For the first time in history, the G8 conference where world leaders gather to eat, drink and tell bad jokes, includes a digital forum. Okay, their jokes aren’t necessarily bad and they probably conduct important world business there too. But it is significant that they’ve invited executives from Google, Facebook, eBay and Wikipedia. It’s sort of like the Oprah goodbye show except for geeks. In any case, the short take is that the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy called on the “digital leaders” to go forth and continue changing the world, but to do so responsibly because governments with their rules and regulations should still be in charge. He wanted to be clear that privacy, copyright and intellectual property should be protected, while also keeping children safe from the “turpitude of certain adults.” Turpitude always gets a bad rap.
Meanwhile, over in Britain a famous soccer star is suing none other than Twitter. Allegedly, the soccer star was having an affair with a reality TV star but the British press was legally barred from mentioning names or allegations. But in the digital world, no such privacy protection exists, especially on Twitter which is an American company. So out came all the alleged details in the Twittersphere, much to the dismay of the soccer star. Then it was Retweeted by 100 or more. All of this generated the lawsuit whereby the soccer star claims that social media is more media than social, and as such Twitter’s Tweeter was violating British rule. And even as the British courts claim worldwide jurisdiction, Twitter isn’t budging. All of which leaves us to wonder how governments and social media will sort out their issues.
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