Posted by Matt Moran
Every time we log onto Facebook, our newsfeed is filled with people who “like” posts.
But should these people be held accountable for “liking” something?
In a blog by Joe Grimm at Poynter Online, Grimm tells of a local editor for patch.com, Leslie Perales, who came under fire from a local public relations employee for “liking” certain political posts of candidates in an upcoming election.
Perales defended herself, saying she only “liked” the posts in order to follow candidates, so those posts showed up at the top of her newsfeed.
Perales’ case raises yet another question with the use of social media. Are reporters’ entitled to “like” something, become a “fan” of pages and be “friends” with sources in order to obtain information?
I guess it just depends on the context of the situation. For Perales, I believe what she did to follow candidates was just in her reporting. The same could be said for “following” on Twitter, which is generally regarded as more “professional” than Facebook.
“A majority of our reporters use Twitter professionally. There is a limited number that use Facebook professionally,” Chris Graham, social media editor at the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, said in the same blog.
If sources are using Facebook more than Twitter to convey information, then the reporter should have the right to “like” their posts in order to obtain information. It would be just like “following” on Twitter, except the Facebook terms for following are “fan” or “like.”
Do you buy this logic, or is it just a smokescreen for reporters to endorse something, in this case a candidate up for election?