Delivery in day(s): 3
Ethical Issues In Social Network Assignments
Background of the study
Social networking is a platform where different individuals with varying interests use to share information as well as their interests in different fields such as life and carrier experience and any other relevant information according to the participants involved in a given group. The communication between the social media users occurs via online globally. An individual or a group generates information technology, receives it or serves as a link to other users within the network.
There are various social networking sites and among them are Facebook, twitter, Instagram, e-mailing, WhatsApp, YouTube, and many others[ CITATION Kee13 \l 1033 ].
The social networking to a greater extend has improved the human communication where the world has been turned into a global village[CITATION Que13 \l 1033 ]. However, with there are crucial moral principles and values guiding the conduct of behaviour in the society have been and are being violated through the very social network.
This project sought to explore the current and future possible ethical issues and jurisdictional issues that arise from the vast influence of social networking. Such issues include but not limited to privacy of an individual, right of freedom of speech and personal security in addition, the work provides the possible suggestions that can be applied in handling the ethical issues and jurisdiction experienced from the social networking realm.
Despite a vast advantage of social networking, there are many challenges that it presents to the organization of any type. The challenges cut across the behavior degradation, violated privacy and online crimes such as identity theft and cyber bullying among others either from within or without the organizational setting. It is as a result of the above-mentioned challenges in the field of social networking that this project directed its attention towards assessing the ethical issues and jurisdictional issues associated to social networking at an organizational level.
Justification of the study
The challenges presented by the social networking does not only affect the organizations only, but also the society at large. Therefore, the violated ethics has to be identified and the possible remedies on the same are to be applied accordingly. This is the core purpose of this research.
1. This study was guided by general and specific objectives.
1. To identify the main ethical issues in social networking.
1.To assess the implications of ethical issues from social networking to an organization.
2.To establish the possible effective measures to be employed against the ethical issues from social networking.
1.What are the main jurisdictional and ethical issues related to social networking?
2.What are the possible solutions to the jurisdictional and ethical issues from social networking?
Significance of the study
The findings from the study when properly implemented will act as a guide on how the various platforms of social media can be used effectively without violating any individuals’ rights while promoting communication, morals and values between the organizations.
Scope of the study
Approved online resources and published work were used in obtaining information. The information obtained represent the entire users of social media plat forms.
This chapter gives an overview of ethical issues concerning social networking. The study looked into the recent literature which has been done on the same, the ethical issues that were identified and the measures that were proposed by respective authors to be adopted. However, the study points out the gaps that were not covered by the research done and therefore it comes up with new solutions that shall fill the existing needs.
in every organization, there are guidance provided that state the proper and appropriate professional and ethical behaviour. Just to mention a few, the American Pharmacist Association code of Ethics as well as the pledge of professionalism administered to any person taking the public office or any other office in a given organization[ CITATION DeC13 \l 1033 ]. Both these give the way colleagues in an association are supposed to carry out themselves. However, the way people understand and interpret the standard guidelines that are supposed to dictate the manner of their behavior pertaining the media use are diverse from one individual to another in an organization. This is because the social networking covers the communication covers not only personal issues but goes beyond to the families, friends, fellow workers in an organization as well as the clients of an organization. The use of social media for communication between different parties in an organization has no defined boundaries and therefore the private and personal issues has been blended with the public matters which has resulted into a series of conflicts and controversies[CITATION Lew15 \l 1033 ]. Despite the establishment of code of ethics, the ethical issues in the organizations are still on the rise[ CITATION Fuc17 \l 1033 ].
Traditionally, the social media was designed for communication which was to bee considered private and secure. This is not the current state with the social media which is inherently broader and unsecure that makes the confidentiality and privacy of information non-achievable[ CITATION Den15 \l 1033 ]. The moment a personal information gets to the public, its owner has no control over it as thee recipients of the information will use it in a way that may not be as the owner of the information intended. This is the basis of the ethical issues arising in the social networking.
The person who views the information matters. The information to be viewed by another party outside the authors’ social networking circle, in this case, beyond the organizational jurisdictions requires the permission. Under normal circumstances, the information that has been publicized can be viewed by any other person but at the same time the nature of public accessing the information online remains to be of concern[ CITATION Kim13 \l 1033 ]. The public may be closed or open. The closed public consists of a specific group of people to which a specific information is intended to reach to. This can be the communication from the organizational management to its workers, the information from a company to its clients or the communication among the colleagues in a given organization. The information is solely meant for the concerned members and any access to the information by another person outside the expected audience amounts to the violation of individuals’ or an organizations information privacy.
From the study done by BullGuard group (2018) on privacy violation, the study stated that the privacy of individuals both at organizational and individual level are infringed in various ways in the social media. These include data scraping where an individual’s activities are tracked online and his personal data as well as private and confidential information is downloaded and sold without their consent. The research companies are among the most known organizations that harvest the personal information of a given company and use the same to work against the interests of the company itself. The study gives an example of Nielsen research company which scrapped off all messages of the patients in the “LikeMe” online forum where the clients shared their emotional challenges in belief that it was private and safe, but to their disappointment, their web privacy got violated. This raised the ethics and online privacy concern[ CITATION McK13 \l 1033 ].
Another way that the online safety and privacy has been put at risk is through the various social media among the rampant are the Facebook applications. The applications leak the personal data of an individual or a company. This happens where an application during the installation requires the user to provide the sensitive information such as the telephone number, email address, date of birth, place of birth as well as some passwords. The advertisers using the application later use the application users’ personal information to access their private online data such as pictures and chats thus exposing the users to online attacks and insecurity.
In the same study, the BullGuard states that the online privacy is of concern to every individual who uses tweeter. This social media platform allows installation of tracking tools in social website. These tools track and gather information about all activities done by the person who has logged in. these include the internet sites he or she has accessed and the places he or she is at any time. An example of the social media platform that has raised concern among the teens privacy in social networking is Snazzyspace.com.
Means of information access
How an individual gets an access to the social media information of another person is an ethical issue of concern.
There is a great difference between viewing a social media information of an individual or organization and accessing the same information. The social media information that has been authorized for access and view by the author can be viewed by the intended audience. Any other person outside the authorized audience viewing the information violates privy rights of the information provider[CITATION Avo14 \l 1033 ]. It is also violation of an individuals’ privacy by accessing his or her social media information from any given source and scrutinizing it without his permission. In the study carried out by Jeff and Joseph (2010. P. 5) in their article “Legal and Ethical Issues Regarding Social Media and Pharmacy Education”, they state that “It is one thing to view social media information of someone who specifically granted access to it. However, it is a different matter to access that information if presented by a third party, such as a fellow student, colleague, or competitor for an award, honor, or job. Philosophically, many feel that information freely and voluntarily provided to the public is open for scrutiny regardless of how it is exposed. Others believe that only information to which one has specifically been granted access should be open for judgment and interpretation. The ethical question for faculty members and administrators to consider is, ‘‘If a student actively attempts to keep his or her online persona private from those in authority, should that information be used if brought forth by someone else who has access to it?’’
The social media information in most cases are accessed with the consent of the social media user by several ways such as phishing and spamming where the user is blackmailed to give access of his personal details to an external party claiming to be from an organization. Hacking is another way where a person gets an access to other person device without his or her consent and monitors all the online activities done by the person. This exposes the social media user to online insecurity to his information for the intruder may use the information against its owner[ CITATION Her13 \l 1033 ].
The main intention of social media information use
The main purpose of viewing and using the media information in an organization should be well known to every individual within an organization. Originally, the social media was meant for socialization reasons and communications within certain limits. However, certain organizations are using the available social media information as the basis of judging their staff. In the study carried out by Jeff and Joseph (2010, p. 5) on Legal and ethical issues, they ask the following question: ‘‘Is it right to use social media to make judgments related to school admissions, employee selection, disciplinary matters, or any other decisions of a non-social nature?’’
In their argument, it was evident that social media information should not be the basis of judging the individual’s capability of performance in any given organization[CITATION Zim15 \l 1033 ]. This is because the information is not reliable as its truthfulness is not confirmed and therefore its use brings misjudgment and creation of false picture about the staff. In addition to this, some individuals are highly sensitive to their information privacy and therefore accessing their personal social media information online is extremely difficult, and therefore, the use of this criteria is unethical according to any code of ethics in professionalism[ CITATION Mor13 \l 1033 ].
The standards for judging the social media users’ personality
There are no laid down criteria to be used in Interpreting the person’s ability, personality or code of conduct from the social media information about him or her. For instance, the online information may show some element of the individuals’ personality, they do not give the true and exact picture of who the person is., From the study carried out by Jeff and Joseph (2010, p. 7), they gave an example of impossibility of telling if an individual is an alcohol user or a drug addict just from looking into his or her available social media information. One would post photos where he or she is using alcohol or illegal drugs but in reality, he is not doing whatever he has posted. In addition, the photos posted on the social media may not be real since they can be altered in several ways to convey the intended message of the person who posted it[ CITATION Lyo13 \l 1033 ].
Therefore, an organization can judge the personality of its staff neither can the staff judge his fellow colleague from the social media information[ CITATION Reb13 \l 1033 ].
Social networking relationships
The extent to which people relate in social media is of concern.
There are general acceptable levels according to the professional code of conduct and moral values of the society at large. By the use of social media, some relationships have been created which lowers the standards of an organization[ CITATION Par15 \l 1033 ]. For example, the colleagues working in the same organizational behaviour within the equal ranks are free to become friends in the social media platforms such as Facebook and exchange any information, however, it is unethical for a member of staff in a learning institution or any other sensitive institution such as investigation organizations becoming friends with the students or clients respectively as this will breach the professional standards where the service provider is limited in having personal relationship with the client as it will lead to compromise in the service delivery within a given organization[CITATION Hen13 \l 1033 ]. Despite there being more benefits of having social media relationship between the service providers and clients, there is a risk of overexposing some confidential information without realizing it to the public and this will finally lead into dire consequences to the organization in one way or another over the time[ CITATION Cai081 \l 1033 ][ CITATION Gus09 \l 1033 ].
Social networking platform can be a perfect tool for creating and maintaining an outstanding relationship among the organization’s staff, between different organizations as well as between organizations and their clients. By enhancing communication, it promotes the spirit of togetherness and team work in an organization as each member feels to be part of the family. This is a desirable feature in any given organization[ CITATION Ven14 \l 1033 ].
However, the extend of openness of social network presents several ethical challenges. This happens when one or more members of the organization give inappropriate information in the network. The information could be misguiding, very sensitive or offensive to the rest of the members. This leads to calamities within and far beyond an organization[ CITATION Wen13 \l 1033 ].
The ethical issues in social networking can be dealt with in several ways
Among the approaches that can be effectively applied to resolve the ethical issues and jurisdiction in social networking for an organization include but not limited to the following:
All the member of an organization should be enlightened on the ethical issues surrounding social networking. when an individual has a proper understanding on these issues he will be in a position to take the personal initiative and responsibility to ensure proper use of the social media within the respective jurisdictions[ CITATION Ame13 \l 1033 ].
An organization should establish standard rules and guidelines that regulate the social media use. This includes the extent to which the members of an organization are supposed to relate to each other as well as to the clients. The regulations should state clearly some of the offences that can arise from the social networking, the respective circumstances and the proper procedure to be followed while resolving any ethical issues. Consequences of violating any of the laid down rules should be made clear to every individual so as everyone would be held responsible of his or her own actions[ CITATION Ste18 \l 1033 ].
The organization should show consistency pertaining the use of media information of its staff. If the organization is going to use their staff’s social media information, the kind of information should be stated clearly and the staff to be made aware so as not to infringe his or her privacy rights[ CITATION Bor02 \l 1033 ].
A proper guideline of using the information of client or any other individual in an organization should be provided. This consists of the extend to which the information can be accessed, the situation or circumstance when the consent from an individual is required or not required for his or her social media information to be accessed and used by an organization[ CITATION Fel11 \l 1033 ].
To access and view the social information of an individual or an organization, the permission must be requested for the consent to be given by the owner of the information. Therefore, strict penalties should be imposed on those that infiltrate into the privacy of the organization or any individual through hacking or any other means that allow illegal access of information within the defined jurisdictional boundaries[ CITATION Bul18 \l 1033 ].
Finally, the personality of an individual either being a client or a staff to the organization should be judged on practical basis. The social media information is bias and exaggerated and therefore it cannot be relied upon to conclude the character of a person[ CITATION Mur12 \l 1033 ].
Conclusion and recommendation.
This research paper is about the ethical issues and jurisdiction in social networking for organizations. Jurisdictionally, every organization or company has a range to which it exercises its authority over its subjects. This does not apply in the physical code of conduct, but also to the communication. Communication within an organization between the staff and between the staff and clients as well as between one organization and another take different forms. The form of interest in this paper involves the use of social media. The social media is a platform consisting of websites as well as applications such as Facebook, tweeter, Instagram and many other that can be installed in the communication devices such as computers and mobile phones for the purpose of communication and socialization.
Social networking has proved to enhance unity among the staff in an organization with same interests as well as promoting the staff-client relationship. It has also improved the way an organization or companies market their products and services to their potential consumers. However, the misuse of the social network leads to a mountain of challenges not only to the individuals but also to the respective organizations.
The social network can be misused when the authorized users post the inappropriate information that can be misleading or offensive to either of the concerned parties. The sensitive information about the organization or an individual can also be disclosed to the public which end up having mixed reactions and finally leading to the wrangles within and between the organizations.
The rules and guidelines pertaining the use of the social media forum are to be laid down by any organization which dictate how different organizations have to communicate with each other, how the staff and client are supposed to interact and to what extent. The proper protocols to be followed while accessing and viewing the social media information, as well as the situations at which an individual’s information can be used, should be made clear to each and every individual. More importantly, an organization should educate its clients and staff on the proper use of the social media so as to avoid any possible issues that would arise from ignorance.
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