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Digital Life: Beware! An internet post lasts for ever

Regulars | By Matthew Webster | December 2017

The BBC believes that no radio programme is complete without insisting we use some ‘hashtag’ or other on ‘social media’. This social media industry is far from fresh-faced (Facebook is thirteen years old, Twitter is eleven, Instagram is six) and it’s growing. What baffles me is why so many otherwise sensible people take part so enthusiastically. I just don’t get it. First, in case you’re not up to speed, here are the basics. All social media platforms are free to use; you are given your own page and you can all ‘post’ anything you want to it – text, pictures, videos – with almost no scrutiny.  Your post is visible to all users, but most won’t see it unless they specifically follow you or if you have included a phrase prefixed by the hash symbol (# – hence ‘hashtag’). The platform will then group together all posts that include that...

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