4 Replies to “Authentic According to Whom?”

  1. That’s a great Bruner quote upfront! It is very helpful to pick apart what part of “authentic” is part of the process of authority.

    Also, thanks for bringing up the points about how records of social media are being mobilized and deployed as evidence against particular communities. This opens up some really significant ethics questions relating to collecting, preserving and providing access to content.

  2. Hi Mallory,

    I agree with Trevor and am really glad you mentioned the tweet from the Bergis Jules article about police threatening to use twitter images for prosecution of people who were rioting. I agree with you that while looting and destruction of property is hardly ever justified, the underlying feeling of the police or any other government authority using your own materials against you is troubling. Particularly when sometimes these types of documentation are the only way for their voices to be heard. We are all well aware by now that we should view everything we put on the internet as public. But does that give others the right to curate that information, whether it’s an archive or law enforcement? Most of the time I would agree with law enforcement using publically available evidence to prosecute crimes, but when there is a drastic imbalance in power and privilege, I worry that the marginalized communities will be targeted unfairly.

    1. I agree with you on feeling uneasy about how law enforcement chooses to use social media as evidence, who they use it against. My gut reaction is generally to side with law enforcement on this, but I think it’s such a potentially tricky issue that we need to have a much larger discussion on the topic. I would to see our legislators get out ahead of this (although, at this point it’s probably too late) and try to discuss and consider the use of social media as related but separate issue to the private and public speech. I don’t know enough about it, but there should be a discussion on the expectation of use and intent when considering these kinds of situations. Freebies for law enforcement from people expressing themselves seems to go against what this country stands for.

    2. Sarah,

      Thanks for your comment, and I completely agree with you that we should be concerned for the fate of marginalized communities when it comes to this topic. And like Trevor mentioned, the ethical element in regards to collecting, preserving, and providing access to the content is a major consideration. If the authorities are successful in using the social media to prosecute the minorities, what happens to the content after they are finished with it? Does it disappear on a forgotten hard drive where no one will ever see it? Would the community from which it came even want to provide access to it, knowing that it affected them in a negative way? I don’t know the answers to these questions because I’m not a member of law enforcement and I am not a minority, but I think these are important questions to consider, especially when it comes to preserving the digital content.

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