If you have a phone, camera, Facebook account, Twitter profile, blog or YouTube account, you are a broadcaster.
The information you impart to the world, you are responsible for.
If you share something through your own channel, as a broadcaster, you have the responsibility to make sure the information you are delivering is accurate. You are responsible for the on-flow effects of that information.
The information you deliver can destroy lives, bring down governments, ruin the reputations of friends and enemies, or spread knowledge that can improve the world.
The information you deliver can also decimate your public reputation, destroy your private life and create severe embarrassment. You will have little opportunity for recourse or explanation if that content is out of context.
Anything you capture has the potential to end up completely public, even if it is not your intention to deliver that information publicly.
This includes everything – any opinion, comment or post you have made in the entire span of your digital life has the potential to come back and haunt you. Every naked picture you take of yourself, even if it was created with the intention of private delivery, can be made public in a heartbeat. You are responsible for this content.
The attitude currently, is that in the broad nexus, one person’s content cannot do much. And for the most part, this is true. However, if the spark ignites the flame of public interest, you are responsible for whatever it is you have created.
Traditional broadcasters, working in print, television and radio, are subject to codes that they must follow by, or face heavy penalties. If a journalist’s information is incorrect or unsubstantiated, they are taken to task.
On the internet, the laws are much more hazy, and operate in a minefield overwhelmed by sheer volume of content. However, despite the seemingly free nature of information – the principles of responsibility still apply.
One cannot cry foul if the content they create gets chewed up by the whirlpool and is used to form a cross that allows for public crucifixion.
The reality that all content created or shared by an individual can act as a flint for a massive flame is a crucial one to be aware of in this age. However, education and awareness of this aspect of modern information delivery is at best, piecemeal.
This media age is incredibly volatile, tremendously sensitive and open to an overwhelming variety of abuses.
You must create and share with caution, lest you fall on the spike that you contribute to the digital bed of nails.