Celebs and Privacy

Guest Post by: Alexa Hackfort, aspiring communications professional

It seems privacy and celebrities don’t mix well. From Kate Middleton’s encounter with the paparazzi to Adele’s son winning a lawsuit for pictures taken of him, it appears that celebrities have to constantly fight for their privacy.

But do they deserve this privacy?

I think they deserve some. Many actors and musicians became famous for something they love to do. It’s their job. It’s how they provide for their families. While some may have wanted the fame that comes with it, not all have that goal in mind.

So yes, many of the celebrities do deserve privacy. But will they get it? Not necessarily.

Knowing information about celebrities isn’t a right or a need, it’s a want. Some people want the latest gossip on the people they see on TV and the Internet, just like some people want to know what’s going on with their neighbors.

D HackfortSo when more than 200 photos of celebrities were shared on the Internet from personal iCloud accounts, many of them nude photos, I felt bad for them. Celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and Kate Upton were targeted, as well as Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, who was under 18 at the time the photos were taken, making this a child pornography issue.

Kirsten Dunst criticized Apple for not having enough security for iCloud, but Apple stated that it wasn’t an iCloud security issue. These hackers did research, and with a little bit of luck, they figured out email addresses and passwords for these accounts.

Some may argue that celebrities shouldn’t have had any nude photos on their iCloud accounts at all. While that may be sound advice for everyone, I can only guess how many non-celebrities have nude photos saved electronically, but they weren’t the ones hacked. The hackers targeted people who are well known.

Lena Dunham, of Girls fame, made some comments on Twitter about the leak and those who chose to view the photos. One of them was “Remember, when you look at these pictures, you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay.” Not only are the hackers unethical, but the viewers are also unethical. Choosing to look at something so personal and private, which was posted without the owners’ permission, is wrong.

Celebrities may spend much of their time in the limelight, but they deserve to have their privacy respected. Yes, paparazzi may snap pictures of them going to Target or running another ordinary errand. However, posting these pictures crossed a line. Celebrities have had too much of their private lives revealed to the world. That’s something no one would want, famous or not.

Truth in Social Media News Outlets

Guest Post by: Ashley Cheffer, Aspiring Public Relations Professional

E Chaffer2While reading the news, we like to know that what we are reading is accurate. This has become increasing difficult with the introduction of social media. Social media allows news to be sent and read quickly. In many cases, this is a large benefit. When individuals and news sources tweet or post news on social media, it is expected that that news will be true. This is not always the case as seen with the Boston bombing.

With social media today, anyone can post anything and can be considered a reporter. The Internet gives power to the individual and with power comes responsibility. With a platform that allows for the sharing of information so quickly, quick information is expected. As a news reporter, you want to live up to the public’s expectations. An example of effective and beneficial use of social media was when Bin Laden’s death was credibly confirmed on Twitter before President Obama spoke. The news travelled quickly and allowed the public to be in on the big news.

E ChefferWhen a news story comes out to the public, each news source has a different heading and a different technique of reporting. It is our responsibility to read more than one story to get the full picture and make sure that it is the accurate picture. When looking at the shooting in St. Louis involving Vonderrit Meyers, each news outlet that reported on the case stressed different aspects. Whether this is intentional or not, the way the story is framed affects the way the reader interprets the story. Before social media, news stories would be released in newspapers and would be fact checked and would have to be accurate to the best of their knowledge. With the speed of social media, this is not always possible. An example where news was reported inaccurately was when Fox and CNN mistakenly reported that Supreme Court struck down the ‘individual mandate’ part of the health care law. They reported what they knew or what they thought they knew as quick as they could.

The ethical implications of this are that if the truth is not being conveyed, the story is false. Painting people or stories in a false light is not ethical. When I read a story, I want to know that I am receiving all of the facts that are present to decide for myself what the truth of the story is. This relates back to discussions on loyalties. Reporters want to do what makes their readers happy, and that is quick and accurate news. Sometimes it is hard to deliver accurate news as quickly as is expected on social media. This puts more responsibility in the hands of the public and readers to check more than one source for the truth in the news.

Termination by Twitter

By Nicolette Perry, aspiring journalist

All it takes is one; one post, one tweet, one share to get a phenomenon started and once it hits the ground running, there’s no stopping it. The #ALSIceBucketChallenge took the world by storm in a matter of weeks. No one understood exactly how it got started. Yet they found themselves participating in the icy challenge sooner or later. The awareness surrounding the #ALSIceBucketChallenge is all thanks to a little thing called social media.

Take Twitter for example. It definitely has its pros and cons. One major pro, as demonstrated through the viral #ALSIceBucketChallenge, is that Twitter has the ability to reach millions of people in a short amount of time. That right there is the basis for why journalists love to use Twitter. If a major story is developing, they have the ability to send out 140 characters of details to update their loyal followers as it’s happening. Social media has gotten so big that now, many employers hire people who specifically run checks on employees to make sure their online image is clean and respectful, which leads me to the cons of Twitter. (I promise I’m getting to the ethical aspect of all this, just stay with me).

Sometimes we tweet without even thinking twice about it. What may seem funny to me could be taken completely out of context from someone who stumbles upon my tweet. Next thing you know, my tweet spreads like wildfire and I find myself without a job. Just like that. Sometimes it’s considered a just termination, other times its not, which begs the question: What degree of access should employers have over social media?

Personally, I think employers should have limited access to their employees’ social media. I completely understand checking Facebook and Twitter to make sure an employee is professional both inside and outside the office, because each and every employee is a representative of the company. However, too many times people get wrongfully terminated over things that have nothing to do with their job. Damian Goddard is one example of this sort of situation. Goddard is a Canadian sports reporter who was fired after a tweet he sent regarding gay marriage.

Goddard

It has nothing to do with his career, but yet Goddard finds himself being served a pink slip.

Right now, companies have too much power when it comes to regulating the social media usage of their employees. Twitter doesn’t have to be all business all the time. Part of the fun of social media is sharing ridiculous things, like that amount of people dumping ice water on themselves in order to raise awareness.

Where do we draw the line between regulating and controlling?