Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Ethics in today’s social media world

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LINE and an assortment of other social media platforms and blogs have transformed the way news is managed worldwide, enabling news outlets to be more in tune with their readership, while also allowing them to offload their ethics and other responsibilities toward their communities.

Social media tip-offs have become a foundation for community news, ranging from the public outrage of seeing Rihanna with a slow loris in Phuket to boats being busted for allegedly dumping oil off Phi Phi Don.

The platforms allow the community to help focus news agencies on what is most important and most interesting to the community at large. They also help identify what is ‘news’. Nails found in the biking lanes at Saphin Hin (story here) and pebbles scattered in the local Phuket Town skate park (story here) can become news stories through social media momentum. If enough people in the community care, it will end up on an editor’s desk.

These platforms provide easy, direct links to the teams of editors and reporters creating and publishing community news. A simple piece of evidence, such as a picture or video captured on a mobile device – which are now as common as opinions about beach chairs in Phuket – is all it takes to spark a fire for change on the island.

However, social media can also cut deeply in a more negative way.

The pattern is familiar and the pitfalls dangerous: a single photograph or video goes viral locally, generating a buzz within our readership, and a story is produced. The story follows a pattern similar to that used by news giants like CNN and BBC: “Public outrage is mounting this evening after a video went viral on Facebook…”

The pitfall is that the news item is in fact nothing more than public reaction to something, allowing media agencies to avoid verifying the validity of the catalyst. That verification process is what makes quality news expensive to groom for presentation. However, it is also the value added by a media company to a story. Access to officials, and the ability to elicit responses from those in different levels of power, are the quid pro quo of any responsible purveyor of news

As CNN noted earlier this year: “Intentionally or not, the latest round of misleading stories making viral waves has made it harder to tell truth from fiction.” There are untold numbers of keyboard warriors creating bait-and-click scenarios to drive traffic to their websites, some doing it as a game to see how far they can string along the media – and the world.

The fact that Phuket officials had to step in just a few years ago to put down rumors on social media that the island – yes, Phuket – was about to pull an Atlantis and sink into the Andaman is difficult to digest.

As Gazette columnist Simon Wetherell points out each week in our ‘Business Buzz’, social media can be very easy to manipulate, allowing people with ulterior motives to work the public in a way that forces the hands of local media.

As we navigate this new world of media as readers, it becomes more and more necessary to draw lines between those sources we trust because they refuse to shrug off their ethical duties, and those that are simply cashing in on headlines more cunning than truthful.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Vietnam8 hours ago

Ho Chi Minh launches 3-stage reopening plan, international on January 1

Kanchanaburi9 hours ago

Border shacks to be demolished for aiding Burmese immigrants

Tourism10 hours ago

Tourism calls for Russia and India to be added to safe list

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Economy11 hours ago

Bank of Thailand plans real-world test of digital currency in 2022

Hua Hin11 hours ago

Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

Chiang Mai12 hours ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 infections swell ahead of reopening

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Koh Samui13 hours ago

Thailand’s bars and beach parties remain strictly closed (cough)

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Covid-19 Sunday: Deaths fall to low of 56, provincial data

Tourism14 hours ago

Ministry of Foreign Affairs sings praises of Thailand Pass

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Covid-19 in prison: outbreaks from overcrowding now subsiding

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Covid-19 deaths receding, but still here; 1 month old baby dies

Crime1 day ago

Van packed with 39 illegal burmese workers stopped in Phichit

Vietnam1 day ago

Vietnam to test reopening starting with Phu Quoc Island

World1 day ago

Chinese law to limit homework and tutoring pressure on kids

Bangkok1 day ago

Thai man takes grandfather hostage in Bangkok standoff

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending