A death on the Internet and the gift of time

Last week, the New York Times reported that Océane, a young French woman, narrated and filmed her death by throwing herself under a train. The entire episode was posted on Periscope, a live-streaming app owned by Twitter. Excerpts were run later on YouTube.

Also according to the Times, last month two French teens assaulted a 24-year-old drunk in Paris and later posted – again on Periscope – images of them laughing and bragging about the assault. And in Ohio, a 17-year-old-girl filmed an alleged rape committed on a girlfriend and not only did not intervene but filmed the event and streamed a video of it, too, on Periscope.

Other than being shocked and outraged, what are we to make of these disturbing events?

Well, Thomas Husson, a Paris-based technologist at Forrester Research, says this (also quoted in the Times): “We now live in a dictatorship of real time.” By which he meant largely that a world in which everything is broadcast instantly, without perspective, is changing the very nature of what we know and how we know it.

We now live in a dictatorship of real time?

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Richard Cole
Tue, 05/17/2016 - 4:01pm
Phil. You can't leave us hanging. Next column -- What we can do about it -- please.
Aldon Maleckas
Sun, 05/22/2016 - 7:35am
We have organizations with massive computers that record every bit of computer information they can gather. Like the large corporations before them that put out ads and watched consumer reaction through sales receipts; these organizations put ideas out on the internet and watch our reactions. What we need to protect ourselves are classes to teach everyone how these organizations influence thought and action.
Sun, 05/22/2016 - 9:14am
Two points. A reporter who has a whole day to ponder a story before it is printed also has a whole day to ponder how to spin a story. A defense of the political parties is a defense of the status quo which is increasingly proving that the status quo does not work. If it weren't for Clinton buying the nomination, the two candidates would be Bernie and Donald, both of whom are probably as detached from their "Party" as any recent candidate has been. I see that as a breath of fresh air for the country.
Sun, 05/22/2016 - 1:46pm
How about doing some deep info articles on who (like our legislators) are seriously screwing over the state of MI. And I am not another Dem complaining. People are actually suffering in MI.
Robyn Tonkin
Tue, 05/24/2016 - 4:45pm
I enjoyed reading this editorial very much. While nothing is going to change back to the way it was, I was glad to read that someone else decries what news and the media have become. What the changes to news presentation has done for me personally is to leave me clinging to a shrinking periphery of print journalism, and the scarce online news outlets that are similar to the Bridge. I find I have a very difficult time communicating with other people, because I am not "wired" to any great extent. For instance, I believe the word "community" refers people who live in a certain geographic area, who should have goals and aims in common in order to maintain or better their lives and their home, not a widely dispersed group of people who ride the same motorcycle or who own the same breed of dog. But I am a dinosaur, I know.