Last Thursday at noon, the Institute of Ethics hosted its final Brown Bag presentation of the semester, which focused on “Ethics and Social Media.”
“Social media is integration of technology, social interaction, words, photos and video,” said the presenter of the program, Janet Creque, the web content editor for the public relations office.
Some examples of social networking sites that Creque discussed during the brown bag included Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Skype, Youtube, and Google. Creque also played a video clip from socialnomics.com, which gave some insight into just how extensive the world of social networking is. According to the video, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest nation. Also, if Wikipedia were made into a book, it would be 2.25 million pages long, and take over 123 years to read.
“The video was amazing,” said freshman Madison Cox. “I think it should be shown to students more.”
The clip stated that whereas 90 percent of customers trust online peer reviews of products, only 14 percent trust advertisements.
“I thought the video was very interesting, and very shocking,” said freshman Megan McPherson.
Creque explained that there are several ethical dilemmas that arise from the expansion of social networking. For her presentation, she focused on concerns of privacy and ethics in the workplace.
“There’s no real set rules on what is right and wrong,” Creque said. “It’s so new that nobody knows what to do with it yet.”
For instance, there is not a lot of privacy allotted by the Internet. People do not have to get someone’s permission to post a picture of them online.
Creque also addressed several questions concerning the workplace, such as whether companies should be able to ask their employees for their log in information into networking sites, and whether social media is a personal thing or if it should be shared with coworkers and employers.
“There’s been a lot of ethical concerns with social media in the workplace,” Creque said.
Creque also explained that managing your online reputation is important. She offered a bit of advice about posting online such as using common sense, being honest, and reading the terms of service and privacy settings for networking sites.
Oftentimes, adolescents do not realize how available and potentially damaging something they put online can be. No one should post something that they might regret.
“I’m a big proponent of educating kids about social media,” Creque said.
Right now, there is no way to absolutely delete something that is posted online. People should be careful what they post, because future employers and organizations could find information that might be deemed inappropriate.
“I feel like [this presentation] was an eye-opener,” Cox said. “I never really thought about the things I post.”
McPherson was also impressed with this final brown bag event.
“I found it to be very interesting, and it made me even question some of the things that I do,” she said. “I would definitely say that it gave me a different outlook.”
For those who wish to view the video that Creque showed about the expansion of social media, follow this link: http://www.socialnomics.net/2011/07/05/social-media-videos-2011/.