Monday, October 6, 2008

The ugly side of social media

Being a big advocate of the possibilities of social media, I was saddened by two stories I came across today. The first is a blog post by Jeremy Woolf of Text100 Hong Kong questioning the ‘trustworthiness’ of information that filters through via social media. Jeremy alludes that each of us, whether we are PR professionals, editors, journalists or ordinary citizens should take responsibility for the information we pass on, as the consequences can be very damaging. I agree that just because technology has made it easy for us to spread rumours, it shouldn’t take away or conscience or responsibilities.

This view has been further enforced when it has been reported that the suicide of Korean actress Choi Jin Sil was the result of malicious rumours that were spread via the internet – this is the second case following from the suicide of Korean pop singer Yoo Na after cyber-bullying over her plastic surgery. Korean Police have now decided to crack down on malicious new media rumour spreading.

It’s a shame that a small group of people would use such a powerful vehicle for malicious actions. It almost makes a case for internet censorship!!

I hope we don’t see a rise in cases such as Darryn Walker case, in which he is being charged under the Obscene Publications Act after postings about girl group Girls Aloud in the UK.

No comments: