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Civilian users perspectives on drones and regulation

Patricia Cruz



The article “Imagining the social future of drones” by Elisa Serafinelli from University of Sheffield looked at how drone users views on drone usage and drone regulation. 

Drones built for civilian purposes are unmanned, remotely controlled  aircraft that are generally fitted with cameras. They are used for commercial and recreational purposes, as well as professional use such as journalism. They are an increasingly social phenomenon and the use of drones by civilians creates concerns about personal privacy, ethics, safety, and security. 

Despite ample research on technical aspects of drone use and  use of drones in war zones, not much research exists on civilian users’ perspectives and experiences using drones. This study seeks to fill that gap, and also probes the thoughts of civilian users.

The framework the research draws on is a blend of  Taylor’s concept of social imagery (2004) and Pink’s notion of visual practices (2013). Research from media studies, and science and technology studies is used to guide the background.

Building on the concept of social imagery, the author argues that drone innovation applications have the potential to affect the way societies operate, like internet and the smartphone did. Social imagery refers to ways people imagine their social lives and norms. 

Serafinelli notes that for a period of time, the coverage of portrayal in the media was negative, and most people gain their knowledge of the new technology through media rather than educational sources. The dynamic, since then, has been of control and vision. Privacy and data protection were major ethical concerns.

However, drones have also been used for clearly ethical purposes, such as search and rescue operations and crowd management, and other humanitarian actions. Also, based on an European study on privacy, data protection, and ethical risks looked at safety rather than other concerns as a primary focus. 

The study was a qualitative one. The fieldwork was undertaken through computer-mediated interviews. The sample was 20 participants: 20 civilian users and 10 developers of drones. The civilian users were recruited from online platforms and communities. The interviews data was organised and coded in Nvivo.

The overarching research questions were 1) What do users think about their uses of drones? 2) How do developers imagine the drones they produce will be used and 3) What do users and developers think constitutes acceptable drone use?

Participants shared a general feeling that the government will further legislatively restrict the use and misuses. They also felt that due to issues such as drone strikes in war zones and incidents such as canceling flights due to drones. They also acknowledged that some may fear being spied without consent, but considered these fears unfounded. 

Drone developer participants felt that the main concern for future technological advancements will be related to use of drones in delivery services. Regarding privacy, developers noted that the general public does not consider data mining enough.

For government restrictions, the participants felt that there might be the requirement of passing a theory test, getting a flyer ID, registering the drone with a local Aviation Authority, or getting operator ID. The last one felt already overwhelming. The users complained about the expenses and considered the tests too complicated. They did, however, unanimously agree on a future where drones are safe to the community. 

Three participants compared drone to a car, noting that things can go very wrong if the user does not know what they are doing. However, other participants believe that the rules, no matter how restrictive, do not prevent illicit use and that it will always exist. 

Civilian user participants, on reflecting on their drone use, enjoyed the ability to ‘make things fly’ and noted that the experience of the flight is conveyed by high-quality cameras. Developer participants noted that over-focus on improving technical qualities leaves out socio-cultural effects. The research does not design technologies specifically for amateurs and hobbyists. 

In conclusion, although the study did not focus on privacy, the issue emerged from the interviews of both users and developers. The future, then, is full of fear of being observed. The widespread use of drones will indeed inevitably result into increased collection and use of personal data. The author also notes that users and developers may perceive invasion of privacy in visual terms, and also emphasize the visual opportunities that are positive,like security, rescue, firefighting, wildlife conservation etc. The users also reported a strong fascination with birds eye, creative perspectives.

The study “Imagining the social future of drones” by Elisa Serafinelli is in Convergence. (open access).

Picture: Untitled by Jonathan Lampel.

License Unsplash. 

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The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout



Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times ( – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post ( – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian ( – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News ( – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera ( – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters ( – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN ( – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist ( – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic ( – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica ( – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout



Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout



As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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