Free Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet Essay Sample
In the interview Solove feels concerned and alarmed by the increasing freedom that allow individuals to use the internet in the social sites. He agrees that the freedom of expression is necessary especially in this democratic era but internet users are writing information on these social sites and involve information about their personal lives like information about family members, school life, places of work ,about their bosses, teachers and friends. The habit of sharing personal information on line compromises the freedom of privacy which an every one is entitled to. According to Solove the internet user write personal information of other people without any restrictions or without seeking permission first and this action ends up damaging reputation of the victims which in most cases irreversible.
He suggest that legislation that allows the victims of such free sharing of personal information easier to sue the libel and violation of their privacy and damages caused as well as to remove protection for owners who facilitate wide open speech. In my opinion I think that Solove's idea is biased because such freedom to share information without restriction is very acceptable especially when considering the fact that the likes of the professor and other public speakers no longer hold the power to protecting themselves from ridicule that results from their poor performance and weaknesses. With the use of social sites the users are mostly individuals who in the recent past never had a voice to complain about issue affecting them now have chance to contribute to riding them completely.
For instance if a teacher does something that his student think is socially unacceptable then sharing it online will help attract attention from the public which in turn leads to correction of the vice and to me I think the freedom of expression upholds in this case more than the freedom to privacy. Free use of social sides has shifted balance of powers in to the hands of the less represented population which is the youth who have been for long time been denied their freedom to contribute to the development of their societal values.
Introducing the libel laws and the communication decency act on the internet use could be a provocative decision as it leads to shutting down of a large amount of information which is very essential considering the real world issues that are facing the human society. Internet users will fear sharing of sensitive information because of the legal expense that comes with defending speech especially in the absence of bright line right and regulations.
Solove in his book also attributes the use of internet to permanence of damaged reputation resulting from what he terms internet shaming as such information leaves a permanent record which is not made by professional but rather groups of vigilantes who upload them based on personal commendations. In this idea he only argues on the basis of social norms regarding privacy without considering other implications that the internet use brings to the society so in my own opinion his justification of introducing laws for promoting personal freedom to privacy is narrowly discussed.
Solove also recommend that information shared over internet should be classified in to either informative or entertaining hence it will be easy to control the non commercial information while allowing the commercial type to be shared freely. Such opinion to me will be difficult to implement given the current state of the courts, categorizing information as to whether it is informative and its use in for educational purposes used or not is hard, most judicial systems are not equipped well to handle such issue as definition varies with societies considering the global extent of the internet use hence it appears to be more of a theory than a reality. Finally with this digital generation where non-credentialed citizen journalism and era of media fragmentation, information; reducing the amount of information makes the stories less credible hence freedom of privacy acts to limit the reality of issues being faced by the society.