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Most people (hopefully!) understand the consequences of putting something online: once you upload a compromising photo or tweet something controversial, it’s available for everyone to see. But when news stories emerge and social networking is the only readily available source of data, how much should journalists publish from private Facebook or Twitter accounts? Are certain things off-limits, or is it truly anything goes? In a recent article, Poynter examines some general guidelines of reporters for publishing such content.

Poynter highlights the confusing nature of Facebook’s privacy settings as one of the main sources of journalistic dispute. Since there are numerous levels of privacy, from closed groups to more open fan pages, journalists disagree about which privacy levels are acceptable to draw from, the article said.

And, though Facebook posts between friends may be considered in the public domain, “informed consent” to publish the material might not necessarily be implied by the user, Poynter said.

“Journalists are stepping into gray territory with no widely agreed-upon standards,” Nisha Chittal of Poynter wrote.

Twitter, however, seems to be a decidedly public platform, the article said.


Gianna Walton


2012-03-30 16:56

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