Is Radical Transparency Good or Bad?

Is Radical Transparency Good or Bad?

Transparency (2)Lately, we’ve been pondering this question. Radical transparency has been touted in various opinion pieces as the savior for everything from journalism to social media to democracy itself. The idea is that radical transparency will build trust in those organizations that adhere to it. Being open about all sources of information, how they are funded and who is behind them seem like excellent ideas, at least on the surface. The dilemma with radical transparency is it often conflicts with privacy. When do all sources of information get revealed? Are there people who will be injured in the process who shouldn’t be? As with most things, the real challenge is finding the middle ground between the right to know and personal privacy. Editors and laws help serve that purpose, and more transparency might be best, but the reality is there will never be an answer that will make everyone happy. Radical transparency implies a move all the way to one side of the equation, which in the end might not serve us as well as we would like.