Reflection | Topic 4

With the world continuously getting more digitised, it is difficult to not see social media being used in businesses and educational institutions. However, as with many things, social media has its benefits and shortcomings. The ethical issues that have been raised by the educational or business use of social media are plenty, but I will focus on what I’ve learnt in this topic; mainly privacy infringement from Zaidhan’s article, cyberbullying from mine, and astroturfing from Teresa’s.

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Infographic on the  NSA’s PRISM

Zaidhan’s post on the issue of privacy infringement in social media brought up good points about how “privacy is no longer a norm” in social media as organisations and individuals alike are able to access private information easily, while governmental organisations are closely monitoring online information. After reading and commenting on his post, I came to a realisation that some ethical issues raised by the use of social media can stem from the issue of privacy infringement, such as e-screening explained on Norman’s article, and cyber impersonation as a form of cyberbullying as mentioned on my post.

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Comic illustrating astroturfing

Teresa’s article discussed about astroturfing; the unethical use of paid reviewers to fabricate unauthentic positive support for a brand/product or negative reviews on rival brands/products. This too is seen as an unethical business use of social media, as deceiving customers breaks the relationship of trust between them and the organisation.

While social media is a great tool that shrinks the world and provides real-time communication, it seems that for this topic, most of everyone’s posts reveal a common point; social media has led to dishonesty among many of its users – whether a business is writing fake reviews, a company is sifting through personal information without approval, or a student using a fake profile to harass another student – misusing it as a “shortcut”.

[295 words]

My comment on Teresa’s post

My comment on Zaidhan’s post

References:

Blaschke, L.M. (2014) ‘Using social media to engage and develop the online learner in self-determined learning’, Research in Learning Technology, 22(0). doi: 10.3402/rlt.v22.21635.

Claywell, C.R. (2013) Advantages and disadvantages of social networking. Available at: http://socialnetworking.lovetoknow.com/Advantages_and_Disadvantages_of_Social_Networking (Accessed: 14 November 2016).

Holmes, R. (2015) Why businesses can’t survive without social media. Available at: http://fortune.com/2015/11/18/businesses-cant-survive-social-media/ (Accessed: 14 November 2016).

Johnson, B. (2010) Privacy no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy (Accessed: 14 November 2016).

Sottek, T.C. and Kopstein, J. (2013) Everything you need to know about PRISM. Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/17/4517480/nsa-spying-prism-surveillance-cheat-sheet (Accessed: 14 November 2016).

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