Boston Bombings & Ethical Dilemmas

Boston Bombings & Ethical Dilemmas March 15, 2015 Our very own need to consume details about events at a fast pace also presents us with ethical concerns. Social media is used for many good things, but it is also so new and in being such, we are all still learning what is acceptable and what we should deem unethical. One of the events that helps draw this to the forefront is the Boston Bombings. Whether we were in disbelief and needed proof that this really was occurring, or if we knew someone running and were worried about them, or if we were just at work and did not have access to a television, we relied on social media and the news organizations and even event attendees who were posting to networks like Twitter to give us information. How would you feel if someone posted an image of your loved one covered in blood and in shock, laying on a Boston sidewalk? It would be a horrifying sight and not something that you would want anyone else to see. I’m going to refrain from posting the image to my blog that we had to view and report on for class, because it is something that I wish I did not have to see. I am a squeamish person and the image was beyond grotesque. I will tell you that it was an image of a man who had his leg blown off and he was sitting in a wheel chair presumably being pushed somewhere to be attended to. With having his leg blown off, the photo showed things that nightmares...

Hello Ello

Hello Ello February 25, 2015 Data mining. According to Nautilus Systems, whom I grabbed this lovely model from, data mining can be defined as follows: Data Mining differs from traditional data analysis in that it discovers patterns that were previously overlooked, as opposed to queries or statistical methods which require the analyst to make an assumption. It seems as if almost everyone is doing it… governments, Facebook, Twitter… but not Ello. Unlike the aforementioned, Ello has pledged to never make money from ads or from the sale of our data, forever. That sounds like a dream social networking platform, doesn’t it?! I think so. While we want to interact with our friends–and make new ones–on social networking platforms, we have also agreed to allow them to gather and sell our data. It is a tradeoff. But, Ello is offering us the best of both worlds because not only can we interact with our friends but they are also providing us with a space where we do not have to worry about the company spying on our every like and friend request just to sell that information off to other entities. The only problem is that Ello is by invitation only. So, we have the opportunity to participate–but not really at the same time. The consequence for doing this is that Ello may not have a long lived digital life. You cannot advertise a service that you believe can change the ethical landscape and then prevent “outsiders” from participating. Those individuals may decide that they no longer wish to participate since they were unable to sign up having not received...

Social Media Moderation

Social Media Moderation February 11, 2015 This week in class we are discussing moderation. Where does that imaginary line fall between what we should allow to stay and what we should delete? We may have some guidelines set forth by the different brands that we work for, but in the end it comes down to using good judgement and our own personal discretion. When in doubt, refer to the higher ups. The below comments are simulated and my duty is to respond to them appropriately. 1. To a hotel: “I am disgusted about the state of your restaurant on 1467 Justin Kings Way. Empty tables weren’t cleared and full of remains of meals. It makes me wonder what the state of your kitchen is?!!! Gross.” My Reply: We are so sorry to hear about your experience, USERNAME. We at The Hotel make every effort possible to make sure you have an exceptional experience while you are on our property, and that includes your dining experience at our restaurant. We have high expectations for our kitchen and waitstaff and recognize that it is unacceptable to anticipate anything less. We will look in to this regrettable situation and hope that you accept our apology. Thank you for letting us know about this matter and we hope that you will join us again at our 1467 Justin Kings Way property. If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact me at (telephone) number. Megan Washington My reason: I believe that by acknowledging this person who has had an unfavorable experience at the hotel by their name, we are applying a...

Managing your reputation via social media

Managing your reputation via social media February 2, 2015 We have an audience and they are watching us. This should come at no surprise since we have access to viewing who and how many individuals are connected to us on each of the different social networking platforms. So, when we make a mistake there are undoubtedly several pairs of eyes taking notice. This is not the Olympics. We are not gymnasts. We cannot explain why we fell off the parallel bars of the web with a simple, “It just got away from me.” Brands, and individuals, are expected to operate at near perfection one hundred percent of the time. When our hands are unable to grip the bar or our feet cannot find the floor to stick the landing, we can all end up in hot water. Let’s consider the case of former PayPal executive Rakesh “Rocky” Agrawal. As the story goes, Agrawal sent in his resignation letter on May 2, 2014. On that same evening, he took to Twitter to voice his opinion on some of his co-workers after a few drinks. Later the next day Agrawal deleted the tweets from his rant and apologized to the individuals saying that they were meant to be private messages and blamed their incorrect placement on the phone that he was using. That afternoon PayPal responded to the incident with the following comment: “Rakesh Agrawal is no longer with the company. Treat everyone with respect. No excuses. PayPal has zero tolerance.” This story gets even more sticky. Even after the above incident, Agrawal continued to mention PayPal personnel–this time in a...

Trust is the glue of life

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen Covey January 21, 2015 The topic of discussion in my Social Media Ethics class this week is trust. Why do we trust certain people? Social media has definitely made trust rather interesting because we seemingly trust strangers if they display certain qualities. Our assignment this week is to focus on an individual that we trust on social media and explain why. In my opinion, the number of followers a person has does not identify that a person is or is not to be trusted. It is of complete irrelevance. I will be the first to admit that it is hard to picture a man who not only led the Black Parade but brought to life one of my most favorite albums of all time, as a down to earth daddy and fan chatter-upper. But, it is true. Gerard Way, former frontman of My Chemical Romance, has become one of the most interesting people to follow on the net. The above videos show the evolution of Gerard’s appearance. At first glance, one may be quick to dismiss Gerard as trustworthy based on looks alone because he is known to have been very theatrical in his My Chem days with all kinds of makeup and still sports bright red hair to this very day. Does someone’s outward appearance make us subconsciously decide if someone is trustworthy or not? In class this week, I outlined that what I believe makes an individual trustworthy are the following qualities:...

Amplify the tiny print!

Amplify the tiny print! January 14, 2015 I’m going to admit that I do not read the Terms & Conditions for most things. I am also going to assume that most of my friends do not either. Why?! Terms & Conditions seem to be the last little step that you have to get through in order to participate on a social networking site or the last thing in an office that is holding you up from completing your purchase. It’s torture. It’s like dangling a treat in front of a dog and fully expecting the dog to sit there patiently until you give it to them. Maybe some dogs can do that, but smart dogs know that they can have that treat if they just jump up and take it. Case in point, having patience is a virtue that many of us do not practice enough when it comes to reading over what we are agreeing to. But, is what we are agreeing to always ethical? That’s a hard question to answer–depending on which side you are standing on. Jumping up and grabbing that treat probably is not always the smartest thing. I’m going to use Vine as an example. Below I will list different pieces of information taken straight from Vine’s Terms & Conditions page and then attempt to translate them or explain my thoughts on them. Highlights: * You are responsible for any consequences that arise due to something you have posted. This seems standard. You are responsible for what you post, so you are being held accountable. * “The Services that Vine provides are always evolving...