Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Drinking, Facebook and Out in the Open
I knew this would be one of those stories that would tick people off. Someone turned me on to the Facebook group "30 Reasons Girls Should Call it a Night." I am a Facebook addict and I laughed as I read the list (my favorite is number 17: Every conversation starts with a booming, "DON'T take this the WRONG WAY but.."). Then I got to the pictures. Girls throwing up, falling down and urinating in public places. Wow. I was intrigued that people made these personal and often embarrassing moments so public. We had to investigate. Contrary to what one of my Facebook brethren think, this "tight a**" (thanks, Josh!) knows what college is all about. I went to college and lived the experience to its fullest. In fact, I think I saw my old dorm room in one of those pictures. We turned our findings into a report for Out in the Open.
The first thing I did today was log on to Facebook and check out the comments on the group's "wall." We love it when our stories get people talking and thinking. The responses were fascinating. Many people said that CNN is encouraging people to join the Facebook group by doing this story. Point taken. Others think CNN was unfair to the young women. One young lady said, "They need to get OVER this 'girls drinking epidemic' because its NOT a problem... we are YOUNG, having fun..." But others thought CNN was right on. A woman named Jennifer said, "Actually CNN has a total right to post these photos. I know that sux but you put them out there for everyone to see so you made them public. They blurred out our faces so they covered their a**es."
That leads me to my last point. When journalists do a story on social networking sites, they always walk a fine line. Legally, we can show what's on the site since it is public. But there are other considerations and after long conversations, we decided not to show the faces of the women on the site.
We want to know what you think. Do you think it's fair that we brought this group "out in the open"?
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