I initially struggled to think of a way in which to approach the topic of social media ethics. I therefore decided to start with a news story I’d heard on the radio and see where that would take me. It lead me to think about freedom of speech and how it must be a key issue within social media.
When reading Freya’s blog I saw how her argument was partly a counter to mine on how businesses should use social media appropriately. As she rightfully said, “there is a fine line between being authentic and being plain offensive”. When utilising social media platforms, freedom of speech is a right, and yet putting up deliberately hurtful or offensive material is a choice. Freya mentioned trolling which can often occur after someone may have said something controversial online, which I believe can often be much more offensive than the original material (with people hiding behind their anonymity). I discussed with Anna the fact that anything we put online adds to our digital footprint and the fact that putting offensive material online can damage your online identity (such as with Justine Sacco) and so of course caution should be exercised if you are worried about affecting this.
Sophie and I discussed how brand endorsements on the social media sites of celebrities may mislead people. I believe there are loopholes in the guidelines, as celebrities merely have to claim that they believe in what they are endorsing and they are able to advertise them, as it cannot be proved otherwise. I am certainly planning to be more wary of these ploys now that I have learnt more.
This thought provoking topic is one of which we have only just touched the surface so far in our posts, hopefully more discussions will follow.