Tuesday, March 13, 2007

On Social Networking Sites

In this article from The Washington Post, we find that social networking sites have a problem in dealing with libel.

About one-third of the searches yielded content used to deny a job, the survey said. The legal hiring market is very competitive. What could tip the balance is the appearance that a candidate is a lightning rod for controversy, said Mark Rasch, a Washington lawyer and consultant who specializes in Internet issues.

If I understand that above quote properly, I feel the need to ask why people still love Ann Coulter. Wouldn’t her countless bouts of controversy all but eliminate her standing as a legal expert? I guess this is why she is a professional pundit. But, I still digress; I would not find it unimaginable if at some time in the future, a Republican candidate or congressperson would seek her legal counsel on something.

So, this is my conclusion: controversy is bad for a new hire. But, if you’re a pundit and controversy makes money for your or your publisher, then well, say whatever you want. However, another caveat… The person who was damaged in the Washington Post story had things written about her; it’s not like the firms who didn’t hire her weren’t happy with something that she wrote. Yet another example of why I continue to be wary of social networking sites in how they’re used, who uses them, and how they’re treated as truth machines (For example, Wikipedia).
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