkTrends

The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating « OkTrends | Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online? | Scoop.it

This article shows a humorous aspect of how people change or fake information about themselves online, and how online dating profiles are usually padded with enhanced information. These lies that people tell when online dating create the false sense of trust, because even if you lied about your information you see someone's profile who seems perfect and you don't think twice that their information might be false as well. Some lies being a difference in height, old pictures, salary, and sexual orientation. These lies make people believe they have met the perfect match, when in reality they will meet someone different in person. When using online dating sites you want to meet someone perfect for you, but you don't realize the false information on the sites and this creates a false sense of trust between users. 

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Kreepin' Ain't Easy (Original Facebook Creeping song)

This video made me laugh, it is a humorous take on something very serious though. Every day people accept friend-requests from people they know, people they don't know, and people that they once were acquainted with. What people don't realize is the fact that once you accept that friend-request that person can continuously watch you online. They can "creep" on your profile whenever they want. Look at pictures, know where you are when you "check-in" somewhere, they see your friends, your interests, every single thing that you post. This false sense of trust is created in social networking sites because as a user you don't expect someone that you know to creep on you repeatedly but it is just as easy for someone that you "know" to creep on you as it is for someone you don't know to do. There might be someone you hardly know but accept their friend request and you trust in your security and privacy because you believe you know them, but all the while they can be "Kreepin'" your Facebook all day.

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Do You Use Social Networking? Pro's and Con's List - HBMA - Healthcare Billing and Management Association for 1st and 3rd Party Billers - Medical Billing, Practice Management

Do You Use Social Networking? Pro's and Con's List - HBMA - Healthcare Billing and Management Association for 1st and 3rd Party Billers - Medical Billing, Practice Management | Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online? | Scoop.it

The third "con" is why I picked this article, it states that social networking sites are unable to verify if the person's online identity is who they truly are. This con on it's own can create a false sense of trust between users, because who someone is claiming to be online can be completely false and they will be able to contact anybody that they want. Another part that shocked me was, you would assume that sex offenders would not be allowed to become a member of social networking sites but, "In Feb. 2009, MySpace identified 90,000 registered sex offenders with profiles on the site" Even if sex offenders were unable to register they are perfectly capable of registering under a false identity. The ability to create false identities on social networking sites and in online communities ultimately is the reason a false sense of trust between users is fostered.

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**Online Dating Gone Wrong** Woman Sues Match.com

This video is one of the consequences of being to trusting online, especially in online dating situations. Jane Doe easily could have found the sex offender information out about her date-match prior to meeting him in person if she would have Googled it. The end of the video shows the Google results on who she was paired with. The situation could have easily been prevented if Jane Doe wasn't so trusting in the Match.com site she used. I believe this site creates a false sense of trust between users because you would assume that sex offenders wouldn't be permitted to use the sites, even though Match.com states they do not have background checks. Jane Doe felt confident and protected in using Match.com, which made her not question or double-check her match-pick. As for Alan Wurtzel, the suspect, it was an easy way for him to create a false identity without any backlash from the site, which creates a wide open field for him to prey on.

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DwyerAMCIS2007.pdf

This article focuses more on the personal aspect of how you as a user trust the social networking sites that you use. I want to focus on the topic in the research of  "Trust and privacy in social networking sites" They define trust as “the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of
the ability to monitor or control that other party” Users trust their information is "private" when clicking the "private" tab for their profiles. This is what causes a false sense of trust between the user and the creator, because the user believes their information is completely private and that only their friends can see it. Although social networking sites keep track of every interaction and keeps them for social data mining. If you cannot trust the social networking site that you use to keep your personal information private, how can you trust the people you encounter while using these social networking sites.

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9 Tips for Identifying Fake Online Profiles

9 Tips for Identifying Fake Online Profiles | Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online? | Scoop.it

This article highlights two cases one that ended in a murder, and one that ended in meeting someone completely different than their profile with a psychological disease. Thomas Montgomery and Brian Barrett engaged in an online love triangle with a woman claiming to be a "Hot blonde" Montgomery ended up murdering Barrett, what they figured out in the aftermath was the "Hot blonde" was a "middle-aged, stay-at-home mom, who was overweight. Nothing what he profile claimed her to be. The other case of a false sense of trust created on online communities was that of Nev Schulman who had a love-interest online with Megan, "a smoking hot artist." Once he met her in person she was not Megan, she was Angela a "40-something wife and mother of two who later said she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia."

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Exclusive: Military’s ‘persona’ software cost millions, used for ‘classified social media activities’ | The Raw Story

Exclusive: Military’s ‘persona’ software cost millions, used for ‘classified social media activities’ | The Raw Story | Do You Really Know Who You Are Talking to Online? | Scoop.it

This article completely shocked me! The military creating fake personas on the internet is something I would have never thought about. I have heard of the cases of the police creating fake profiles to lure predators, but never that the military was doing basically the same thing. "These “personas” were to have detailed, fictionalized backgrounds, to make them believable to outside observers, and a sophisticated identity protection service was to back them up, preventing suspicious readers from uncovering the real person behind the account." This completely made me question the trust I have in the social networking sites I use, especially Twitter. There could be anyone that has a large number of followers who is purely a military person tracking people's moves everywhere! I know it sounds crazy, but after seeing in all of my articles how a regular person has the ability to create a fake page, and the police, it would only make sense that the military would use it to their advantage to create followers of their opinions and ways without being identified as a military member. This article brings on a whole new level of a false sense of trust between users on social networking sites and the ideas that are brought to the public's eyes.

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