An Important Reminder About Social Media and Privacy

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I’ve mentioned this in the past, but in the last week, I’ve had another stark reminder that not everyone is in a place where they can simply share with their social networks the fact that they are a survivor of childhood abuse, or are dealing with mental health issues.

If you’ll allow me to quote myself – I want anyone and everyone to “Like” the Facebook page for this blog, for example, but I am also aware that some people can’t, because Facebook would tell everyone that they liked a page about child abuse survivors, and they would have to be comfortable with that being “out there” to their friends.

It’s true. When you look at using social media, some networks allow for anonymity, and others do not. Facebook and Google, for example, have terms of service that require users to be themselves, use their real names and so on. Pages and your interactions with those pages on those networks are going to be shared with your friends unless you take steps to hide them, and even then, there’s no guarantee that the default settings won’t change, or someone will be able to see your “like” through some other nefarious means. Simply put, there’s no real anonymity there.

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Twitter and other networks like Tumblr allow for a bit more anonymity, but things can still be tied back to your email address or other identifying information.

That is part of why I have always tried to make it easy for people to follow the blogs here in a variety of ways. Again, I love the folks who like the Facebook page, or retweet the posts on Twitter, and help spread the word. I also recognize that many, many survivors and people dealing with mental health issues need to keep that information private for a million possible reasons. I never want any of those folks to feel unloved here.

So, if you’re someone who uses Facebook and is comfortable with liking a page that talks about abuse survivors and mental health news, fantastic. You have a unique opportunity to help broadcast to others that they are not alone. That’s fantastic. If that’s not you, but you use Twitter or Tumblr maybe semi-anonymously, you also have that opportunity by following the Twiiter feed or Tumblr page.. If you really must remain anonymous, subscribe in Apple News. or come to the site. Subscribe to the RSS feed, or sign up for the weekly email. That information isn’t shared anywhere. The blog is setup to allow anyone to comment, even anonymously, should they choose. So feel free to interact in the comments here.

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We are all survivors, but we are not all the same. We are not all dealing with the same life and work situations. Stigma still exists. We wish it didn’t, but it does. I hope that someday an abuse survivor can reveal that fact and be met by nothing but support, or someone getting help for depression would be given the same level of love and care that someone getting cancer treatments would get. But we aren’t there yet, and it’s important that any individual be allowed to choose for themselves how to share their story, and to whom.

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