The smartphone. Virtually everyone with any technical skill and several hundred dollars to spare has one. In this week's video blog, Keywest discusses the implications that smartphones have had on politics, and especially politicians.
The political world has been filled with great story tellers for as far back as has been recorded. Those men and women who are able to spin bad situations and look like the golden child that saved the day. But in modern times, it has become increasingly difficult for the arrogant and deceitful ones in the bunch to hide their infractions. And one of the major reasons for this is thanks to these wonderful little devices.
It seems that no one is safe anymore, the least bit politicians. With their track record for drama and transgressions, they are the ideal target for civilians equipped with a smartphone and a desire for more YouTube hits. Anyone is able to take pictures or video on their phone and sell it to the media for a profit. Therefore it’s the individual responsibility of that politician to behave in a way that is becoming and respectable.
As a politician, or any form of celebrity, they’ve essentially given up their right to freedom. Legally speaking, it is perfectly fine for individuals to snap and share photos or videos of public figures for commercial gain. As, the person stepping into that political position has in a way consented to the use of their persona by putting themselves out there to represent a public body, and they themselves are benefiting financially from that position. Another legal factor stems from the fact that video of anyone can be put forth to the media if it is a matter of public interest.
For example, Mayor Rob Ford’s alleged crack video, and all the videos that have been distributed online of him in a “drunken stupor” that have been released, could be put under this category. As a representative for the city of Toronto, it can be argued that it is in the public’s best interest to know how he behaves when in public. It’s another story to try and record footage of his family, or him in a private location such as his home, but when it comes to public property, any right to freedom of not being filmed without his permission goes out the window.
How do you feel about this issue? Would you be okay with someone filming you and gaining profit from that footage? Does your view change if you are in a more vulnerable situation, say after a few drinks at a bar? Now what about if you were running for a political position, or say starring in a television show? Canadian law tells us there is a distinction between individuals based on their career choices. Let us know what you think by connecting with us on Facebook or leaving us a comment in the section below.