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Eavesdropping

No this isn’t a post about Big Brother or anything like that (sorry to disappoint). It’s either a larger or smaller scale issue than that depending on your perspective.

I often kept a quote book in college. Yeah I’m a nerd. But most conversations I took the quotes from were ones I was having with others, and they never went outside of the lines pages of my grungy personal journal…unless it happened in a yearbook meeting (yeah, I was also a yearbook nerd get over it). Now that I look back a those pages, I almost wish I had made them into a blog or something (more people would probably read that than a computer ethic blog). But then again, a few things have come across my iPad screen that have caused me to think again about those feelings.

There are a few Instagram sites that have come to my attention recently that offer bits of conversations overheard in public places as featured entertainment. A kind of quote book, but much more public. Now I follow the one that I am going to share with you from an article on Design Taxi I read and it is pretty funny. Human conversations are often odd to eavesdrop on. But I was contemplating the ethics of such behavior. Do you think it is ethical to post pieces of “out of context” conversations for entertainment? Even if the person isn’t aware you’re going to do it?

Think about it. Most of what you say, you think is pretty secure. People assume no one is paying attention to the things they say in public places because their agendas are their own, but if we look deeper into the matter, perhaps we are a little too quick to enjoy what seems to be entertainment, when in actuality it is a kind of invasion of privacy.

But then again, if NSA does it, why can’t we?

I consider it this way even…is this not only a privacy issue, but also an intellectual property issue. If the words are not your own, does the person saying them have intellectual property or do you for publishing them as “original works” against the terms of agreement on Instagram? Mind you, not everyone posts original work as they ought to, but that in and of its self is an issue of privacy. Or further, is this a form of online bullying? Perhaps the work isn’t considered harmful or wasn’t posted to be intentionally so, but some of the things posted are going to receive backlash of some kind or another right? The “curator” isn’t going to have complete control over what viewers comment or say, or even if they do, they may not be able to keep up with the volume of comments to regulate what is actually being said that could potentially be harmful.

Perhaps I’m over thinking this?

Thoughts?