Speaking of Reality; Why YouTube Isn’t It

The interesting sociological question, of course, is whether this corrosive attitude toward access to human foibles for our amusement is something that we’ve been trained in (by, say, reality TV) or something that we implicitly require in societies. I know what I hope the answer is, but I really couldn’t say: I’d Like to Get Off the Stage Right Now

But in the field of damage control, the rapid shifts in access to every personal foible and ill-considered phrase of the rich and famous is the equivalent of flying without a net.

And the truth? The truth is a diminishing resource, easily bludgeoned by the facts.

“You can say, ‘Be transparent,’ ” said Mr. Mayer, the expert in crisis control, “but you’re seeing all these things ripped out of context, that’s the scary thing about it. There is the illusion when you’re watching a video that you’re seeing the whole truth. As anyone who’s followed court cases, or been in the news business knows, looking at different outtakes you get different realities. And this powerful illusion of reality is far more misleading than any distorted account.”

Related: Sony’s going to fix copyright-infringing video sites by offering up their own fantastics one tomorrow — Sony to launch video-sharing network on Fridaypdf