Case Study 7: Live-tweeting

18 Mar

I’ve never thought about live-tweeting a conversation I’ve happened to overhear. But I have thought about sharing such a conversation later on with friends; in fact, I’m sure I’ve done so on more than one occasion.

I find the case of Andy Boyle’s scrupulous documentation of the breakup of strangers amusing more than anything else. It’s really not that different than overhearing an a funny conversation and repeating it later to friends. The couple was in a public place having a loud discussion, and when that happens, are people just supposed to cover their ears? Pretend they can’t hear and understand what’s going on? Maybe. But not everyone thinks like that, and clearly, Andy Boyle doesn’t. He saw an opportunity to capture true-to-life absurdity and ran with it. He knew his followers would find this encounter amusing, so he shared it. He just happened to do it in real time. 

The question of ethics, for me, lies in whether he should have tweeted the photos and audio of the couple without consulting them. I still think he’s within his rights to take the photos and audio because the couple is in public, but I don’t think he should have. The story is told in such a way that he doesn’t really need that kind of evidence to back it up, anyway; I could see the situation unfolding in my head just fine. Besides, I think it’s more interesting when the couple remains anonymous. People can apply their own ideas about who they think these people are. 

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2 Responses to “Case Study 7: Live-tweeting”

  1. Ronald R. Rodgers March 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Good – but where is link to your own Twitter story?

  2. Ronald R. Rodgers March 21, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    OK- I found story.

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