Topic 4: Reflection on Ethics

This topic was ostensibly about the ethical issues that are attached to business and educational use of social media. Oddly, at the end of the exercise, I’ve concluded that it is we, as individuals, who have the critical role in ensuring companies, individuals and educational establishments act appropriately. Companies respond to their customer’s demands – if their customers use the internet to call for change, then I suspect this will result in quicker action than any government or legislative pronouncement. We have a moral imperative to criticise the wrong doer. However, last semester Nabeel Siddiqui took a very different view, noting that ‘businesses, whether they are present online or physically, are not people. Morality and ethics are secondary concerns to most profit-seeking businesses.’ https://nabeels7.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/am-i-smarter-this-week/. Personally, I agree with Din J’s views, who stated that the root cause of the problem is that ‘humans are known to be lazy and naïve’ https://dinj18hoursaway.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/topic-4-reflection/. In other words, we have the tools to improve internet’s morality – but do we care enough to do so? (Din’s blog also likened his ability to blog to an elephant’s ability to skip rope.)

As a result, the questions that I posted on Hayley Matthew’s and Leigh Ravenhill’s blogs were designed to check if they thought that they have a responsibility to ensure that employees (companies, after all, are nothing more than a collection of people) are challenged when they act inappropriately.

Otherwise, I find myself staggered by the variety of approaches our community has taken to the same question. That said, a common theme that cropped up was the need for companies to provide their employees with guidance on what is appropriate/inappropriate use of the internet. Again, I was amazed, this time, because my generation, that is supposed to be enjoying expanded freedoms because of the internet, is looking to be told how to behave. If we don’t know, deep down, what is right and wrong, then something is very wrong with our moral compass. So in a sense one of the key learning points I’ve taken from this module concerns human behaviour.  Humans have always wanted to look outside themselves for guidance on what is right and wrong, and we don’t seem not to have changed much.

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