Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Privacy parts

You've probably read about Giuliani's daughter Caroline joining a Barack Obama group on Facebook. You've probably also read about the privacy debate that has followed. Here's a blog article that Ben links to in his latest post. What I'll say refers to this article, so you might want to read a few paragraphs of it.

I agree that reporters are vultures and usually overstep bounds. But when your father's the former mayor of NYC and decides to run for president, you should know that someone's gonna see the information you choose to post publicly on Facebook. Yeah, Facebook used to be just open to people from your school, but now it's open to the public. Get with it, teenagers! Facebook is public. Anyone can say they're from your city and join your network. Is this what it takes for everyone to learn a lesson? Nevermind if your father's a public figure. If Caroline Giuliani needs a point of reference, she only need ask the Bush girls.

Also, regarding the author of that article... anyone who makes such huge sweeping generalizations and unintelligent value judgments ("trust me, this is the stereotypical blonde," just as one of many examples) makes it really difficult for me to get on board with anything he or she is saying. Okay, so Caldwell doesn't come across that great in her interview with CNN. (Ben has the video posted here.) How about blaming CNN for interviewing Caldwell -- and even worse, for conducting the interview the way they did? Yikes. But that shouldn't have anything to do with the argument about privacy. There are plenty of substantial, convincing points whoever wrote that article could have made.

Article aside, this entire debate bothers me for a few reasons. So here are my condensed thoughts. 1) Yes, reporters suck. 2) Be glad your family members aren't politicians. 3) If your parents DO become politicians, that means you all fall under the rules for public figures, which are different than the rules for other citizens (yes, seriously, public figures and regular citizens have different legal protection under libel and slander laws). Should people be respectful? Yes. Does she deserve some privacy? Okay, but that's not really the issue.

The real privacy issue here is that whatever anyone posts on Facebook isn't private in the first place. That's the lesson we all should learn from this media circus.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I'm Drunk and Naked on MySpace! Plus, more great reasons you can never run for office. Also, are teens insanely boring? -Mark Morford

I love his columns. This doesn't exactly have to do with the topic but I don't really disagree with you enough to post anything worthwhile.