Ethics, but whose ethics?

Each member of our blogging community has been asked to complete a retrospect after each topic. But we are also being prompted to share thoughts as we work, i.e. to share before, during and after.

Naturally I’ve taken to looking at what was produced last semester. I was really impressed by Sophie Collins’ use of Prezi, and decided the only way I can better it is to add sound – I’ve achieved this using an online tool which turns text into spoken word, where you can choose between different accents! Otherwise, having looked back, I’ve decided that I didn’t want to simply do an update of someone else’s work.

So, strangely, the way I’ve approached this question was inspired by Jeremy Clarkson’s sacking by the BBC. I love Top Gear and am now in mourning so I asked myself whether the views expressed by the public on the BBC social media sites should influence their decision, and if they did give in to public pressure, whether this was ethically correct.

My question is as follows:

Companies use social media to tell customers about themselves, their products and their values. But this is a two way process, the public can use this communication channel to criticise actions that they see as wrong, unethical or immoral. In some instances there can be a snowball effect and the voice of the public becomes so loud that the company has to alter the way it works.

In the first of these two presentations I’ll look at some examples of where companies have been attacked on their own social media platforms. And the second presentation will look at the ethical issues.


I’ve put together the following video to explore a moral dilemma, I’d be interested to hear your views:


Tools used:



Generic: z4WEyA

Last semesters work cited:

Sophie Collins,

Adam Stiles,

References used in case study:



Marie Claire,




5 thoughts on “Ethics, but whose ethics?

  1. Hi Tamara,

    I like the interactive element of your post, especially using Prezi to give a number of great examples regarding ethical issues for businesses. Since I’ve been following the Jeremy Clarkson story too, it was interesting to learn more about the ethical issues surrounding freedom to post on social media. The Marie Claire blogger example case was particularly interesting to think about, personally, do you think she was wrong to post such a controversial comment when she’s representing a magazine?



    1. Hi Namat,

      Good question. I think it probably was wrong because there has to be an alignment between what the blogger/writer produces and both the readership’s expectations and the ethos of their employer. So, in the case of Jeremy Clarkson, it is expected that he will say things that are ‘politically incorrect’. Indeed, without this element to his writing, his readership would drop away. That said, Jeremy also has a ‘line to tread’ between what is appropriate and not – it’s just in a very different place from the Marie Claire blogger.

      In other words it’s an odd (and often unfair) world. If Jeremy had made critical comments about the overweight, while working for the BBC or the Sunday Times, the consequences would have been slight; but in the case of the Marie Claire blogger, her posting was not aligned with expectations, and hence the criticism was that much stronger.


  2. Hey Tamara,

    Your blog post is looking brilliant with all the interactive media you have included. I particularly liked the YouTube video you made yourself. I think the way you’ve balanced the arguments with two dialogues is helpful for demonstrating you have considered both sides of the discussion. I think that social media provides a voice for ordinary individuals, in a way that was not previously available before its existence.

    I think it is interesting that you have tied the question to the Jeremy Clarkson scenario, as I love Top Gear myself. I think that the BBC operates in differently to a private corporation because its public owned. Social media has undoubtedly helped to keep Clarkson in the BBC after each scandal, however because it is state owned, there’s only so many allowances before complaints roll in! The online petitions did indeed demonstrate a new generation of democracy which should certainly be embraced.


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