This small comment, in the middle of an article discussing Facebook privacy, explains what’s actually lost when certain spruikers (you know who I mean) expand their hyperbole and ‘puffery’ into potentially misleading claims … and then their offerings disappoint repeatedly, as in the case of some whose activities I have highlighted here.
“They’ve lost the users’ trust. That’s the problem,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group. “In the earlier days, there was time to regain it. It’s not so clear now. I think it’s getting more serious than making changes and moving on.”
T R U S T
As they used to say about Bill Clinton: One’s repeated behaviour reveals one’s character.
Some people advocate a world without criticism or ‘negative’ comments … about anyone.
‘Why are you so mean?’ they ask the critic. ‘Why do you say such negative things?’ or ‘Why can’t you just live and let live?’
Look, when it comes to personal relationships, I get it. I do. But even in those, there are times when the best thing to do is hammer someone on what they’re repeatedly doing or not doing. Unpleasant as that may be. There are times when you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.
And as my hero Rachel Maddow tried to do with Rand Paul a while back, there are times when a prolonged sceptical probing spotlight exploring someone’s professed position vs reality is actually the right and best thing you can do. That’s not being ‘negative’ in my view. It’s being responsible. (And if you believe they present a danger to you or others, or that they are acting in a predatory way, why shut up?)
In a case of ‘You can take the journo out of the newsroom but you can’t take the newsroom out of the journo’, one of the ongoing themes of this blog is Whistle-blowers (39 posts and counting) — I’m encouraged by people who courageously speak up in the face of what they see as doubtful or wrong behaviour. I see it as a litmus test of their character.
It takes guts to make yourself a target for retaliation and retribution for the sake of principle.
I applaud them for standing up and following their conscience. Kia kaha. – P