Social Media Ethics
Fantastic Five (Group 3)
Yaquelin Garcia, Bre’yanie Pearson, Caela
Stewart, Khavir Hussain, and Nikki
Ethical Issues can be perceived as anonymous
The lack of response and Transparency may cause social media triggers
You need to be professional
Media transparency (or transparent media) is the concept of determining
how and why information is conveyed through various means. As used in
the humanities, the topic of media transparency implies openness and
Social Media practices are beginning to mature
Advertisers, PR professionals and etc must be able to adjust to these new
Websites like Twitter make it hard to separate fact from fiction
You have to try to keep everyone happy
People fail to show interest which is a big problem with social media today
Many now are being monitored on there social media presence
There are PR firms that take over the Facebook of a company
CEOs are being called upon to show innovation and build relationships in
Provide a human face to the company
Many CEOs have common question about using social media due to the fact
a lot are from an older generation
Can my contacts be kept private? Yes they can
Do I have to add/follow everyone that is suggested? No
When should I connect with people? Whenever growing a business 24/7
Verifying information is very important
Being fair is a lot more challenging to due to subjectiveness
It brings up a lot of concerns of morality, justice, virtue and safety
Need to be careful on what you say on social media
Social media should not alter fundamental value
But you must have different views when viewing social media
Theories and Philosophies
- Theorist Rotzoll and Fackler used something called a “Potter Box”
- Potter’s Box was a systematic process towards what should be thought of
- Potter’s Box moved a person through 4 stages
- 1). Definition
- 2). Values
- 3). Principles
- 4). Loyalties
In media there are variety of ethical principles which include sayings and theories from ancient
1). Aristotle’s Golden Mean
-lies between two extremes
2). Kant’s Categorical Imperative
-moral law is unconditionally binding
3). Mill’s Principle of Utility is that
-happiness was the sole end of human action
- Have advanced thinking
- Is now global and digital in its context
- Open media ethics
- Open media ethics are a matter of meaningful
participation & significant influence on whatever is
- Ward and Wasserman
- on a global scale describe media ethics as “peer-to-peer ethics”
- Peer accountability is usually in the form of comments or blog posts, twitter responses,
exchanges like journalist posts, and numerous misrepresentations and inaccuracies by
- Suggested ethical processes only as reasoning towards an ideal mode of inclusive and
- That only on a global context may the journalism suffer
- Ex. during times of sensitivity, trauma, and grief
- Media Credibility is related to role conceptions or professional journalist
Idealism and Relativism
Ethical Idealism has been altered by digital media realities
Ideal Principles and emerging values, include a lot more transparency
Now it is down to whether you strive for independent views or philosophicals
Because of the internet we have too many dilemmas due to more false beliefs,
facts, and post-facts by allowing us to see what other people think
“When anyone can say anything, we can’t even pretend most of us agree on
the truth of most assertions any more” pg. 189
The power to gauge the tension that social media interactions create, will
bring about a different kind of storytelling.
As journalist share their opinions on their Twitters, Instagrams, and Facebooks
they have to account for the “clap backs” of their followers
Some of that info will in return corrupt the real storytelling
Human Dignity Frameworks
-In 2006, Edelman PR created a fake blog, a “flog” for Walmart.
“Deliberately concealing sponsorship, astroturfing, and flogging are practices
that violate the moral duty communicators have to society to be universally
honest, to communicate with dignity and respect, and act with good will”
Practical Social Media Ethics
-Because of the development of social media in recent years, traditional media
organizations have adapted to the new interaction with audience members.
-National Public Radio has offered its journalists specific rules of engagement.
NPR Social Media Guidelines
● Treating people with fairness, honesty and respect.
● Verify all information before passing it along
● Spell out how the information was checked and why the sources are
● Clarify and confirm information gotten online over the phone and in-
● Start with the assumption that all images or videos are not authentic.
● Avoid political partisanship.
NPR Guidelines continued
● Don’t behave any differently online than you would in any other public
● Consider legal implications.
And they end with...
● “Social Media are excellent tools when handled correctly”
Equality & Fairness
Lack of disclosure to public
Non transparent sponsorship violates ethics
Being transparent: Paid speech identified
Natural Law & Harm
Follow principle to do no harm
Ownership and authorship
Technical literacy and technology availability
Cognitive and moral factors
Online and offline peer cultures
Presence or absence of ethical supports
Respect for others
The science of morality.
Principles, rules, codes, and processes.
Emergence of fluid community narratives.
Guide media professionals, including those engaged in social media
“Distinctions between minimal expectations and ideal standards.”
Moral Development Continued
Code of ethics are useful for training.
Codes reflect values.
“Universalism” (i.e., “tolerating”)
“Benevolence” (i.e., “enhancing the welfare”)
Organizations focus on tradition, security and conformity.
Interdependent relationships between media, society, and the environment.
Trust and Transparency
Transparency builds trust.
Conflict between individual and social values.
Fairness, avoiding deception, dignity, and respect, eschewing secrecy,
reversibility, viewpoint identification, rationality, clarity, disclosure,
verification responsibility, intention, community good and consistency.
Social media may replace traditional media communication.
Social media behavior.
Social media communication spaces.
Trust and Transparency Continued
Social media communication raises ethical issues of human dignity.
Anonymous conversation vs. Identified conversation.