Sunday, November 26, 2017

Op-ed wants Facebook and other social media to prohibit images of people without permission; also, prior restraint of press

An op-ed on CNN by Amy Adele Hasinoff seems to want Facebook to adopt a policy that before any image of anyone can be posted, the subject must give permission.  The article is “The Policy that the uS Porn Industry Has but that Facebook Needs”. 

Theoretically, all images in any photo would have to be tagged before they could be posted on Facebook (or possibly any online place with user generated content).  This would sound totally impractical: in a public place, you don’t know everyone.  And even in a disco you probably don’t (although some bars prohibit photography). Or does she mean only nude images?

Generally photography of people in totally public places is legal in the US now, for example here.  
In Australia, Facebook is experimenting with a program of automatic comparison with a digital image library (a technique already used to identify child pornography known to the NCMEC).

CNN has an important story today on prior restraint of the press, with the background from Near v. Minnesota (1931) leading to the New York Times and the Pentagon Papers (1971), by Sonja West, here. In the Minnesota case, the muckraking publisher (whose stories were actually true) was actually enjoined from publishing anything until the Supreme Court, with some fortuitous luck, rescued it. 

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