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Blog No. 14

Transparency, with regard to media, has to do with the way in which the media is portrayed to the public and deals with why the media portrays it as such. The issue of transparency, especially with regard to social media, is important in that we as users and consumers of social media are aware of how our information is being used. For instance, in our textbook, Pavlik and McIntosh make reference to an incident that occurred in 2009 with Facebook. The social networking site changed their privacy policy, claiming to own the rights to essentially all content posted by Facebook users. This caused a severe backlash by Facebook users and even elicited a threat by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It is because of instances like this that many companies object to transparency for the reason that, “transparency often works against strategy making and planning by companies, as they do not want to give away secrets to competitors” (Pavlik & McIntosh, 2011, p. 276).

            While I believe that the issue of transparency is important in both the online and offline world, I think that it is especially important in the former. For instance, information is able to be distributed far more easily online than offline, meaning that delicate information can be shared at a much faster rate, which may put many at risk for exploitation.

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