Ebola, hackers drive word of the year ‘Exposure’

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Now when we use the word “exposure,” we’re often talking about being exposed to harm or danger due to sudden outbreaks like that of the recent Ebola scare, which has already tallied over “14,000 cases in West Africa, with over 5,000 confirmed deaths,” according to Dictionary.com.

“Exposure” can also mean alerting the public not only to health scares, but to unjust acts of violence. This year, protests of a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., made headlines not because the media took action but because of citizens who posted videos and photos to Twitter so the rest of the world could see what was happening live. Hacktivist groups like Anonymous also exposed identities of KKK members online.

Ebola, hackers drive word of the year: 'Exposure'

“Exposure” can also mean disclosing private and confidential information as with numerous stories this year of credit card numbers, passwords and photos that were hacked and shared with the public. Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase and Target were some of the many companies targeted. Nude photos of over 100 celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence were also exposed after Apple’s iCloud was hacked.