Ethical Issues

This week has been an especially rough week for me in my personal life and to be honest concentrating hasn’t exactly been something I have been able to do. When trying to reflect on this week’s class, my mind has been cloudy, so please excuse me if everything is just all over the place.

Ethical Issues are the name of the game this week and what I gathered from some of the cases are people do not use common sense when using the internet. As I stressed in class about the Twitter Joke Case, if you do not want something to be shared on the Internet, then don’t post it. Don’t share it! Especially on social media, where we are meant to be social and share our ideas with our peers! Another example of this is with the Snapchat case regarding whether or not Snapchat has a data base of photos or if they are actually deleted. My thoughts again, if you do not feel comfortable having the whole world see your photo, why would you send someone it in the first place? End Rant.

Although people may not make the greatest decisions when using the internet (aka anyone who has ever signed up for Ashley Madison), the internet still remains a wonderful, free place where our thoughts can be shared. In regards to Lauren’s article, having a governance over the internet would not be, in my opinion, the greatest idea. The internet is meant to be free and open and having people reside over what is okay and not okay takes the fun out of such a large network of ideas, people and pages. It is amazing what you can learn from exploring into the great depths of space and if one day a governing body said that that wasn’t okay, how would we ever learn about, for example, another country and their political problems?

Perhaps a fun past time of some of my classmates and friends is trolling. Earlier in the day on Tuesday I had read an article, similar to Marissa’s, about the Target Troll. Unfortunately I had not read the entire article and thought that Target actually responded to people in the manner that the person did. (My favorite was, “Name…I think you’re hungry, have a snickers bar, they’re located up front by the cash registers.”) After learning about the full article, it made sense that it was not actually Target; I mean that would be a nightmare, even if it was just funny, sarcastic comments. Although I think the Target troll was all in good fun, trolling, in itself is not the nicest thing to do.

According to Urban Dictionary, the top definition of trolling is:

“Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.”

As this definition so bluntly put it, trolling is being a prick on the internet. But even if someone is not acting in a favorable manner, it would be extremely hard to regulate any type of ban on trolling as there is unlimited content on the internet to troll. Who would regulate it? If it was that big of an issue, many jobs could be created to keep a handle on it, but is that really necessary? Is trolling just another version of free speech? In my opinion, trolling is just something to be tolerated and is just another feature of sharing your opinions on the internet.

Finally, I just wanted to touch on my own article which talked about a Facebook Research Experiment which did not notify the participants and spoke a little about whether or not it was ethical. I found that it was hard to make my own decision on the topic. I can definitely see the advantages, having unknowing participants would give researchers the truest results, but on the other hand, it is unfair to the participant. The unwilling participant.

Any study, done in the real world or on social media should  follow the same standards, but would it be more beneficial to use social media as a tool to get the truest results on unknowing people? This is an ethical issue that even I am having a hard time taking a side…

Have a good weekend and good luck on the Midterm Everyone!! 🙂


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