My Privacy, My Concern!

Privacy is and will always be a controversial issue when it comes to social media. As a society, we are adapting to a more technological world and it becomes more difficult everyday to protect privacy. I am one who checks my privacy settings on my social media accounts about once a month. It’s always a struggle in making the determination of how “private” I want my profile to be. After all, it’s called “social” media for a reason.

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To this day, I still don’t entirely comprehend “every” privacy setting on social networks. I basically guess and check whatever privacy settings I opt in to. I would much rather see privacy settings laid out in an “easy read” fashion. Honestly, I don’t feel like social networks really want to you to be private. When people are private, it makes it harder all around to access the information you need. Just as Norm Lewis brought up in his speech, it’s hard to get information on those who are private.

Social media does blur lines between what’s acceptable in an interview. If you are going to take someone’s information, they should be notified. This can directly relate back to data mining in that we are not “always” told how our information is going to be used—and I feel that is the problem.

If I was going to approach a sensitive interview, I would tread lightly. My opening message would be to sympathize and then to see if they would be willing to speak about the situation. I would promise that I wouldn’t as any sensitive questions and I would let the interviewee control which way the interview goes. I know this isn’t normal journalistic practice, but it changes ethically for me when a death is involved.

In questioning whether or not it is ethical to distribute material from a private social media page, I have mixed feelings. I see no issue with gathering basic information such as age, location, sex, etc. But when pictures and personal content are used, I feel it should come with an agreement. I understand that social content is public content, but when someone goes to lengths of protecting their privacy on these sites, it should be respected.

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For instance, taking Norm Lewis’ example of the sensitive interviewee, if a journalist was to take one of her pictures at a bar and use that in the publication, it immediately makes the user think that she is an avid drinker and partier. If the journalist chose to use a picture of her in a dress at a family picnic, then it sheds a different light. When this private information is taken, the woman no longer has a say in what way her content will be used by the publication. That is the major problem I see in this scenario.

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