The #tweetdebate of last Friday was interesting and it involved the gray area between the legal and ethical boundaries ! The main issue of the debate was that Kantipur, in it’s Friday special (Hello Shukrabar), was publishing unauthorized twitter posts, that were not meant for wider circulation.
I appreciate the journalists of Kantipur who took their time to answer few of the questions. It was in stark contrast to my previous experience of getting a third-grade-citizen-like treatments. Although they never answered the main questions raised in the debate it was a step in the positive direction.
One of the Twitter user sent me this cut of the Kantipur’s publication to explain why he is against them publishing tweets of a general public.
To answer the questions asked on the picture above:
- Photos can be published to identify a person (if it is of low quality and if available in public domain). So, legally Kantipur can publish the photo with the tweet. Ethically, it is not fair to publish photos of unsuspecting people, without asking.
- When the name of one user was published, it doesn’t make any sense to remove the name of another user. The other user @aakarpost hasn’t locked his twitter either. So, I can’t answer the second question. (refer the following image for the original post)
- To answer the third question, I also couldn’t understand the meaning of that tweet. It was after searching Team Viewer (yes, English word only), in Google I could get the idea of what @pPvaT was talking about. If the editors of Kantipur have assumed that their readers are smart enough, I have nothing to say.
Then there was a complaint that Kantipur was translating (without explicitly mentioning) tweets before publishing. I searched for a few previous tweets and found a tweet that was translated to make it sound as if its writer, Azrull Masnam, himself has written it in Nepali. A truthful journalist would never do such an alteration (and, don’t tell about it).
Two Kantipur journalists Aashish Luitel (@ashishluitel) and Dinesh Wagle (@wagle) who answered the questions raised by the debate, ignored my questions regarding these issue. May be, they don’t have any answers. Or a BIG may be, I am “INCOMPETENT in my own field.”
@Wagle, thanks for not listening to the following questions:
- Tweetdebate website – debate summary and letter to Kantipur
- Twitter users’ discussions – A long tweet of Anish, Bhumika Ghimire‘s Twitter silliness and Kantipur, Ushaft‘s rights and responsibility, My previous post on taking Twitter of granted.
UPDATE: Nobody raised question when they started this section in Kantipur (part of it is posted below). It was decent, nice, and to the point. It didn’t do anybody any harms. It was a good start (I support such publications) but, it seems, it was misguided later.