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