Is All of Twitter Fair Game for Journalists?

Is All of Twitter Fair Game for Journalists?

~ From Slate Magazine ~
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Illustration by Mark Alan StamatyOne day last week, Christine Fox came across a news article about an unidentified sixtysomething woman who had been raped by her grandson. Fox has amassed a modest following on Twitter, and she was moved to share the story with the flock.* She tweeted the link to her 13,000 followers and, in a sly commentary on a culture that routinely blames sexual assault victims for the attacks against them, added: “I wonder what she had on to entice him.”Then, Fox asked survivors about the clothes they were wearing when they were assaulted. They came back with items including “pink princess pajamas,” “roller skates,” and “T-shirt and jeans,” each nodding to Fox that the information was OK to retweet. She did, and her feed converted into a rolling real-time rebuke of victim-blaming. Within hours, the story blew up, skipped out of Fox’s feed, and turned into grist for the Internet news cycle.First, BuzzFeed, which attracts 150 million unique visitors a month, picked up the conversation and republished Fox’s tweets on its own platform. Then, readers shared the story across Facebook, sending Fox’s picture and Twitter handle—which had been automatically embedded into the coverage along with her tweets—to thousands more. Far-flung friends and family contacted her about her unexpected fame. “All of a sudden, my face became the face of rape survivors on the Internet,” Fox says. “I did not consent to that.”

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