said 1 year, 2 months ago:
This is a very interesting topic, and one where discussion should be on-topic and respectful. I don’t see why anyone should get riled up about the topic – it needs to be addressed, and as far as I’m concerned, as with other legal and ethical issues, we all just need to engage in a productive debate that will produce the best results we can at this time and the results will be changed as time passes to account for what works, what doesn’t work, what needs to be added or removed because the subject matter itself had changed, etc.
As we discuss this issue, we need to all remember that some of the problems created are due to something never before experienced in human history – the exponential growth of knowledge, doubling, tripling, quadrupling at rates heretofore unthinkable.
As to the point you raise about reporters and spin, both public figures and private individuals have legal recourse under the very limited exceptions to the First Amendment Right to Free Speech, and via other privacy-based torts (e.g., false light). And I think writers of any type of original content should have the same legal recourse.
And, I think Curators and Aggregators should also have rights; after all, they are the ones that also contribute to the database of knowledge by putting in efforts to seek out various types of information and make that knowledge available to others who don’t have the time to do so themselves.
I think your comment very acutely raises the question of whether the “Original Source” is actually credited. The problem arises in particular when the degrees of separation are so far apart from the original source (e.g., due to multiple curations, aggregations, retweets. etc), that the origination point is no longer credited or no longer can be identified.
Also, with regard to written material in specific and to spoken materials (e.g., speeches), we are all well aware that various professions and even non-professionals (e.g., college students) have standards for citing their source material within the content of their own document and failure to do so is considered plagiarism. Why should the standard be less for the internet? In fact, I think the issue is arising now for the very reason that Social Media Marketing has become a “profession” and like other professions, most notably law, there needs to be rules of professional conduct and laws, rules, ethical guidelines, etc. that govern this “new” profession.
Years ago, as the internet started to really take off, and, as usual, the law lagged behind the rapidly changing ephemeral web, there was a huge debate about the “Web Police.” Internet laws were made and the outcry about the internet police has turned out to be a nonissue. Internet Law is still a growing field, and with the creation of a new profession within a vastly different inchoate form, the time has come to do what we have always done with professions and the subject matter of those professions.
Just as the Industrial Revolution vastly changed our culture and new laws and standards that are now just matter-of-fact to us were created to address the unforeseeable consequences of the Industrial Revolution. Web 2.0 is another revolution that needs to be addressed in the same way. That’s the nature of history, culture, people, economics, and the law.