Online news and social media sites are very young compared to the established media types such as television or radio. Regulators haven’t been able to figure out the best ways to impose regulations on internet activity and comments made on social media.
The Woolwich attack in the UK has led to a dramatic spike in the number of arrests made by authorities in the wake of comments made on social media sites. The link to the full article can be found below. It is evident by these arrests that the authorities believe these comments could insight more violence and hatred towards a particular social group in this case Muslims. Usually authorities don’t need to step in like this as most people follow a policy of self-regulation.
I work for Woolworths and I know they will have a social media policy in place even though I haven’t read or seen any documents. I maintain a self-regulation policy when considering what to post as this could negatively impact on my job. As I stated at the beginning of this post the internet and social media sites are very young and proper regulations are yet to be brought in so for the moment, the internet is largely self-regulated.
The reading by Fiona martin this week gave me some ideas to express. Yes there are bad remarks made online but there again it’s the media’s tendency to only focus on the negatives rather than the positives because that won’t make a good news story. How many tweets or Facebook posts go unnoticed yet if there is one racist or sexist post it suddenly attracts all the media’s attention. Shows like The Project and Q&A broadcast tweets and Facebook posts live on their show as it’s a way for the previously considered passive audience to feel included in the debate. This adds to the discussion in that it shows the public’s reaction to certain stories or can show where they disagree on certain matters with either the presenters or other members of the community.
Fiona Martin (2012) ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei: ABC Online and the risks of dialogic interaction’, in Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the Web, editors, N. Brugger and M Burns. New York: Peter Lang. pp 177-192