Open Data in the age of social networks. Communication and information, some brief personal reflections


Legal analyzes were dedicated and entitled to the theme of public communication only at the beginning of the 1990s - it is enough just to recall the Giannini Report for the reform of the public administration and the establishment of the Nigro Commission ["from the recognition of political citizenship begins to follow the recognition of administrative citizenship” S. Cassese]- in which the topic is mostly treated as a privileged context for recalling the problems of the right to information, as a “new social right”, as well as an indispensable tool for a complete democracy. The citizen is considered an indispensable interlocutor in the relationship with the authorities. These contributions, even if sporadic, give the sense of how a step forward for the qualification of the phenomenon of public information as communication, i.e. as a two-way and equal relationship, is accomplished by dealing with the circulation of information concerning the public apparatus and in particular that administrative. However, it should immediately be noted that, while an examination of the subjective situations involved is certainly indispensable, it seems instead insufficient to define public communication as the activity with which public subjects spread their image. The introduction of the expression "image", or "global image", is of interest only if connected to the more complex problem of the recognisability of institutions. So it's not just "reputation" or "visibility" that comes into play. It is the authoritative and recognized reference that makes the difference, the reference to that institution as a distinctive trait of belonging in terms of culture and source. So communication as a reference for political organization but also for work and service.
After this parenthesis, which basically is also a bit of a premise, we can begin to make a clear distinction between communication and information.
Information, i.e. knowledge, passes through communication.
Our world is more gripped by communication than by information. They convey us infinite quantities of communications, now increasingly 'medial' but true information is something else.
Communication is the prerogative of social networks and is the one that passes through any tool, without the need for ethical or social content
To say that communication cannot be a copy and paste is probably blasphemy. Communication by definition is a 'copy and paste'. We can automatically communicate what we have heard, seen, read, heard .. in turn
How it is used is a question of information.
Information is a political action, 'correct information' is a cultural issue; communication is pure anarchy.
Distinguishing between communication, information and correct information is part of the teaching activities: learning/discernment.
The source is very important. Even 'open data' can provide us with a simple 'communication' which can become 'information' if placed on the right interpretative/cognitive guidelines. The source helps to place the 'communication' on the right direction
The journalist who 'copy and paste' the press release communicates but if he uses an authoritative source and places the data in the context of reference, he transforms the communication into useful information.
The practice, according to a twitter language: the retweet is a communication, the tweet is information. Open data is communication, the guidelines of open data are information, even implicit.
The source, as we said before, brings with it a reference information, a previous history, and an intrinsic purpose. This is the information that is conveyed with communication.
The magnifying glass on communication in general is due to the fact that until a decade ago it was very far from being widespread except through TV, its programs and advertising. Political communications made sense when compared to whoever expressed them, and entered into a context of 'understandings' that made 'information'
Today, communication has taken over, which is why we find it hard to distinguish information from real data

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