It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The tyranny of transparency

page: 1
4

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 6 2016 @ 07:30 PM
link   


In the absence of privacy, conformism flourishes.


A really interesting article from Spiked which suggests that the general public's thirst (obsession) with the private lives of politicians and celebrities may in fact be facilitating the normalisation of transparency into everyone's private lives.




... the recent fuss over that celeb threesome, complete with saliva-coated details about an olive oil-filled paddling pool, did highlight something else, too: the devaluation of privacy, that relentless, creeping demand that we are entitled to know what people get up to behind closed doors. This isn’t just about sex, although sex, as a private, intimate act negotiated beyond social rules, is central to the publicising crusade. No, the creeping demand to publicise the private is addressed to our whole intimate and, increasingly, inner lives. Illnesses are there to be disclosed; emails released; conversations reported. There is nothing private anymore. Not in fact, but in principle. That is, we are increasingly encouraged to live as if our life could be made public, that a particular comment, or a particular relationship, could be thrown, or wikileaked, before the public, where it will be judged, censured, condemned. It is as if one’s private life is always potentially public, to be viewed, at all times, through the eyes of a public other.




But today, too many are in thrall to the ‘lyrical dreams of the transparent glass house’. ‘Transparency’ has become the sine qua non for a man to live correctly, to conform to the correct opinions, the correct views, the correct conduct. It has become a panacea for politicians battling public cynicism, and a virtue-signalling buzzword for business. Transparency is no longer a threat, as it was in the imaginings of Orwell or the life of Kundera: it is an aspiration.





Because privacy is viewed with suspicion, its meaning associated less with freedom than with concealment and secrecy (which are no bad things anyway), with getting up to no good, and worse, a suspicion writ large in that phrase beloved of abuse-hunters, ‘Behind closed doors’. It’s quite a turnaround. The closed door might once have represented the legitimate limit to the public’s gaze; now it’s an impediment to seeing what we, the public, need to see, a sign that something untoward could be happening, something sexually deviant, ideologically improper, politically incorrect, perhaps involving marital infidelity and olive oil, perhaps not.

The demonisation of the private sphere, sullied with connotations of abuse and corruption, rests on the denigration of individual freedom and autonomy in general. We cannot be left alone, and, too often now, we no longer want to be left alone. Independence of thought and life has been supplanted by instagrammed dependence on the validation of others.


Is there a balance between 'public interest' and private autonomy? Should the distinction between public life and private life remain intact?

My own view is that if you are not breaking the law then you have a right to privacy. Adultery is not a factor in how well you perform on the public stage in my opinion, be it a politician or a celebrity. I also find it worrying that by normalising transparency in private life we are in fact giving up a personal freedom as well as the right to challenge encroachment into our own private life when the tables are reversed.


The tyranny of transparency




posted on May, 6 2016 @ 07:53 PM
link   
Good post. One of the issues as I see it is that this is not about your present life, but every minute of your past life, too. With our lives documented so closely, it is difficult if not impossible to re-invent yourself or turn over the proverbial new leaf. If someone can do a web search and find out you had an argument with your teacher in the fifth grade, well....so much for privacy. I'm not saying it's all a bad thing. You might very well want to know if the person you want to date has a criminal background, for example, but public scrutiny of your private life can be a drag.

And I can speak from personal experience. If you are involved in anything the least bit sensational or "newsworthy," even if you are not a public figure, you can be beneath the microscope in an instant and surrounded by people who will smile and treat you nicely, when all they are after is a sensational story for their readership. Everyone just has to know your business. As a result I simply do not trust journalists at all. I won't talk to them and avoid situations where I might be put in that situation.

It's a situation where you better not make an off-the-cuff remark from years ago, because someone will find it and try to hang you with it. I think we're seeing the first of a very negative campaign as some of Trump's "unfortunate" moments are going to come back and haunt him. (Not that he doesn't deserve it.)

I was in one situation (NOT personal and what I alluded to above) a few years ago where I had to plead with a reporter not to run with a story. What happened? We were hacked, and there was an ongoing police investigation. We knew who had done it, where he lived, etc. So the local rag got involved and thought this was a public interest story about a public agency and that "the people had a right to know." So they were willing to jeopardize an ongoing police investigation of what was actually a felony crime just so they could claim, "Library was hacked! News at 11!" I finally did get the guy to slow down. We actually got our guy and problem solved, but Jesus!



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 03:21 AM
link   
And that is why brave new world is closer to the truth than 1984.

Instead of the gov forcing us to turn over manuscripts we(the people) demand it be removed. Ect cetera and so on.

Also why I don't have social media. Because the people I care about know my address and phone number. And I really don't think things I do are interesting to others/care if strangers care. And I'm not interested in what thier goings on are. Privacy is a two way street. I would rather not step into that.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 04:08 AM
link   
So it would then be acceptable for a prominent politician majoring on family values, honesty and integrity to be having multiple sex partners, taking illegal drugs........

I agree these are unlikely to affect his/her capabilities of doing the job but would the voting public not have the 'right' to know that although they pretend to have these values, so that they gain your vote, they in no way believe in or hold themselves to the same values?


The difficulty is as always where does the law draw the line?



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 04:35 AM
link   
a reply to: Morrad




My own view is that if you are not breaking the law then you have a right to privacy. Adultery is not a factor in how well you perform on the public stage in my opinion, be it a politician or a celebrity. I also find it worrying that by normalising transparency in private life we are in fact giving up a personal freedom as well as the right to challenge encroachment into our own private life when the tables are reversed.


I would agree, you have a right to privacy. A lot of these celebrity folk go out of their way to be in the public eye as much as they can, so when it turns round to bite them, whose fault is that?

The difference, I guess, is in the definition of 'normalising transparency' and then the distinction between transparency and invasion. I live in a small, semi-rural area, most folk know pretty much what I'm doing or who came round to see me. What they don't know is what we said once we were inside. (Well, they probably do, news has a way of travelling and always has).
So while we have a right to privacy, we also have a responsibility not to throw that away by broadcasting every tiny detail of our lives over social media. But if we choose to do so, and there have always been folk that choose to do that whatever the medium, then we have to reap the consequences.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 06:19 AM
link   
a reply to: schuyler



One of the issues as I see it is that this is not about your present life, but every minute of your past life, too.


A good point. In the EU we have the right to be forgotten with search engines if information is no longer relevant. Despite this I came up against brick wall while trying to have innocuous material removed from Google. I even went to the source of the info and the company told me their members had a right to see it. I was not a member.

a reply to: Sillyosaurus

I stopped using social media 7 years ago due to an incident at work with a colleague. I was not involved but it made me realise, even back then, that you can be held accountable for what you post, even off the cuff remarks.

a reply to: johnb

You make a good point. I had not contemplated this scenario. With politicians I tend to judge political achievements and political life rather than personal qualities.

a reply to: beansidhe



The difference, I guess, is in the definition of 'normalising transparency' and then the distinction between transparency and invasion.


Exactly but how would one differentiate?




So while we have a right to privacy, we also have a responsibility not to throw that away by broadcasting every tiny detail of our lives over social media.


From what I have read there is already evidence of profiling which does not surprise me. What does surprise me is the increasing amount of self-perceived "good citizens" who out individuals on social media because 'they believe' aspects of their private life deserves public scrutiny and public judgement.

You also make a good point regarding celebs who 'prostitute' their whole life on tv and social media.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 06:55 AM
link   
Generally speaking I'm not all that interested in what 'celebrities' get up to although it's impossible to avoid seeing some headlines about them.

The actor in the 'threesome' scandal has, in my opinion, made matters worse for himself in trying to stop publication of the story.

Under normal circumstances the story would have come and gone and the world would have found something new to poke its nose into.

Now, though, even my curiosity is piqued. The newspapers have been banging on about it for so long, lamenting how they can't tell their readers the salacious details the rest of the world has enjoyed, that the story just won't die.

There is an element of fun in seeing the Press so butt-hurt over being deprived of the opportunity to publicise all the gory details whilst at the same time deploring the man's depravity BUT: except for providing newspapers (and the snitch who tried to sell the story) with the means to make money where is the value in making it all public?



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 07:23 AM
link   
a reply to: Morrad

It is difficult to differentiate, but I would start with the difference between publishing on a public platform and what goes on within the four walls of our homes. Commiting anything to writing and then publishing it (without an editor) is unmistakenly in the public arena.
In terms of outing individuals, by self-perceived do-gooders - it's always happened. The scale of the problem has changed enormously though, and so what would once have been a local disgrace is now global. People make false allegations all the time, sometimes maliciously and sometimes not.
What I've written above does sound like I'm minimising your concerns although I can assure you I'm not. I think I'm trying to find a solution to changing inherent human behaviour, and failing miserably to come up with any.



new topics

top topics



 
4

log in

join