Social media censorship: Why you should own your media

Hey! It’s time to save all those photos, videos and family memories.

Also, if you use your social media account(s) for business purposes, you might want to download all of that content, too.

A good case is being made lately about how important it is to own your own media and NOT rely on a social media company to save it in your account forever.

This includes (but is certainly not limited to) Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitch…and anywhere else you upload valuable content, including a website or blog if you don’t host it yourself.

Why would I be in danger of losing my content, you ask? Many reasons. Aside from a technical hiccup or glitch wiping out your content, these days a platform (especially social media platforms) can decide to shut you down simply by disliking your attitude or disagreeing with your politics.

And there’s nothing you can do about it; these companies are private companies – they can do pretty much whatever they want with your account and the content you share to them.

So, if you’ve uploaded a bunch of training videos to YouTube or created some custom feel-good memes to showcase your Facebook presence, you best save them to a hard drive somewhere for future use on other platforms or risk having your account shut down or locked out if some troll decides they don’t agree with what you’re saying online.

This is important even for personal accounts. Facebook has been in heavy use for over a decade at this point, and for many people the photos they’ve taken (important ones – things that used to be saved in family albums) are saved there without any backup whatsoever (remember that Razr phone you took photos with in 2006? Bet you can’t track that puppy down down now).

Facebook even has a download function where you can save all the content you’ve uploaded to your account to your hard drive, or at least they used to.

This happened many years ago to me with MySpace (remember THAT social network?) When Facebook crushed it and it virtually disappeared, at some point I lost my password and, because I lost the original email account I used to sign up with it, I couldn’t request a new password via email. So I was locked out, with tons of saved photos and videos set to private that I haven’t seen for nearly a decade.

I may be able to access it some day, but for now, it might as well be lost to time like a tomb in Egypt. So remember, folks, back up that content so you have something to share with your grandparents after a foreign terrorist shuts down your favorite social media network.

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