Ninth annual Social Media Camp arrives in Victoria

Ninth annual Social Media Camp arrives in Victoria

WATCH: More than 400 people have gathered in Victoria for the ninth annual Social Media Camp. Calvin To has more on some of the topics they’ll be discussing.

More than 400 people gathered in Victoria Wednesday for the ninth annual Social Media Camp.

The event is billed as Canada’s largest social media conference.

The two-day event includes guest speakers, roundtable discussions and coaching sessions.

The theme of the conference this year is “restoring social’s promise.”

It’s an issue that has been given prominence recently by Victoria’s mayor, who announced she was leaving Facebook due to the abundance of personal attacks.

“The mayor and I disagree on a lot of issues in our city, but that doesn’t give me license to go onto her Facebook page and write terrible things about her,” said Paul Holmes, the event’s co-founder and co-producer. “You can disagree with somebody and still be civil about it.”

Organizers say it’s a dark side of a technology that has brought many positives to society.

Leaders in the field are now trying to come up with ways to make social media more appealing.

This is all happening amid concerns about privacy.

Those at the conference say business owners are now trying to stay competitive while adapting to changing privacy laws.

“It’s creating a lot of concern,” said Tyler Garnes, founder and CEO of Box Out Marketing. “People are very interested in what’s happening and what should they be doing in their business to protect themselves.”

Michael McEvoy, B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner, will be speaking at the conference on Thursday. His message: that good privacy is good business.

“If a business does not properly protect that information that they have with their customers, that trust is broken and the reputation of the business will suffer,” McEvoy said. “So, harm will come to everybody. It will come to customers, it will come to clients, but it will also come to the businesses themselves.”

Organizers also say children should be educated at an early age to deal with the world of social media.

“Kids are running around with iPhones. They’ve got them. And these iPhones are like high powered computers. You can do anything with them. Even if you put parental controls on, kids are smart, they figure this stuff out,” said Chris Burdge, Social Media Camp’s co-founder and co-producer. “So absolutely, it should be part of the curriculum.”

Social Media Camp continues Thursday at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Calvin ToCalvin To

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