Policing the new media
If you’ve been anywhere near the news this week you can’t have avoided the furore over the hacker that published nude pictures of, among others, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence.
The general feeling, in the media and online, has been one of outrage – amid many comments on the appalling behaviour of some digital users and their attitude to people’s rights to privacy.
But what continues to emerge again and again is the need to legislate to protect people on the internet.
Traditional media is generally well policed – something which has seen Andy Coulson among others put behind bars for behaving in unacceptable ways.
However policing the digital sphere is an international concern and something that international legislature is struggling to keep up with.
Twitter users are only just coming around to the idea that they are publishing in their own right and now need to have a basic level awareness of things such as libel and copyright – issues that trained journalists know inside out.
And the sheer volume of malicious comments that appear online would make policing in the same way as printed or broadcast media nigh on impossible.
While no clear-cut solution exists, and many of the freedoms the internet offers are laudable, the comments and postings of some are more than nasty – they are downright illegal and need to be stopped.
That is why everyone needs to stay on top of digital development, and frankly media law, once confined to media training courses, should become integrated into all digital users’ consciousness