Concerns were raised about efforts in Europe and the UK to tackle online hate and harassment, including by making social media platforms more transparent. As US writer Mathew Ingram reported in the Columbia Journalism Review, there was a risk of inhibiting free speech. Note that US law gives greater latitude on free speech, which is protected in the Constitution.
Twitter declined to take down inaccurate tweets from the far-right hate group Britain First that had been retweeted by Donald Trump, citing public interest. A BBC writer said Twitter gave no explanation of what it meant by “public interest”. Read more
Media ethics is usually seen to be concerned with the conduct of journalists and those who employ them and publish their work. But does it also extend to the conduct of those who attack them – and the social media companies that facilitate such attacks?
Pictures and information may be considered private even if posted on sites such as Facebook, says new guidance from the Independent Press Standards Organisation on sourcing material from social media. It highlights issues of accuracy, privacy, children and grief under the Editors’ Code. Read the full guidance, with case studies and examples of rulings, here.
Media organisations had to make difficult ethical decisions about whether to publish potentially distressing images from the March 2017 attack on Parliament. Social media has changed the debate, with some members of the public not exercising restraint, says Press Gazette. Read more
Advertisers on Facebook are able to identify gay users through their clicking history even where their sexual status is private and they have viewed only non-sexual content, researchers have found. They say it raises concerns over privacy. Read more
Parody and pastiche involve copying someone else’s creative work to some extent, which should breach copyright law. That in itself would infringe the human rights of the person making the parody. But as of 2014, English law allows an exemption for parody as long as certain tests are met, according to the website Keep Calm and Talk About Law. Read more