Threats in social networks

14 january 2016

Edition of "Heuristic": "Threats in social networks" is a part of the LPRC project "Improving access to justice in Kazakhstan" implemented with support of the US Embassy in Kazakhstan. The idea of this edition was determined by development of ethic standards of advocates profession and cooperation of lawyers with Media in Kazakhstan.  

Norms of behavior of advocates in cooperation with Media and in social networks become an issue in recent years. Lawyers in Kazakhstan use more often Media and social networks in their practice, as a part of strategy on protecting interest of their defendants. Today Media and social networks are possibilities for lawyers to access to public area. The key objective of lawyers in this area is to increase their decisiveness. We understand under decisiveness in this context the authority, in other words - base for argumentation.  Lawyers, who is having an authority, are situated in privileged condition, for Example before bringing persuade speech. Listeners a priori have favorable attitude to him. Authority can be possessed not only be specific lawyers, but also by the whole corporation. If the corporation is decisive, then its influence may  spread to all its members.  

But access to public area brings particular threats. Obviously, the lawyer should follow particular norms of behavior in such area. Valuable threats of unethical behavior exist for lawyers in social networks and blog sphere. This necessity appears because advocacy researches conduct active studies on this issue.   

Social networks provide a lot of benefits, but also bring some threats. Russian lawyer Mr. Roman Melnichenko, trainer of advocates and professional mediators, proposes an algorithm of behavior in social networks, which will allow to protect yourself from possible conflicts.

First rule: "Image in front of you a room, full of people" 

It is necessary to differ private from public. When you enter the network, you should forget, that this is a private space. Letters, for Example, belong to private space. When you personally send a message it will be legally counted as corresponding and can be extracted. Extraction can be in particular conditions. There can be private space, but I would be beware of to leave something there, but not to erase.  When you enter the social network, private no longer exist.  This will be counted as public. You speak before big audience. We have following rule: when you enter the network, imagine crowd of people in front of you. Even if you are home sitting with slippers and bathrobe in front of the computer - you no longer alone. You have a room full of people in front of you and they are watching you. If you consider social network from this position, you will lower your risks.

Second rule: "Count to 10"

You shouldn't be hurry while communicating with people. Especially in discussions. If you have polemical mood, and polemos is a war, and you start aggressively answer to some questions in your page, you don't have to hurry.  They say, Chingiskhan was having such habit: when he was nervous, he started to count to 10 and only after gave his answers. You should count to 10 before giving answers to somebody in the net. Don't need to hurry in the network, these are texts and they require some time.   

Third rule: "Be consistent"

While placing false information in one place, be sure to do the same in other place. Networks correlate everything very exact. Network correlate to other information. You can't do like Freudian: in one source use your conscious and in other - unconscious. These will never coincide. Everything in network coincide. If you tell the truth to one source, you should do the same to the other. 

Fourth rule: "Ask yourself: what for?"

You should ask yourself "What for?" before placing something in social networks. The question "What for?" is a question about future: "Why am I telling you this?". Sometimes, people understand that what they are saying is not necessary after asking yourself "What for?".  What they are saying and their goal may be, for Example, harmful for them. When they speak quickly, they don't think about this. But when they stop and say: "Wait, why am I arguing with him right now? Do I want to receive a pleasure? Do I want to abase him? What for should I abase him?".   "What for?" is very good and simple question. This question is about purposes. What for are you communicating? This question should appear automatically before communications. For Example, just saying: "Thank you for discussion. I'm finishing".

Fifth rule: "Avoid wrong connections"  

We all have such definition as "friends". Somebody has requested and you confirm the request.  Well, this person may be counted as friend. But if you use your networks professionally or to promote your business, you should control these connections. Because they may be wrong. It's better to review the profile of this person. If you don;t do that, then maybe you will be associated with this person. However, everybody understands, friendship in social networks - is conditional definition, but definitions are mixed in this part. You don't meet everybody in the street, you control your connections, aren't you? You should do the same in social networks. You separate in the street after the contact, but all contacts are fixed in social networks. This may cost you a career.

Listed thesis of the expert is a part of the video project "HEURISTICS" dedicated to simple explanation of difficult definitions. We refer to special experts in various issues appear during  process of discussing key reforms in legislation and law enforcement practice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, new trends in international standards and early known international law principles and standards. 

Our project is designed for wide audience hoping that it will bring interest not only to law specialists, but also to any person who is ready to receive information right from experts.



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