Ask Before You Snap'n'Post

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

One of the areas where the lovely Lorna and I tend to disagree is in the whole Web 2.0, life-lived-in-public thing. At her request, the majority of the pictures of my wife that go up on the internet go under some form of privacy protection, such as that on Flickr or Vox.

Camera PhoneWhy?

Well, Dave Winer, of all people, actually sums up her point fairly well:

My request: If you point a camera at someone, ask for permission before you start recording, and if they say no, don’t turn it on, smile and say “No problem.”

Yes, it’s just a case of good manners, and respecting people who you’re interacting with. Increasingly, I’m thinking it’s going to become good etiquette to behave like this, especially for people you know, and people in semi-private places, like parties and conference.

Public spaces are more challenging – and then there’s the whole issue of candid photography. But, if our relationships are to survive this new age of image and video sharing, asking before posting is probably the way to go in a significant percentage of cases.

On the other hand, it’s possible that we’re all just going to have to get used to being recorded at any time in any place…

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.