Topic 4 – Reflection

The freedom of this week’s topic allowed people to dive further into areas that they found interesting. Personally, the idea of ‘catfish’ from the point of view of the person whose identity is being stolen interested me the most and I felt very strongly about this topic. What was surprising was Tiffany also felt strongly about this topic especially because she herself has been used to ‘catfish’ someone else. We shared very similar opinions and both spoke of the damage it can cause.

Joe’s post about teachers using social media really stood out to me this week. He presented some really interesting ideas and strongly believes teachers should not have to give up their online identity. His argument is based on the idea that teachers have to choose a different name in order to protect themselves from children’s prying eyes, which in his opinion defeats the point of having a true online identity. Although I agree that it is not  fair for the teachers, I do not think that students and teachers interacting on social media is appropriate.

Gus’s post on online identity and how it can affect our employment prospects was a major wake-up call to me. He suggests that companies can get hold of your social media profiles regardless of your privacy settings. I have always believed that the security settings offered me a shield from potential employers, so I will definitely check through my posts more regularly. He also mentions that if you don’t have social media pages there is the possibility you to be discriminated against. I found this to be a very interesting point as I would have expected social media to be more of a hindrance when applying for a job.

Reading the many different approaches to this week’s choice of topics has been incredibly interesting and has shed light on a variety of topics in ways I would not have considered. I look forward to next week’s topic and learning more from the many different approaches.

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Topic 4 – Give me back my pictures!

In one of my previous blog posts, I have mentioned ‘Catfish’ and how this was one of the many negatives of having multiple online identities. For those who perhaps did not see this post, the video below is a quick overview of ‘Catfish’.

I think it is fair to say that ‘catfishing’ is an increasingly common issue occurring online. However, the view which is most commonly portrayed is that of the person who has been ‘catfished’. But, what is it really like for the people whose identity is being stolen?

Can you imagine if someone took everything you posted online, whether it be pictures of you, your family and friends and passed it off as their own? Well, for Ruth Palmer this was a very real problem. Furthermore, if taking someones pictures isn’t bad enough imagine how she felt when someone literally re-wrote her life for everyone to see and portrayed her as a completely different person. I personally cannot think of anything worse. Kelly McCarthy and Jon Will Chambers are also examples of people who have had their pictures taken and used to seek out online relationships. I have previously mentioned that I am currently looking for a placement this year and Jobvite’s statistics show that recruiters use social media to check out applicants before offering them a position. If someone was to take my pictures and use them for this purpose, it could potentially jeopardise my chance of securing a placement, especially if the life they were creating was deemed unprofessional.

However, people’s photos can also be taken for different purposes e.g. artist Richard prince made a hefty amount of money ($90,000 per picture) from taking people’s Instagram pictures without asking and blowing the pictures up to put in an exhibition. There are many stories of people taking credit for photographs that don’t belong to them and trying to pass them off as their own, but before reading the article on Richard prince I had never heard of someone taking people’s Instagram photos to display as an art piece.

Both taking someone’s personal pictures to pretend to be someone else and using other people’s photos in order to make money are questionable. Below I have made a mind map to summarise ethics in regards to this topic.


Is it so wrong to take someone else’s pictures and pass them off as your own? The simple answer to this is YES, it is completely unethical to take someones pictures and pass them off as your own. Whether it be pictures of the person, their friends or even an artistic picture they have taken themselves, they belong to that person and should not be used without permission or recognition.


Battersby, M. (2015) Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90, 000. Available at: (Accessed: 22 November 2016).
Chambers, J.W. (2016) Experience: My face was stolen online. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2016).
Jobvite (2014) Social recruiting survey. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2016).
Kleinman, Z. (2015) Who’s that girl? The curious case of Leah Palmer. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).
McCarthy, K. (2014) Someone used my photo to create A fake tinder account, and it could happen to you. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).
Rogers, K. (2013) Instagram users begin fightback against stolen photos. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2016).
The List Show TV (2013) What’s trending: What is ‘catfishing’ and is it here to stay? Available at: (Accessed: 22 November 2016).
Sources used for mind map
BBC (2009) Ethics – introduction to ethics: Ethics: A general introduction. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2016).
Jason, Steffan, Sarah and Garrett (no date) Identity Theft Awareness – Ethical issues. Available at: (Accessed: 21 November 2016).
Oxford Dictionaries (no date) Ethics. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2016).
Santa Clara (2016) What is ethics? Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2016).
Featured Image created on: Wordl

Reflection on Topic 3

After reading many different posts about how an authentic online professional profile can be developed, it became clear that there were quite a few different approaches. Although many agreed that LinkedIn was essential people had different ideas about how to best create an online professional profile.

I found it interesting to read the different takes people had especially Will’s post which pointed out that the most obvious and straight forward way to start is by conducting yourself well online. Interestingly, Will belives that if you are a professional this should be reflected in everything you do online. However, in my opinion I think this is not true. The internet is there for many purposes, one of these is being professional but I think there is also a time to use it for leisure and socialising. My facebook for example is not professional but I limit who can see what I am posting to ensure it cannot hinder potential job opportunities.

Hei’s post was another which I found interesting to read, referring to today’s workplace as a jazz band. She speaks about the importance of having multiple professional accounts and using the combination of platforms to make up your professional profile. I have to be honest and say before taking this module I would never have thought to use anything other than LinkedIn when creating my professional profile. She also refers to vloggers such as Zoella which I would also not have thought about when creating a professional profile but it a unique way to stand out from other people.

Topic 3 has made me understand the importance of being professional online and how best to go about creating a profile. As previously mentioned I am currently on a search for a placement as part of my third year and having an appropriate professional online profile will play a very important role in securing a good position.

Topic 3 -Discuss the ways in which an authentic online professional profile can be developed.

Last week’s topic looked at the positives and negatives of having multiple online identities, which links nicely to this week’s topic. I think it is fair to say that anyone can have an online profile but it takes more time and effort to create an authentic online professional profile.

The trail you leave online (also known as your ‘digital footprint’) gives a surprising amount of information about yourself. After watching this video I googled my name and where I am from. My results are shown below.


This semester I have started my search for a placement for next year. Immediately after sending off my first application I felt the need to amp up the security settings on all of my social networking sites to ensure anything that may have been deemed as unprofessional was hidden from potential employers. The above results show just how easy it is for an employer to find you online and quickly make a decision based on how you market yourself.

Thankfully I changed my privacy settings after applying for my placement as there are many horror stories about employers stumbling across pictures deemed as inappropriate on Facebook, or even inappropriate tweets. An example being Ashley Payne who posted a picture of herself with a glass of wine and pint of beer whilst on holiday on her Facebook. She lost her job.

Jobvite’s statistics show that a huge percentage of employers (94%) use LinkedIn to search, contact, keep tabs on and vet candidates, 66% use Facebook and 52% use Twitter. These statistics alone show the importance of having an authentic online professional profile which markets you appropriately across different platforms. Think how many opportunities could be missed by neglecting the importance of your professional profile!

What mistakes are made when making an authentic online professional profile?

This video shows you what to avoid, but…

What can you do to develop an authentic online professional profile?


I have made this spider diagram to illustrate some of the things I feel are important when developing a professional profile.

It is clear that the times are changing and it is no longer a case of handing over a CV. I have noticed that different companies have many different ways of distinguishing between candidates, for example NEXT requires an online assessment as well as a CV. Other companies such as Asos allow candidates to apply for jobs via their Linkedin pages. LinkedIn is extremely important and when properly used can be an extremely beneficial way of promoting yourself. Below are some important tips when creating a LinkedIn page which will help to establish a well presented and professional profile. It could even be the deciding factor of landing that job you want.


CBS North Carolina (2016) Your professional online profile. Available at: Last Accessed 9 November 2016

Daily Mail Reporter (2011) Mail Online. Available at: Last Accessed 9 November 2016

Edmond, D. (2014) Optimize your LinkedIn profile with these 10 key elements. Available at: Last Accessed 10 November 2016

Jobvite (2014) Social recruiting survey. Available at: Last Accessed 7 November 2016

Ronson, J. (2015). How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. Available: Last accessed 9 November 2016

References for spider diagram

Bowes. P. (2013). Job hunting: How to promote yourself online. Available: Last accessed 9 November 2016

The Employable. (2014). How blogging can help you get a job. Available: Last accessed 9 November 2016

Washington and Lee University (no date) Developing your online image. Available at: Last accessed 10 November 2016

Reflection on Topic 2

After reading a variety of other student’s responses to this topic it became clear that many people had similar views to me. I did not expect quite so many people to bring up the point of MTV’s ‘Catfish’, however I think that this illustrates just how much of a concern it is in today’s society.

Almost everyone seemed to agree that in terms of professionalism it is a good idea to keep your social life (i.e. Facebook) separate from your professional accounts such as LinkedIn. However, there is some discussion as to whether perhaps having these partial identities across different platforms is a deterrent for employers as they do not get to see the complete view.

I commented on Chris’ post, his concluding paragraph interested me the most as his opinion was that he had not yet established an online identity. I thought this was an interesting opinion however I questioned him on this raising the point that in order to take part in this module everyone will have created some form of online identity regardless of their past internet use.

Claire’s blog featured a video which suggested that people portray their most attractive side online, meaning your online identity is an ideal version of yourself in order to achieve likes or follows. She also addressed the issue of having separate identities for professional reasons. I then asked if she thought everyone felt the need to share different information on social accounts opposed to professional accounts, or if this was just something students did as a precaution?

This particular topic was enjoyable to research and something that everyone can relate to. There is a lot of bad press about identities online such as ‘catfish’ and perhaps not sharing your true self with employers. However, it is clear that there are also many advantages. As I progress through university and into the real world it is something I will keep in mind.

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