What a Dilemma! Ethics in the Modern Age

I’d argue that we all face ethical dilemmas every day, particularly in and with social media channels. They may be small (should I say this or that on Facebook) or they might be bigger (no, I can’t pepper the web with positive reviews of that client’s product or service).

As you probably know, I’m working on a book with my friend and colleague, Michelle Honald. We’re focusing on the ethics of social media in one of the chapters. I’d love to hear your stories and examples of ethical dilemmas that you’ve faced working in public relations (or any type of communications).

You can leave actual or hypothetical examples in the comments or email me.

I’m not (necessarily) looking for case studies, I just want to make sure I cover the reality of ethical decision making for those of you working in social media.

photo by yewenyi

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • http://twitter.com/kmatthews kmatthews

    New from PRos: New from PRos What a Dilemma! Ethics in the Modern Age http://dlvr.it/5RKqL

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://twitter.com/kmatthews kmatthews

    Looking for your input… RT @kmatthews: New from PRos: New from PRos What a Dilemma! Ethics in the Modern Age http://dlvr.it/5RKqL

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • TechSF

    This is an excellent topic for discussion! As a new(ish) Pr pro, mostly within the social media realm, I often face dilemma’s ranging from full disclosure to social relationships with media. To start, we are a generation that has grown with the advent of social media, making it a viable part of our everyday dialogue with those in our own ‘social network’. The problem lies within the struggle between friend vs. work. The first inclination we have is to add those we connect with into our networks, not realizing that that term means different things to different people. While one person may use these networks as a platform to discuss reklavant professional interests, the next might use as a means to advertise their ‘social popularity’, often disclosing details of their private lives that can have a lasting impact. Alternatively, we also struggle with accpeting people into our netwowrk, fearing that not non-disclosure makes it appear we have something to hide.

    Another strugggle that we often face is the notion of ‘organic ideas’. How much of what we write about and present to others, is actually a representation of our expertise on a particular topic versus that from which we ‘borrow’ from others. If you have opinions on an article or blog post, make sure to give credit to the thought leader that you are borrowing from. It is okay to learn, but it is not okay to steal ideas. The purpose of learning to to eventually develop one’s own ideas and thoughts around a topic, so be sure to identify your thoughts versus those of others. Too often people fail to credit the source of their ideas, often making other believe it was their own organic thought process.

    That’s it for now! Looking forward to hearing more responses to this!

  • http://twitter.com/kmatthews kmatthews

    @Sinkey @IanBragg @brookenburris Thanks you guys! Love to hear your perspectives. Would also love input here on ethics: http://bit.ly/aRPUU7

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • http://elizabethlloydevans.com Beth Evans

    It’s pretty basic, but I find decisions on “the person behind the profile” on social media profiles very vague and not yet standardized. For example, should you always have “tweets by @yourname” in the Twitter bio of a client?

  • http://twitter.com/bethevans bethevans

    .@kmatthews is writing a book on social media ethics and needs your stories: http://tinyurl.com/3allo87

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter