Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ethics of Secret Recordings

Contentions has a good post on this at The Ethics of Surreptitious Tapings. I largely agree with his call to perhaps have us think about what all sides are doing here. That is not a call of course to stop it by any means as to all situations. Get Religion also hits on the above piece here where they look at a contrary view.

However with social media the way it is I think this needs to be done as the exception not as the rule. Social media now allows everyone to be a reporter and thus no supervision asking the necessary questions and giving overview.

Let me add to his scenarios. It is true we all say things in public we would not want to be said in private. However in private we always have to interact with people that say disagreeable things and even offensive things.

I suppose there are people that when this occurs they will then immediately reprimand person x to their face.

However I think many of us though uncomfortable go into the "lets be nice mode" .We often try to humor the person in hopes of getting off the subject. For instance "oh yeah I know what you mean" and then you try to move on.

I can think of many times when I had to engage in a period of conversation with a person (a stranger often) where he was saying something objectionable as to race, sex, religion, or regarding sexual orientation. My default position , as OPINIONATED as I am , was not to go into a moralizing sermon.

We have these conversations all the time when you think about it. Couple that with the human want to "please" people and a recording of that without context shown to millions seems a tad unjust and unfair. Add a dose of major temptation and well....

I am in the same boat with the writer when he says "I don’t pretend to know where the line should be drawn between responsible investigative journalism on the one hand and irresponsible entrapment on the other.". However there is ethics here that need to examined more in this new age.

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