With people spending more and more time online, it has become increasingly important to follow social media etiquette and rules
Recently, Chinese social media platform WeChat published a list of ‘indecent’ activities which it discovered during the daily monitoring of its livestream service. The list included more than 70 ‘violations’, including nose-picking, spanking games, putting underwear over one’s head, focusing the lens on sensitive parts of the body (such as the chest or buttocks), showing tattoos, using bedsheets and quilts as props, etc. Banning these activities, WeChat urged hosts to pay attention to the rules. This could be a bid to clean up its livestreaming service, as per a report on Reuters.
Other ‘offences’ include discussing politically sensitive topics, promoting gambling activities, and broadcasting from venues unsuitable for minors such as bars, nightclubs and foot massage parlours. Any violations will result in penalties being imposed on the channel and its host, the report said. Taking strict action against content that is non-political or socially insensitive, China is laying emphasis on how internet is used.
Nose picking, an offence as per WeChat’s list, is considered an indecent activity, both online and offline. It is also an alarming health concern. It makes one hate the person sitting next to them, but some people derive satisfaction and pleasure from it. But digging one’s nose can lead to severe problems. A person with a weaker immune system, for instance, can catch infections if the nasal tissue gets damaged. If one transfers germs from the fingertips to the nose, it can also cause inflammation.
It is often advised to follow some basic social media etiquette and rules online. Otherwise one can be criticised and even get trolled for rudeness and impoliteness. Not just China, other countries too have cracked the whip on indecent behaviour. In 2016, the police in Philippines were banned from picking their noses and taking selfies. Officers were also prohibited from chewing gum, reading newspapers and scratching body parts. Similarly, Dubai Police this year urged social media users to be careful in posting content as a group of people were arrested for posing naked on the balcony of an apartment in Dubai Marina. It was a publicity stunt, but the cybercrime law can punish anyone who produces and/or publishes indecent photos and posts.
Some content, of course, is a source of cheer and encouragement. Take, for instance, vaccine selfies, which have spread across social networks in the pandemic. A sign of assurance, hope and celebration, the vaccine selfie is a vital social media trend today.
However, it makes sense to follow netiquette if your posts hurt or affect someone. One must review social media sharing practices periodically, as a photo may be objectionable to some. The way social media conveys mannerisms like nose picking can cause a lot of damage to brands as well when videos of employees nose picking and tampering with food go viral on platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Calling out such actions helps in holding social media personalities accountable. Clearly, netiquette are an important area of debate and dialogue today.
In this regards, books like The Lytille Childrenes Lytil Boke come in handy, as they teach kids table manners and other etiquette such as how one shouldn’t pick their nose. Originally published in 1480, the book has been recently digitised by The British Library in the United Kingdom.
It remains to be seen, however, if regulations like those enforced by WeChat will change or regulate internet habits.