Rave: The Facts About Privacy, Ownership and Accountability in Social Networking

While there is no
question that the evolution of social media has made it an integral part of the
social and professional lives of practically everyone with internet access or a
smart phone, it wasn’t really until this past year or so that we saw the
question of accountability, ownership and privacy posed by even the most beginner of social networking users.  It’s true
that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide incredible (and free) services that allow you to connect and share within a global community, bringing with
it a world of brand new opportunities on a personal and professional level. However,
without properly understanding your online rights and responsibilities, you can
put yourself at real risk. We know that
reading the extensive privacy policies and legalese of these services can be
trying and confusing, so we’ve put together a basic guide (with helpful resources) to “The Big Three” social
networking sites to help you make informed decisions, and get the most out of your
social networking experience.


Facebook

2012 saw a number of
changes to the Facebook privacy policy – for one, it’s no longer referred to as
a “privacy policy” but rather a “data use policy.” It is definitely tricky to keep up with
all of the changes, and although it may sound excessive, we recommend revisiting your exposure
about once a month to ensure you are aware of what information you are sharing
with the world.  Due to a higher demand
of transparency when it comes to audience, Facebook’s newest changes include a
pretty straightforward tool to see who can see the posts on your timeline (look
at the lock icon next to Home at the top right of your Facebook page, as well
as asterisk icon next to Post when you’re writing on a timeline).

Things you should know:
– Facebook statuses
invoking copyright protection over your timeline are not legally binding and in most cases, completely useless. These
posts often go viral and can be misleading; to better understand what is being
said, check out this post.
– Some things on
Facebook are always public. Posts on public pages, gender, profile
pictures and cover photo are just a few examples. This is great if you want to lurk your ex (or
his new girlfriend’s) profile pics but keep in mind it may not be so great when
potential employers are looking at your sloppy college party profile pictures
from five years ago. 
– Contrary to popular hysteria, Facebook does not own your materials you post even after you’ve deleted/deactivated/died but in signing up and accepting their terms of service you are agreeing
to let them use your shared content. When you delete your content or account, that
agreement ends but it is important to keep in mind that any photo/status/post
that you have made that has been shared by anyone else will continue to float
around the Facebook universe.
– Deactivation vs Deletion: When
you deactivate your account, your information and shared content continues to
exist until that point when you (admit it, inevitably) give in and come
back.  If you delete your account, your
information and shared content will be deleted from the Facebook database. Things to note about deleting your
Facebook account: 1) It is, in fact, permanent. No takie backsies. 2) As stated above, any shared content will still exist in the databases. 3) In many cases, it can take
as long as three months to delete your information and content completely.
– Buck up: even Mark Zuckerberg’s sister gets confused about Facebook privacy 

Instagram

This photo sharing service found itself amidst a PR nightmare as a
result of its acquisition by Facebook-specifically regarding the new privacy
policy coming into effect Saturday, January 19.  We
understand you may be worried about the safety of your filtered selfies, food
porn and pictures of cats and we want to help you understand what all of this
means for you. 

Things you should know:
– Like Facebook, Instagram does not
own your photos.     
– Instagram heard the outrage regarding their updated stance on advertising
and as such, has reverted this section to the original terms of service from Oct 2010.
– The initial drafting of the updated privacy policy included confusing language,
leading users to believe that Instagram would be selling your photos. This is not
the case! However, just like Facebook, you have given them permission to use your photos without crediting you (or even notifying you.)
– It seems Instagram has learned from Facebook’s mistakes – the updated
terms of service that you (by subscribing to the service) agree to – protect
Instagram from class action lawsuits.

Twitter

You may be wondering “how much damage could one possibly do in 140
characters?” Well my friend, you obviously don’t follow Chris Brown. Like any social networking service, Twitter’s policy involves the sharing of
personal information and can affect your public persona and online presence.

Things you should know:
– Think before you tweet! Even if you have Twitter remorse and delete
your tweet, it still exists in the Twitterverse if it has been retweeted by other
users.  Also, anyone with the most basic
computer skills could take damning screenshots of your tweet. This happens, a lot, so think before you tweet.
– When you sign up for other websites or services using your Twitter
account, you are linking the accounts, thus allowing both websites access to
information on either site to use as they see fit  (This is usually used for sponsored tweets,
instant personalization and things of that nature).
– This should go without saying, but for those who use a separate personal
and professional twitter account, we cannot stress enough the importance of making sure you are logged into the correct one. These Twitter blunders are the biggest face-palm we see in our industry and are
also the most avoidable!

This is just a bare bones guide to navigating the world of social
media. Up here on the fourth floor,
while we celebrate the use of our social media and can’t say enough about the way
it has revolutionized our personal and professional lives, know that it is a
minefield out there. In any case, the best way to protect yourself online is to use common sense when you post anything, anywhere. Realistically, if you wouldn’t say it or do it in front of your sweet grandmother, should you really be posting it online for the whole world to see? We encourage
everyone to revisit the privacy policies of their social networking services
and join the discussion.








Media, Darling: Tara Ballantyne

Tara Ballantyne joined Style at Home last February as its resident style and food editor. Tara began her
styling career in Norway and worked for publications like Norwegian ELLE and
French ELLE along with various other European publications. She has had
numerous television appearances on the Marilyn Denis Show, Breakfast Television
and CityLine.



photo credit: Transcontinental Media 

Did
you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the
horizon? 
There are so many things you can do in a
lifetime, and I’m guilty of wanting to do anything to satisfy my creativity. My
schooling is in interior design and I worked in architecture for three years
before I switched to magazines. It was the best decision I have ever made and I
love what I get to do and how creative I can be each day at Style at Home.
Where
would you like to be five years from now?
In a studio with a totally inspired
photographer, great light, lots of beautiful food, great models and a hundred
baby bunnies shooting some wild Tim Walker-inspired images.
Any
advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t be afraid to sweep floors, pour endless
amounts of coffee, or even pick up someone else’s dry cleaning (seriously I had
to do this once). I’ve had to learn countless coffee orders by heart and had
design proposals ripped up right in front of my face. It can be a long road of
being humble, but you watch and learn and in the end, it’s completely worth it.
What
are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Having spent so much time in Norway, I really
developed an affection for swedish RUM magazine, ELLE Norway and Sweden, and I
love emmas designblogg –
design and style from a scandinavian perspective
. I also adore Canadian blog Bijou and Boheme, and spend entirely too much time selecting fashion
ensembles from the The
Sartorialist
, that my husband and I
should definitely purchase. Fortunately, he is a kind and patient person who
politely nods and says “uh huh” while I involuntarily involve him
in selecting my favourite looks to wear on a vespa, and for braving the
cobblestone streets. 
Best
interview you’ve ever had?
My interview for ELLE Norwegian… it ended up
landing me my first cover, and I was so insanely excited to be part of the
magazine in another country – it was pretty amazing. There is always something
very special about your first.
Worst?
I’ve been super lucky so far, in that I’ve only ever had great interviews. Fingers crossed this continues!
Best
advice you’ve ever been given?
Avoid horizontal stripes and don’t eat a full
meal before you go swimming.
What
rule(s) do you live your life by?
If you truly love something, it’s worth
fighting for. And edit to clarity – fashion, interiors, your words…
What’s
the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Open and honest communication I guess. I’ve
worked with great PR people and I’ve always appreciated when they tell me what
I need to hear, not necessarily what I want to hear. Also I am always super
impressed when they remember names!
Best
experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Being convinced that the $250 sweater I
bought for a television appearance was not a bad decision and in fact a
worthwhile investment piece for my wardrobe. Cashmere really is timeless, lol.
I
hate?
Subway delays.
I
love?
Butter tarts, and the way Instagram always
makes you instantly look amazing.
Reading?
International design books (magazines); I
love seeing what’s going on in other countries and get a lot of inspiration
from that. Right now I am also re-reading Rebecca for the second time, and am
guilty of choosing my knitting project over my half-finished copy of Infidel
Best
place on earth?
Any place where I’m surrounded by family and
friends, a great glass of wine, and good food and conversation.
Dinner
guest?
Brother and sister, Sibella Court
and Chris Court. I am so astounded with the creativity that they both exhibit
in the work they do with styling, development and photography. 
Hero?
Coco Chanel. 
Favourite
app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Instagram, and that
new Christmas app that helps you with shopping and wrapping.
Pool
or ocean?
Definitely Ocean.
Voicemail
or email?
Definitely email.

Media, Darling: Fraser Abe

Fraser Abe is a freelance lifestyle and entertainment writer based in Toronto. He’s mainly known for his work with Toronto Life, but his writing has also appeared in The Grid, the Toronto Standard and SharpForMen.com. In his downtime he enjoys being a misanthropic curmudgeon yelling at kids to get off his lawn.

Twitter: @fraserabe
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
No, I worked on Bay Street doing Bay Street-y things. After I decided the only thing I liked about the business was after-work drinks on Thursdays at the various patios (including many a mis-spent evening at Vertical), getting laid off was the push I needed to apply for an internship at Toronto Life. That was in 2009 and I haven’t looked back since. Except, you know, when I realize it takes money to do things.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’d love to be living in New York and writing for GQ or Esquire or something, but I think if I re-read this in five years and I’m still in Toronto I’ll be depressed, so let’s just say still here, but making decidedly more money.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Unpaid internships get a lot of flack, but I think they’re the best way to learn and to meet people in the business. My writing was pretty rambling and incoherent when I wrote for She Does The City (I wrote a sort-of gay sex column called Homo Arigato Mr Roboto) and my internship really helped me polish my work. It’s also really great to know how to fact-check and what goes into making a magazine, even if you want to work online or, I’d guess, in PR. Also, check your expectations. This job isn’t even close to glamourous. Find a rich husband (I’m still looking, fellas) if you want glamour or Balenciaga tote bags.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
This is a tough question for freelancers, since I’ve written for Toronto Life, The GridSharp and the Toronto Standard (all amazing outlets, of course). But I like Gawker (they’re snarkier than I could ever actually be in print – though I probably come close in real life), the AV Club and anyone else who would like to pay me to write for them. My new favourite magazine right now is Wired – they do great stories with fun charticles like “What’s In Pop Rocks”.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
I don’t do a lot of proper interviews, but during TIFF I talk to celebrities for nanoseconds. This year I peed with Gerard Butler. I also had a great time chatting with Aaron Levine and Michael Williams from A Continuous Lean for the Toronto Standard when they came to Toronto for the relaunch of the Club Monaco on Bloor.
Worst?
If only I had interesting stories to impart. I’d just say generally when people give one word answers it makes writing something pithy pretty difficult.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
I think Carley Fortune (torontolife.com associate editor when I was interning) was a really great mentor, despite us being the same age, and she really helped my writing. I used to submit 500 word posts, but now my work is a lot more succinct. I’ve also got to give thanks to Matthew Fox (torontolife.com‘s editor) for giving me a chance to cover TIFF my first year, when he’d only seen me write for one other outlet. Jen McNeely from SDTC, who I met as a summer student a thousand years ago, gave me my first writing gig and introduced me to Matthew. And if you’ve never worked with Veronica Maddocks, try to. She is the most thorough researcher I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and an amazing teacher.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Oh, I don’t know. Who has their own personal mantra they repeat in front of the mirror every morning? I guess just be nice to the people who serve you food and drive you places.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Learn people’s names. Everyone on Twitter seems to hate that and I can’t even count how many people think my first name is Abe. Follow up with a personalized email if you (for some strange reason) actually want me somewhere or want me to pitch a story to some outlet. It’s hard to care when your email is so obviously a form letter (unless you’re sending emails about free wings – keep those coming).
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins. 
All of my best experiences with PR people have been because they’ve taken the time to try and know me and know what I actually write about. A less formal approach is always appreciated, I like when we can joke about other stuff while still getting work done. I also am always appreciative of PR people who realize most of us don’t have time to respond to every email we get.
I hate?
Lots and lots and lots of things. Read my Twitter, I’ve probably written about something that irked me within the last 24 hours.
I love?
Walks on the beach, dinner by candlelight, macarons with my New York Times Sunday crossword and a Starbucks Venti half-caf moccachino, being facetious.
Reading?
I just came back from a vacation where I read American Pastoral by Philip Roth (Dawn Dwyer reminded me so much of Betty Draper I feel like Matthew Weiner must have stolen her from Roth) and Bossypants by Tina Fey. Right now I’m reading Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem. And I love to read this little indie drawn art series about these kooky teenagers from a fictitious town called Riverdale.
Best place on earth?
Well I just returned from Turks and Caicos, where I ate lobster and swam in turquoise water every day so let’s say there. And of course I love Saturdays at Fly. Look for me next time you’re there, I’m the one with his shirt off drinking Rev.

Dinner guest?

Ina Garten, but she has to cook us a roast chicken and bring her cadre of fabulous gays.
Hero?
Gambit from the X-Men. Maybe Wolverine.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Instagram is fun, but let’s be real. Scruff.
Pool or ocean?
Pool, provided there are no screaming children.
Voicemail or email?
The only person that leaves me voicemails is my dad. And Kevin Naulls (but he prefers to be called Big Kev), when he tells me “we need to talk about last night”. He tricks me every time – I guess I should stop getting black-out drunk.