Don’t Miss! Our Private & Public Lives Under Fire. May 26th

Monday, May 26 2014

No kissing allowed

Iranian actress, Leila Hatami, has sparked outrage amongst conservatives in Iran for giving Gilles Jacob, the president of the Cannes Film Festival, a peck on the cheek on the festival's red carpet last week, where she is a member of the jury.


leila-hatami kissA photograph of Hatami's kiss ran in an Iran newspaper, and a group of female Iranian students reacted to the picture with calls for Hatami to serve jail time and be lashed, as they say the act violates their country's laws. Hossein Noushabadi, Iran's deputy culture minister did not say that Hatami would be flogged, but he did criticize the act:

"Iranian woman is the symbol of chastity and innocence," he said. "Those who attend intentional events should take heed of the credibility and chastity of Iranians, so that a bad image of Iranian women will not be demonstrated to the world."

According to state news agency the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported, Hatami has since then apologized in a letter to Iran's cinema organization "Although I am embarrassed to give these explanations, I had no choice but to go into details for those who could not understand the inevitable situation that I was stuck in," she said.

But you don’t even need to kiss anyone to find the police knocking down your door in Iran, it seems. Six young Iranians (three men and three women) were arrested last week after posting a fan video on YouTube of them dancing to Pharrell William’s popular song "Happy".

Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia ordered the arrests of the three men and three women for helping make an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals and was released in cyberspace," the Iranian Students' News Agency reported Wednesday. Authorities forced the young people to repent on state TV.

All but the video’s director have since been released from custody according to International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Your online privacy: Facebook and Google

With social media impact in mind, two of the biggest tech giants, Facebook and Google, are both grappling with the changing landscape of internet privacy.

After 5 years of making your posts’ default privacy setting “public”, Facebook has decided to change the default setting for all new users to “Friends” after coming under fire for promoting oversharing of personal information due to overcomplicated privacy settings and controls. In a world where so much of our lives are online, from photos, to status updates, to contact details and more, who and how we should (or should not) be able to control that data has taken the forefront of the international stage.

Google is also faced with serious privacy matters after the European court’s ruling that it is responsible for removing personal information that private citizens request to be removed from the web. The Mountain View, CA. based firm has yet to make a statement as to what exactly this ruling means for the U.S. company, but there has been some initial backlash in the U.S. underlining fundamental differences in the U.S. and European perspectives on privacy.

So what will this all mean for us as social media users? Research shows that women are more active on social media than men, and their use is different as well. It will be interesting to see who will be molding the future of internet privacy and how it will change as social media continues to evolve and further integrate into our lives. Do you know how to best take control of your own personal branding and online reputation? Share your tips in the comments section below.

Photo credit: Capture Queen

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