Topic 4

Topic 4: Reflection

My post this week focused on social media endorsements, and whilst I thought I had covered most of the ethical issues involved, I soon realised that there was more to explore. Through comments on my blog, Madeleine brought to my attention some of the drawbacks of endorsements, David highlighted the differences between social media endorsements and traditional media endorsements, and Wil introduced me to factors influencing endorsement effectiveness, such as country of origin (Roy & Bagdare, 2015). Below is an infographic summarising other ethical issues explored by my peers.

Ethical Issues within Social Media
Figure 1. Ethical issues within social media (self-produced using Canva)

In Topic 2, we explored the issues surrounding online identities, including the debate on privacy. These issues became particularly topical due to the recent news regarding the repeal of US rules on selling consumer data (Solon, 2017). Following my comment on Faazila’s blog, we discussed that while initial intentions of data collection may be good (e.g., to improve targeted advertising or identify threats of terrorism), the fact that users have no control over their personal data raises some major ethical concerns.

UOSM2008 in the news
Figure 2. Examples of where social media ethics have cropped up in the media (self-produced using Canva and screenshots from Twitter)

In Topic 3, we considered the use of the web as a tool for recruitment. Relating back to this, myself and Scott discussed the ethical issues of social media screening. We agreed that basing hiring decisions on personal information found on social profiles is unethical, particularly if unconscious discriminatory biases are at play (Hazelton & Terhorst, 2015). Furthermore, we evaluated possible solutions to these problems, such as name-blind recruitment (Parkinson & Smith-Walters, 2015).

Finally, since UOSM2008 is a prime example of an educational use of social media, I have touched upon some of the ethical issues relating to education in the presentation linked below.

Social Media Ethics in Education
Figure 3. Ethical issues of social media in education (self-produced using Canva)

Overall, exploring different perspectives greatly aided my understanding of this topic. One thing that remains clear is that the topic of ethics is a grey area, particularly when combined with the uncontrolled environments of the internet and social media.

(299 words)


Faazila’s post

Scott’s post


Annual Cyberbullying Survey (2016). Ditch The Label.

Hazelton, A. S., & Terhorst, A. (2015). Legal and ethical considerations for social media hiring practices in the workplace. The Hilltop Review, 7(2), 53-59.

Parkinson, J., & Smith-Walters, M. (2015). Who, What, Why: What is name-blind recruitment? BBC News.

Roy, S., & Bagdare, S. (2015). The role of country of origin in celebrity endorsements: Integrating effects of brand familiarity. Journal of Global Marketing, 28(3-5), 133-151.

Solon, O. (2017). Your browsing history may be up for sale soon. Here’s what you need to know. The Guardian.


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