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Phuket Opinion: Shirking social responsibility

Years ago, as a young cadet reporter, I attended a horrific road accident. Eager to do my job well, I leapt from my car, camera in hand, and began snapping shots of emergency workers desperately trying to extract the severely injured passengers (mortally injured, as it turned out – a woman and her two young children).

opinion, crime, death, murder, violence, technology,

The Phuket News

Sunday 30 April 2017, 09:00AM

Social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter are scrambling to deal with their new role as gatekeepers,  but unlike the former media model the responses are, at least for the time being, reactive not proactive. Photo: Brian Solis
Social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter are scrambling to deal with their new role as gatekeepers, but unlike the former media model the responses are, at least for the time being, reactive not proactive. Photo: Brian Solis

Once the initial rush of adrenaline subsided a sense of ghoulishness crept over me and settled uneasily in the pit of my stomach. As everyone else was running around, purposeful in their actions, I was relegated to the role of voyeur. They’ve got their job to do, and I’ve got mine, I told myself.

Throughout my career as a journalist and editor, that uneasy sense has arisen time and time again, when confronted by gruesome photos and videos – in the raw – and being responsible for deciding what should be made public and what should not.

The role of journalists and editors as gatekeepers of this kind of material has diminished rapidly in the era of social-media and smartphones. A case in point is the recent video of a young man in Phuket killing his infant daughter, which he posted on Facebook before killing himself – it attracted over 250,000 views before Facebook acted on the Thai Government’s takedown request.

Laguna Phuket Marathon 2017

This modern phenomenon gives rise to countless questions about censorship and the stewardship of the media technology which has given everyone, not just media professionals, the ability to both view and disseminate images of the dark realities of life instantly and with few constraints.

Social media behemoths like Facebook and Twitter are scrambling to deal with their new role as gatekeepers, but unlike the former media model the responses are, at least for the time being, reactive not proactive. They claim that they are merely service providers and not responsible for what people post on their social media. But this is belied by the fact that they promptly respond to requests, by both governments and individuals, to censor content on their services.

Given the crucial role these private corporations play in the modern media, and the fact that they can censor content without reason or explanation, we must demand more from them than technocratic “we’re just a service” platitudes. We must vet them in their role as the new gatekeepers and ensure they inform their policies and actions with reference to the best civic and ethical ideals of their forbears.



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Jor12 | 28 May 2017 - 23:50:46

Capt B...great story, full of inaccuracies and innuendo obviously straight from the anarchist's blog. For example, "Jon Corzine stole clients' money" - plainly wrong. Investigations were carried by U.S. attorney’s offices, the F.B.I., the S.E.C., the C.F.T.C., Finra and Congress. None of these investigations have led to allegations that Mr. Corzine engaged in any kind of intentional misconduct or fraud. How do your offbeat "comments" relate to the ideas in the article of "shirking social responsibility"?

The publication of your comments, are curiously at odds with what the article is about. On the one hand, it suggests journalists are the gatekeepers of what should disclosed to the public, yet is being eroded the era of social-media and smartphones. Most of comments here are unadulterated garbage, meaning journalists don't give a rat's a.. about what is written.

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Capt B | 05 May 2017 - 12:55:52

You've Seen It

The problems that caused the original world wide financial crisis a few years ago are still rampant. And with no real way to combat them, global governments have done what any family would do: They're protecting their own. (You need to do the same for yourself.)

Politicians, bankers, and the executives that form the “Bottomfeeder Club” have self-serving and unspoken alliances. You and I will never be a part of it — and they are using their influence to make us their insurance policy.

That's why instead of bailing out the middle class, trillions have been spent bailing out banks and corporations.

Have you seen any benefits from that?

That's only one way they've protected their own while leaving you vulnerable.

You see, these men see the writing on the wall. They drew up the plans for it, after all. And now that it's run out of control, they've gone into protective mode, caring only about themselves at all costs...

This is why Jon Corzine stole clients' money.

This is why Zuckerberg and his banking underwriters took the money and ran from the Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) IPO, leaving the common folks holding the bag, as always.

It's why HSBC laundered money for drug cartels, terrorists, and rogue states.

It's why Barclays, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citibank, and Deutsche Bank conspired to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), controlling the “free market” of $360 trillion worth of loans and financial contracts worldwide.

These things erode your way of life, your purchasing power, and your ability to succeed financially.

Not only are they aware of this — it's their goal. Zuckerberg sees all you Facebook suckers as his meal ticket.

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Capt B | 02 May 2017 - 09:10:22

Journalists generally do a good job. They should all go to North Korea to get the real story for us all.
Social Media: --- The best thing the Thai Government could do to improve the Thai Economy & Thai People would be to "Ban Facebook" & remove it from Thai Internet Access. 

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