LETTER: The strange rules of social media

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The growth of the internet, with 21 million users in the UK, has no doubt given people greater access to social media.

Local campaigns such as Save Our Hospital, and charities such as Hartlepool & District Hospice and Miles for Men have made full use of it, increasing and raising their profile.

However, it would appear that many of the social media sites have strange rules when it comes to regulation.

A recent report from one major, popular site – with more than 20 million regular users in the UK, reveals that character assassinations, use of the one of the most vile words in the English language, and other profanities, do not contravene that website’s rules.

Yet the same site bans photographs showing a house showing a Union Flag, bans a photo of a woman who has disguised operation scars with tattoos, and bans pictures of soldiers with prosthetic limbs.

In short, people who use such sites should be aware there appears to be little or no regulation.

Wherever it does exist, it is at best inconsistent, biased and inappropriate.

Almost three-quarters of the population would like to see some form of regulation but most people are unsure how it can be done.

Government/Ofcom research reveals that there are three issues which need to be addressed.

The first is how to develop e.business and new forms of interactivity.

The second is how to protect traditional concerns for human dignity and privacy

Lastly, how to ensure the citizen’s interest is defended and enhanced.

Clearly these three areas and regulation of social media sites remain a concern and have not been addressed.

John Riddle,

Hartlepool.