In this gripping conversation about the underbelly of social media outlets' unethical non-disclosures and the larger societal and PR implications, University of Tennessee Public Relations Professor Dr. Candace White discusses her latest published paper in the December 2020 edition of Public Relations Review (co-authored by UT alumnus and Clemson University faculty Brandon Boatwright), "Social media ethics in the data economy: Issues of social responsibility for using Facebook for public relations."
Dr. White exposes why Facebook's and other prominent social media outlets' policies are damaging societal discourse, information-exchange and public trust through an often-times insidious combination of non-transparency of their own data-management operations (and to whom they're selling users' data and for what purposes) combined with overt manipulation and obstruction of free flow of information . . . enabling these unregulated technology companies to ratchet up their power at an alarming clip, largely under the radar from either government or news media questions or public accountability.
Is Big Social Media's era of laissez-faire data-wielding and manipulation about to come to an end with government intervention? Or will the current lack of checks-and-balances continue, unabated, with even more public censorship and agenda-setting contrived in the process?
Candace White / Bio (source: https://adpr.utk.edu/profile/candace-white)
Candace L. White is a professor of public relations in the School of Advertising and Public Relations. Her research interests include the role of global corporations as non-state actors in public diplomacy, and how corporate social responsibility and CSR communication affect the image and national reputation of the country with which the corporation is associated. She is a Faculty Fellow at the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy in the area of global security and an Arthur W. Page Legacy Scholar. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Public Relations Research and the International Journal of Strategic Communication. She was a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the University of Salzburg, Austria (2010) and at the University of Siena, Italy (2020); with support from the University of Tennessee, she has lectured in Denmark, Scotland, Wales, Austria, Croatia, and Italy. White holds a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia
Ph.D., University of Georgia
M.P.A., Georgia College
B.A., Winthrop College
Comparative global public relations
Public relations as a component of public diplomacy (corporate diplomacy)
Perceptions of public relations practices
Corporate social responsibility
Dr. White is interested in studying how cultural differences affect how messages are received, and how the practice of public relations varies in different countries. Recent studies look at the role of private sector corporations as non-state actors in public diplomacy. She has been involved in teaching, research, and professional activities in Denmark, Austria, Scotland, Wales, Croatia, and Italy. She taught for the Consortium for International Business Studies in Asolo, Italy, and leads a study abroad program in international public relations each summer in Urbino, Italy.
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