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Social media and broadcasting standards

News: 25 July 2017

New Zealanders want broadcasters to ask permission before using their social media content

New Zealanders’ attitudes to their personal social media content and their expectations about how broadcasters can use it, are revealed in new research commissioned by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The research is the first of its kind to explore whether broadcasters are held to a higher standard by the public when it comes to publishing or republishing social media content. The finding is, they are.

The research found that, while New Zealanders are savvy about social media and understand that it may form part of the internet public highway, they believe broadcasters should observe strict privacy standards when considering using individuals’ social media content.

Despite a strong information-sharing culture, members of the public do not consider that broadcasters can just take any social media content and use it in the broadcasting context. The public expect that social media content will generally remain in the context in which it was published. In some cases, the public interest may justify the republication of social media content in broadcasting. But issues of consent and privacy are core concerns that need to be addressed.

‘Based on these findings, we see an opportunity to work with broadcasters to develop guidance about how and when to republish social media content that might affect personal rights,’ Broadcasting Standards Authority Chief Executive, Belinda Moffat said.

The research is also relevant to a wide range of organisations that all grapple with issues relating to social media.

‘The research provides insights into how New Zealanders are thinking and their expectations. It offers a starting point for conversations that we believe are urgent,’ Ms Moffat says.

The research found:

Social media users

· Kiwis have different motivations for capturing and sharing social media content – eg keeping in touch, relationship maintenance, expanding networks.

· Different types of users can be described as Entertainers, Cautious Observers, Attention Seekers, Caring Connectors, for example. Or in another model, Lurkers, Socialisers, Debaters.

· Social media behaviour is increasingly motivated by publication.

Read the report here.

Updated on 26th July 2017