The ethico legal paradox and Harry Hotpants in Las Vegas

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A lecture in July 2013 on the ethico-legal paradox, illustrated with an extended riff on Prince Harry's nude romp in Las Vegas. The lecture also mentions the 2013 Westpac media release hoax involving …

A lecture in July 2013 on the ethico-legal paradox, illustrated with an extended riff on Prince Harry's nude romp in Las Vegas. The lecture also mentions the 2013 Westpac media release hoax involving Jonathon Moylan and coal seam gas.

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  • One of the key contemporary journalistic dilemmas — how to define or redefine objectivity in the social media age — is being played out live on Twitter. Reporters’ use of the platform to express feelings and opinions on a range of issues has raised red flags about professional conduct and bias.(posetti http://newmatilda.com/2009/06/16/twitters-difficult-gift-journalism)

Transcript

  • 1. Bill Cosby Death Hoax Started To Teach Internet Readers A Lesson? Bill Cosby has died multiple times since 2010, according to social media, but while celebrity death hoaxes have become a dime a dozen these days, the most recent Cosby hoax might have been started to teach Internet users a lesson. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/bill-cosby-death-hoax-facebook-twitter-_n_1840405.html
  • 2. As "Bill Cosby Dead" became a trending topic, Facebook group owner Gorman was forced to come clean. "My name is Jonathan Gorman and I am the page admin/creator. With the recent slowdown of likes and high amount of attention from news sources. . . I have come to the conclusion that I should tell you all the truth. Bill Cosby is not deceased," he wrote late Tuesday. "I made around 315 THOUSAND people angry." "I love you all for making me laugh at your stupidity for the past day and a half. You're great," Gorman wrote.
  • 3. NOT SO FUNNY FOR THIS JONATHON http://www.theage.com.au/business/whitehaven-hoaxer-fronts-court-over-fake-anz-statement-20130723-2qfnf.html
  • 4. MOYLAN ARGUES HIS ACTION IS JUSTIFIED Embossed with the ANZ logo, the press release quoted ANZ's group head of corporate sustainability Toby Kent as confirming the loan had been withdrawn - the real Toby Kent exposed the ruse. Mr Moylan yesterday said his actions were justified. "ANZ customers have the right to know their money is being invested in a project which will force farmers off their land and destroy 1360ha of endangered koala habitat," Mr Moylan said. Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/compani es/hoaxer-jonathan-moylan-cost-nathan- tinkler-180-million-after-whitehaven-share- plunge/story-fnda1bsz- 1226549159715#ixzz2a1oBeDEE
  • 5. THE WHITEHAVEN HOAX COST MONEY Shares in Nathan Tinkler's coal company were placed in a trading halt after a fake media release claimed funding for Whitehaven Coal had been withdrawn. Whitehaven Coal shares plunged 6 per cent to $3.31, wiping $300 million off the company's value, before trading was stopped just after noon (AEDT). The fraudulent media release claimed ANZ had withdrawn $1.2 billion from Whitehaven's Maules Creek project in north-east New South Wales. It said the decision was made because of "volatility in the global coal market, expected cost blow-outs and ANZ's Corporate Responsibility policy". ANZ has confirmed the media release is a hoax and was not issued by the bank. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-07/whitehaven-coal-shares-plunge-after-media-hoax/4455362 Whether or not you agree with the actions of Mr Moylan may depend on your attitude to coal seam gas mining. It is a good example of the ethico-legal paradox in action. Moylan‘s action was ethically motivated, but was a criminal action.
  • 6. AN ETHICO-LEGAL PARADOX Legal principle  Criminal law  Common law  Contracts and commercial law State regulation Business Interest Public Interest Ethical principles  Greater good  Right-to-know  Do no harm • Law and regulation tend to trail innovation and application. • No prior knowledge or scrutiny of apps • Some uses can be problematic • Does the public interest ever justify breaking the law for greater ethical reasons? • The grey areas where law and ethics collide TECHNO-LEGAL TIME-GAP
  • 7. • Convergence + Speed • Social & Mobile • New applications coming on stream • Massive amounts of new and improved data • A techno-legal time-gap • Legal, regulation , custom and practice • Applications and Arguments • Political economy • Ethico-legal issues & paradox • Privacy • Power & influence • Democracy • Media Freedom & Regulation • Free speech • Commercial Speech • Hate speech • Privacy / Data Privacy • The ethico-legal paradox • Accountability • UGC • Liability • Surveillance • Commercial • Social • Suppression • Counter Surveillance CLOSING THE GAP? BRIDGING THE PARADOX? http://digital-paradox.net/
  • 8. DIGITAL WHISTLEBLOWERS Modern day whistleblowers expose both the ethico-legal paradox and the techno-legal time-gap. In 1971, when Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers it was literally lots of paper. Today digital files can be compressed and carried on a CD- ROM. Without data crunching capability Wikileaks would still be cataloguing military cables. L-R: Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Daniel Ellsberg
  • 9. IF THEY CAN, THEN SO CAN WE Old rules no longer apply • Harry‟s Privates y v Royal Privacy • Right to know invoked • Becomes a „free speech‟ argument for British tabloids The Sun last week said it was "absurd" to continue the British black out and defended publishing two photos of the naked prince on the grounds that they were freely available across the internet, including on the websites of mainstream media organisations such as CNN. If material is in the public domain and everyone is talking about it, yet we ignore it, we might be seen as missing out on an important element of a news story and failing to inform our users. • Sun Editorial
  • 10. HARRY NO-PANTS IS FAIR GAME • Now it‟s online we have to publish too • Public interest defence • Harry compromised his own privacy • We respect the privacy of the respectable royals (Wills & Kate) • Laddish behaviour, Harry‟s letting off steam • Just doing normal stuff (according to friends) • Being „royal‟ is not „normal‟ There is a clear public interest in publishing the Harry pictures, in order for the debate around them to be fully informed. The photos have potential implications for the Prince‘s image representing Britain around the world. • The Sun‘s editorial defence "Prince Harry. Give him a break. He may be on the public payroll one way or another, but the public loves him, even to enjoy Las Vegas.‖ Rupert Murdoch‘s tweet The tabloids and the gossip mags take advantage of digital publication to justify their own publication despite an agreement with the palace not to invade royal privacy. The hypocrisy in this case is staggering
  • 11. RUPERT‟S “BART SIMPSON MOMENT” • Gathers the troops for a pep talk – don‟t worry Uncle Rupert will look after you • Says the police are incompetent and that the investigation is wrong (after cooperating and creating the problems for his journalists) • Says that paying police and officials is endemic in the British newspaper industry • When he‟s caught (and only when he‟s caught) sends an apologetic letter to the committee investigating his behaviour “I didn‟t do it” Which Rupert Murdoch should we believe? http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/caught-on-tape-rupert-murdoch-apologises-for-slur-on-met-police-in-secret-sun-recording- 8718084.html http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2355600/Rupert-Murdoch-caught-tape-branding-police-totally-incompetent.html
  • 12. A NEW MEME – ABANDON PRIVACY FOR PRIVATES • People prepared to give up privacy to back Harry • A new „Rule Britannia‟ • Tabloid media uses it as an excuse to push the boundary of „taste‟ under cloak of public interest • The feedback loop between social media and the mainstream is now 24/7 in real time • Facebook is now plundered for anything of gossip value • Some people will do anything for social media „fame‟ Facebook is like a new frontier where anything goes. If it‘s on Facebook and goes viral then it will be on the 6pm news and in the papers.
  • 13. MILITARISING THE MEME D Squadron, the King‘s Royal Hussars, posing naked with tanks in Helmand, Afghanistan #salute4harry http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2194521/Prince-Harry-Facebook-group-strips-support-party-loving-royal-naked-Vegas-photos-furore.html?ito=feeds-newsxml Did anyone stop to think that this might be just a little bit offensive in a predominantly Muslim country?
  • 14. “WHAT STAYS IN VEGAS?” • A breach of a code of silence • It is an unwritten „code‟ • But what about the journalist‟s ethical code? • Who upholds the public interest? • Who breached the code? • Which code takes precedence? • Story now takes precedence for the news media • Gossip as reportage "Las Vegas is about adult freedom," a spokeswoman for the [tourist] board told USA Today. "It's important for friends to know what activities can be shared publicly and what activities are protected by the code." Sexual double standards apply – Harry‘s behaviour would not be excused and laughed off if it was a Princess. A woman in this situation would be branded a ‗slut‘
  • 15. DETAILS AND NAMES LINKED TO HARRY • Paparazzi flock to story • „fake‟ Facebook accounts • „protected‟ Twitter accounts • Fan Pages on Tumblr • Social Surveillance of Harry has been unleashed http://www.christianpost.com/news/prince-harrys-fans-harrassed-for-secrets-on- spike-wells-facebook-account-80664/ The story rebounds between MSM and social media. Desperate for an angle, reporters start trying to establish who is behind several fake accounts allegedly linked to the Prince. Should Harry have responded? How can he? The level of security and pampering he gets does not even suggest it is possible. What could he say: ―Yes I snorted cocaine.‖ or issue a denial and then have the Miley Cyrus moment when pictures emerge? Rich and spoilt, Harry is a law unto himself, it seems and
  • 16. A HASTY CORRECTION • Verification – after publication • Authentic - questionable • Voyeurisitc view of a very public private life • Vicarious pleasures / entertainment / values • Race to the bottom? Harry‟s legs Christianpost.com changes its mind about a source On the Internet you are never wrong for long. Publish all the gossip and rumour, you can retract it later. And don‘t forget the ‗clickbait‘
  • 17. NEW TIN, SAME SARDINES? • How public is Facebook? • How do you manage contacts who you know on Facebook? • Can you use false profiles on Facebook to gather information? • Is it OK to discuss ongoing court cases on Facebook? • Courtroom Tweeting • Twit Def and stupid tweets • Personal v Professional social media profiles For the most part, the five main issues that are causing the most problems, are issues that have always been problematic – they have just been transplanted into digital scenarios instead. These five issues are: 1. copyright 2. verification 3. protecting sources 4. gathering information using false pretences 5. contempt of court Is this all there is to it? Claire Wardle Networked Knowledge blog http://clairewardle.com/2011/09/21/journalism-ethics-in-a-social-media-world/
  • 18. WHEN IS A BEER AD NOT A BEER AD? • Sponsor responsible for user comments on social media sites • Encouraging comments as a form of advertising and value add for the brand • Facebook‟s commercial rules? • Political economy and ethics / liability When a user ―likes‖ a brand post, or expresses a view in a comment on a brand page, they push the brand out into their peer network attached to their own identity. For VB to claim that User Comments aren‘t advertisements is to suggest that they don‘t create value for the brand. http://theconversation.edu.au/ruling-on-alcohol-brands-facebook-sites-will-shake-up-social-media-marketing-8974 stricter monitoring of Facebook pages by brands was against the ―spirit of social media‖ and ―commercially unviable‖. Advertisers could abandon Facebook as an interactive advertising channel because of the difficulty monitoring conversation on their pages.
  • 19. SMIRNOFF – ENABLING, NOT ADVERTISING • Do Facebook users understand the dynamics or are they being used as useful idiots? With several thousand images online, each time a fan tags, likes or comments an image, it pushes that image out into the news feeds of their hundreds of friends. These images have a targeted and promotional character. They embed the brand within the mediation of nightlife on Facebook. A precedent (appeal pending) regarding liability for ethical behaviour in social media
  • 20. WHAT ABOUT RACISM – „OFFENSIVE HUMOUR‟ • Another free-speech argument? • Facebook eventually closed it • US v Australian jurisdiction • Invoking 1st Amendment The Aboriginal Memes Facebook page carried hundreds of images indigenous Australians as drunks and welfare cheats. The Australian Communications and Media Authority is investigating Race Discrimination Commissioner Helen Szoke said it could breach Australian anti-discrimination laws. http://www.3news.co.nz/Facebook-removes-racist-Aboriginal-Memes-
  • 21. WHO IS A JOURNALIST? • Barriers to entry falling • Are bloggers part of the journalism community? • Is there a useful demarcation between professional and amateur • Should the rules be the same or different for professional and amateur reporters? The ‗democratization‘ of media – technology that allows citizens to engage in journalism and publication of many kinds – blurs the identity of journalists and the idea of what constitutes journalism. (Ward) http://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/resources/digital-media-ethics/ Journalism is not content. It need not be a profession or an industry. It is not the province of a guild. It is not a scarcity to be controlled. It no longer happens just in newsrooms. It is no longer confined to narrative form. Jeff Jarvis http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2013/jul/11/who-is-journalist-bradley-manning-trial
  • 22. TODAY‟S ETHICS NEED A SHAKE DOWN To what extent existing media ethics is suitable for today‘s and tomorrow‘s news media that is immediate, interactive and ―always on‖ – a journalism of amateurs and professionals? Stephen Ward, Digital Media Ethics http://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/resources/digital-media-ethics/
  • 23. DIGITAL FAULT LINES Unresolved tensions between ‗traditional‘ journalism and the technological capacities of ‗News 2.0‘ Heightening tension between local and global journalism accuracy, pre-publication verification, balance, impartialit y, and gate-keeping
  • 24. TWITTER • Should we really be trying for objectivity here? • Is Twitter for professional or personal use? • Should reporters separate the personal and the professional? • What about being „genuine‟ in social media spaces? One of the key contemporary journalistic dilemmas — how to define or redefine objectivity in the social media age — is being played out live on Twitter. Reporters‘ use of the platform to express feelings and opinions on a range of issues has raised red flags about professional conduct and bias. (Juie Posetti http://newmatilda.com/2009/06/16/twitters- difficult-gift-journalism)
  • 25. ANONYMITY ONLINE • Allowing anonymous comments on news sites • Verification of Twitter & other accounts as genuine Traditional journalistic codes of ethics warn that people may use anonymity to take unfair or untrue ―potshots‖ at other people, for self-interested reasons. Journalists should avoid anonymous sources in most cases Online anonymity is easy and provides a cover for uncivil discourse
  • 26. THE NEW FRONTIERS • The eyewitness • The accidental journalist • The Whistleblower • The citizen journalist • The amateur • The blogger • The tweeter The ethical challenge is to redefine what independent journalism in the public interest means for a media where many new types of journalism are appearing and where basic principles are being challenged. (Ward)
  • 27. NEW WAYS TO INVADE PRIVACY • The right to be forgotten v. the right to do business • Technical solutions like “Do no track” code Changes to the Privacy Act mean digital publishers face fines of more than $1 million unless they are transparent about personal data they collect and use. The new rules come as the traditional print media targets users who now prefer to use mobile devices through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. ABC News 1 July 2013 http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-01/media-companies-face- challenge-to-adapt-to-new-privacy-laws/4791496
  • 28. IMAGE MANIPULATION The digital manipulation of images is now very easy and widespread It‟s not just the airbrushing of celebrities in fashion and gossip magazines What about the manipulation of images from a war zone? Adnan Hajj's 2006 digitally manipulated photograph of the aftermath of an IDF attack on Beirut. (Smoke was added.)