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The News Minute| Bangalore| August 25, 2014| 2.20 pm IST (comment) Who decides, for whom and with what effect is a common news-room question. When answers are not forthcoming, the editor is supposed to take a call and the blame or the glory. But, what happens if the editor is faceless – say a machine? That’s what newsrooms around the world are now dealing with as Twitter and Facebook are not only the message, but also the medium, says The Atlantic in a post called the New Editors of Internet. The writer concludes interestingly that these sites are also media companies that journalists have to compete with and wonders when that penny will drop.  The deaths of Robin Williams and James Foley maybe the immediate cause for this conversation, but the malaise has been present and growing for a while as technology has turned anyone with a phone into a disaster journalist or a narcissist with endless selfies.  The Atlantic notes that Twitter’s decision to pull down videos and posts of deceased is an uncomfortable one, ‘Because it's not clear what's too vile to host. And, even more, because Twitter and YouTube are among a tiny group of giant companies with greater and greater power—and less and less accountability—over what we read, hear, and watch online. Cnet too notes that this is Twitter’s move to not remain just a communications platform any more, but become a social media company. With the decision to pull down content about deceased, on family's request, Twitter is making a conscious move to more from being a platform of free speech, to one with certain restrictions. Censorship and culture  But the issue is not just about violence. Facebook and Instagram are pulling down pictures that are ‘indecent’. The debate is elsewhere though, in cultures and mores. For example, it is virtually impossible to see any hint of nudity in American television whereas it omnipresent and goes unnoticed in Europe. A Swiss campaign on AIDS which shows couple in deep embrace with their sexual preference left unsaid is not even a topic of conversation in the country whereas the same would have sparked riots elsewhere.  There is the issue of censorship. Why is it okay to censor one set of killings while highlighting the other? Technology may have hastened this conversation but human beings will have to take a call about what is too wicked, vile and vulgar to post and which kind of nakedness is okay and not just the one about the human form. 
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