Social media have been used to assist in searches for missing persons. When a University of Cincinnati student disappeared in 2014, his friends and family used social media to organize and fund a search effort. when their efforts went viral on Facebook, Twitter, GoFundMe, and The Huffington Post during the week-long search. Dulle's body was eventually found in a building next door to his apartment.[undue weight? – discuss] Social media was brought up as a strategy to try and help bring together the community and police force. It is a way for the police force to show their progress to the community on issues they are dealing with.
Privacy rights advocates warn users on social media about the collection of their personal data. Some information is captured without the user's knowledge or consent through electronic tracking and third party applications. Data may also be collected for law enforcement and governmental purposes, by social media intelligence using data mining techniques. Data and information may also be collected for third party use. When information is shared on social media, that information is no longer private. There have been many cases in which young persons especially, share personal information, which can attract predators. It is very important to monitor what you share, and to be aware of who you could potentially be sharing that information with. Teens especially share significantly more information on the internet now than they have in the past. Teens are much more likely to share their personal information, such as email address, phone number, and school names. Studies suggest that teens are not aware of what they are posting and how much of that information can be accessed by third parties.
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Many home party plans now offer consultants the opportunity to earn a living without ever holding an in-home show. Social media tools and virtual party technology like scheduling apps and graphics creation are widely available (as are the tutorials for figuring out how to use them). And almost every company today offers their reps a replicated website for selling and sharing online.
Social Media is the next big marketing giant, be it Twitter for Business, a product review at Periscope (though not everyone knows about it) or a successful ad campaign on the Facebook with a tremendous reach to the potential clients. Of all, Facebook is my best bet as it has directly favored my test tube business with a mere $500 ad campaign with $5000 increase in profits.
It is not only an issue in the workplace, but an issue in post-secondary school admissions as well. There have been situations where students have been forced to give up their social media passwords to school administrators. There are inadequate laws to protect a student's social media privacy, and organizations such as the ACLU are pushing for more privacy protection, as it is an invasion. They urge students who are pressured to give up their account information to tell the administrators to contact a parent or lawyer before they take the matter any further. Although they are students, they still have the right to keep their password-protected information private.
The idea that social media are defined simply by their ability to bring people together has been seen as too broad, as this would suggest that fundamentally different technologies like the telegraph and telephone are also social media. The terminology is unclear, with some early researchers referring to social media as social networks or social networking services in the mid 2000s. A more recent paper from 2015 reviewed the prominent literature in the area and identified four common features unique to then-current social media services:
StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends content for its users. Come June 30, 2018, it will be moving to Mix. More than 25 million people use StumbleUpon for entertainment and information. In addition, more than 80,000 publishers, brands, and other marketers have used StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery platform to promote their businesses. StumbleUpon was owned by eBay from May 2007 to April 2009, when Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith and several investors bought it back. It is now an independent, investor-backed startup once again.
One challenge is that militant groups have begun to see social media as a major organizing and recruiting tool. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, ISIS, and Daesh, has used social media to promote its cause. ISIS produces an online magazine named the Islamic State Report to recruit more fighters. Social media platforms have been weaponized by state-sponsored cyber groups to attack governments in the United States, European Union, and Middle East. Although phishing attacks via email are the most commonly used tactic to breach government networks, phishing attacks on social media rose 500% in 2016.
According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans at least occasionally receive news from social media.  Because of algorithms on social media which filter and display news content which are likely to match their users’ political preferences, a potential impact of receiving news from social media includes an increase in political polarization due to selective exposure.  Political polarization refers to when an individual's stance on a topic is more likely to be strictly defined by their identification with a specific political party or ideology than on other factors. Selective exposure occurs when an individual favors information which supports their beliefs and avoids information which conflicts with their beliefs. A study by Hayat and Samuel-Azran conducted during the 2016 U.S. presidential election observed an “echo chamber” effect of selective exposure among 27,811 Twitter users following the content of cable news shows.  The Twitter users observed in the study were found to have little interaction with users and content whose beliefs were different from their own, possibly heightening polarization effects. 
Some social media sites have potential for content posted there to spread virally over social networks. The term is an analogy to the concept of viral infections, which can spread rapidly from person to person. In a social media context, content or websites that are "viral" (or which "go viral") are those with a greater likelihood that users will reshare content posted (by another user) to their social network, leading to further sharing. In some cases, posts containing popular content or fast-breaking news have been rapidly shared and reshared by a huge number of users. Many social media sites provide a specific functionality to help users reshare content, such as Twitter's retweet button, Pinterest's pin function, Facebook's share option or Tumblr's reblog function. Businesses have a particular interest in viral marketing tactics because a viral campaign can achieve widespread advertising coverage (particularly if the viral reposting itself makes the news) for a fraction of the cost of a traditional marketing campaign, which typically uses printed materials, like newspapers, magazines, mailings, and billboards, and television and radio commercials. Nonprofit organizations and activists may have similar interests in posting content on social media sites with the aim of it going viral. A popular component and feature of Twitter is retweeting. Twitter allows other people to keep up with important events, stay connected with their peers, and can contribute in various ways throughout social media. When certain posts become popular, they start to get retweeted over and over again, becoming viral. Hashtags can be used in tweets, and can also be used to take count of how many people have used that hashtag.