Taboo topics welcomed on Twitter

There’s plenty of things we’re not supposed to discuss in polite
conversation, but how about on Twitter? Between a live-blogged execution
and details of rectal harpoons, you got to wonder: Does taboo exist on
Twitter? If so, where’s the line?

The debate heated up earlier this week when Utah
Attorney General Mark Shurtleff tweeted a man’s death sentence
: “I
just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s
execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.”

A Canwest story reports:

“From abortion to erectile dysfunction, gynecological exams to gastrointestinal woes, the black cats of polite conversation are feral on social-media sites. This month, we even saw the live-tweeting of a U.S. prisoner’s execution, affirming that the old rules of public disclosure are being left in the digital dust.

“And some say that’s not such a bad thing.”

“The Internet is a place where people talk, like in life. And life is messy,” says Jeff Jarvis, a widely read media blogger and associate professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

“Jarvis should know. His uncensored posts on cancer recovery, veined with everything from the shame of adult diapers to the biopsy horrors of rectal “harpoons,” recently put him in the crosshairs of a fellow pundit, who accused such sharing of being “a catheter too far.”

On his blog Buzz Machine, Jarvis writes:

“When I talked about my cancer, Facebook hater Jason Calacanis — then still on Facebook — left a comment saying only: “Overshare.” I responded that he was the one who had just overshared. Did he need to say that? Why? What was he trying to prove? What did he add — what information, ideas, challenges, experience, support, value? He and Dery — like Steve Jobs — would simply like to tell us what not to say on the internet. Well, they’re the ones with the problem.”