Social Media and the Value of Truth

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9780739174128: Social Media and the Value of Truth
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Social media is ubiquitous. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube, the blogosphere, and Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games, people have plugged into numerous online venues for social, intellectual, and leisure activities. The pervasiveness of social media calls for ethical reflection, and one of the most pertinent values at stake is that of truth. Current figures estimate there are more than 1 billion social media users worldwide with the ability to connect with people who share similar interests, to present themselves as experts on anything and everything no matter their qualifications, and to contribute the types of factual information formerly limited to professional communication outlets such as news agencies. It’s this wide-ranging definition of truth that demands evaluation of the myriad ways social media affect society. This volume does just that by collecting insights from leading experts in the communication and philosophy disciplines as they examine a variety of issues related to the value of truth in the realm of social media.

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About the Author:

Berrin Beasley is associate professor of communication at the University of North Florida. Dr. Beasley works in the areas of media ethics, the media's portrayal of women, and journalism history. Her research has been published in numerous journals and books.

Mitchell Haney is associate professor of philosophy and a director of the Florida Blue Center for Ethics at the University of North Florida. Dr. Haney works in the areas of Business Ethics, Ethics of Leisure, and Ethical Theory. His research has been published nationally and internationally. His is the co-editor (with A. David Kline) of The Value of Time and Leisure in a World of Work (Lexington, 2010).

Review:

In the blizzard of work on the new social media, this learned book is indispensable. Luminary contributors from philosophy and communications know how to make an argument and clarify ideas. They judge virtual reality by the truth principle, and their smart thinking on it makes this provocative book distinctive. While lucid on social network technologies, the authors teach us that authentic living is central. (Clifford G. Christians, University of Illinois)

Berrin Beasely and Mitch Haney’s edited book, Social Media and the Value of Truth, involves existential reflection for the 21st century. This collection of essays opens our minds and bodies to think about the nature of truth, experience, the self, and the other in a fast-paced, unreflective, instantaneous, and inescapably deceptive environment of the socially mediated virtual metaverse in which we make our home. This edited volume is a must read for students and scholars interested in understanding our environment philosophically; it aims at cultivating phronesis and praxis for living in a complex world driven by social media and where we find ourselves embedded with others. (Annette M. Holba, Plymouth State University)

Whereas Socrates and Aristotle desired firsthand peripatetic conversations with the Athenian hoi polloi, members of the contemporary world seemingly prefer to wander the virtual meta-verse as a clandestine avatar unbound by moral or social norms. In Social Media and the Value of Truth, Beasley and Haney have gathered together an outstandingly erudite collection of essays by some of the most cerebral scholars among us. Whether it’s resistance to shedding our mortally bound coils, a celebration or denunciation of frictionless sharing, or inconspicuous consumption among members of the virtual village, contributing authors have tackled the most captivating questions of our socially mediated time. Ethicists, journalists, sociologists, psychologists, Tweeters, Pinteresters, Tumblrers, Facebook users, Google+ enthusiasts, and even those harboring disdain for all things associated with social media undoubtedly will find the content of this anthology accessible and full of provocative nuggets worthy of serious and extended reflection. (Joseph W. Ulatowski, University of Wyoming)

This collection of essays addresses questions raised by social media related to issues such as self-definition and trust. Kathy Richardson argues that a blurring of front-stage and back-stage personas challenges the ability to discern appropriate behavior and information to be shared or kept private. Deni Elliott believes the "real name requirement" raises questions about responsible information distribution and confidentiality. Paul Bloomfield explores "authentic living" via participation in multiplayer online games, and concerns about subjugation of real life to the life of one's avatar. Mitchell Haney argues that the speed of social media threatens the ability of persons to engage in life reflection and deliberation about their choices. Vance Ricks argues that social media gossip contributes to information overload and "context collapse," preventing seeing information in an appropriate light or for a certain audience. Lee Wilkins discusses "liquid journalism," noting that social media users and journalists bring "emotion" back to the news. Finally, Jane Kirtley discusses "trust" issues and questions concerning the monitoring of blogs and other forms of social media. This book raises significant questions about a phenomenon--social media--that now is central to people's lives and culture. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. (CHOICE)

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