The twitterisation of society continues apace. US covert action and super-injunctions have found themselves outed on the ubiquitous chatter blog. There seems no escape from it. Indeed, many of you will have come to this blog via that channel. It all seems very new, as if the foundations of traditional communications are being rocked. The reality is that society has always been pretty prurient, on the one hand, whilst on the other, many people have had plenty of reasons to want to keep certain things secret. There’s always been gossip, and there’s always been a need for privacy. In reality, I’m not sure that there is an answer that satisfies all parties. I certainly have no definitive view point. Actually, I’m quite enjoying watching the doyens of the media, legal profession and the blogosphere arguing the equivalent of the number of angels that can fit on a pin head.
Now I’m not intending to belittle the real harm that can be done to individuals and their families from private matters becoming public. Nor am under-estimating the real value that can come from transparency. But I do believe that it is all about context. I think that many people are looking at this matter from the wrong angle. It is a fact that the number of injunctions (super or otherwise) is pretty small. On the other hand the benefits of sharing information, of encouraging dialogue, and of collaborating and co-creating, whether by blog, micro-blogs or “traditional” methods is something so beneficial to society that we mustn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
The prurient will always be with us. But in the end rather than focus on negative issues such as the shenanigans of here-today-gone-tomorrow sports stars we would be better served by talking about how to use new channels to encourage real dialogue that can help shape our society for the better.