COMMUNICATION IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGEBy now, you've seen the image. In June 2011, the Vancouver Canucks lost game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins in Vancouver. Chaos ensued, and Vancouver burned. Sports fans rioting in disappointment over losing a championship (or in celebration of winning one) is hardly unusual. However, as the people of Vancouver rioted in the streets, a picture captured a couple in a private, intimate moment against a backdrop of smoke and police in riot gear. The photographer and the media reporting on the Vancouver riot did not know their names. They were simply the kissing couple.
Not surprisingly, the stark contrast between the violence in the background and the kissing couple lying on the street was a sensation -- the picture went "viral" -- disseminated worldwide on social networks as well as traditional media. With that kind of coverage, there was no chance that the anonymous couple would stay anonymous for long.
After the jump, I'll discuss the implications of the instantaneous spread of information and social media -- particularly on anonymity and expectations of privacy.