Bergis Jules, Ed Summers, Dr. Vernon Mitchell, Jr., “Documenting the NOW White Paper: Ethical Considerations for Archiving Social Media Content Generated by Contemporary Social Movements: Challenges, Opportunities, Recommendations,” April 2018, was a fascinating read and provided insight into the ethical challenges facing the digitization of social media. These issues are extremely prominent in regards to the current political climate and social media’s major impacts. One ethical challenge that relates to our practicum is the difficult task of ‘applying traditional archival practices to social media’. The way users interact with Social media is completely different than any past sources of digital information and challenging to measure. Social media has given new abilities in spreading information and misinformation.
Digitizing these online conversations will create a new history and remembrance of the truth, thus making it a difficult task for digital historians to navigate. In regards to metadata, social media does not follow the traditional protocol and fails to properly source information. As Jules, Summers, and Mitchell explained, the risk of hidden third party involvement is high for social media sources. Online exploitation specifically targets minority groups and causes them to be more vulnerable to data collection. I think it’s important to digitize the history of social media content for the purpose of improving future data collection.