Can New Media help/bypass Cultural Problems?

February 2, 2009

Some of the New Media brought this distressing post on Stifling Dissent to my attention today. It made me wonder if the twitter/yammer/Facebook/insert-new-medium-of-your-choice options we all have for communicating now will have an impact on the whole issue of people not speaking up.

While anonymity is not really possible on twitter or yammer, this wordpress blog allows comments to be posted, and there’s no requirement that anyone signing up for the level of service that lets you comment has to put in a Real Legal TraceableOMGyourbossisgoingtokillyou Name, the mere fact that it is possible to not be immediately identifiable when making a comment should be a brake release at least for some people.

With other media out there being put to use by conscientious people concerned for the safety of those flying and those on the ground it is my personal bet that sooner or later we’ll have a situation where someone posts an objection without being immediately identifiable and there will be a big to-do about it. Because as Mr. Hale’s blog shows, a policy of openness and receptivity to criticism doesn’t make it so, and as long as people fear consequences and can hope someone else “with more pull” will speak up, voices will still be stifled.

With these New Media we may face security concerns, credibility issues, gossip and the myriad other problems that come with free publication (who believes Everything they read on the Internet, anyway?) of ideas, in this one arena it may prove out that much is forgiven if even one life is saved by some sneaky, pusillanimous poster making a point that needs to be made where the right person sees it.


6 Responses to “Can New Media help/bypass Cultural Problems?”

  1. mpfinneran Says:

    Melissa I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying. I posted Wayne Hale’s blog and video. Are there some comments or something I don’t know about?

  2. mpfinneran Says:

    Anyway one more thought M – I have second thoughts about many of my posts. It’s not a happy feeling!

  3. Melissa (Dorsey) McDowell Says:

    I saw the blog and video in Yammer, but not here, did I miss a thread?

    My point was only that by giving people a dozen back doors of communication we might wind up getting the real messages that are needed delivered, directly or in a roundabout manner, while allowing people to feel safer doing so. That’s a…

  4. Melissa (Dorsey) McDowell Says:

    er. all. my bad.

  5. mpfinneran Says:

    Got it. To answer the headline of your post, the answer IMHO is “YES!!”

  6. Melissa (Dorsey) McDowell Says:

    This interaction is, however, an illustration of how people get to the same place from different sets of directions! And the resultant possibility for confusion.

    We’ll work it out somehow!


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