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MC-301 Business Ethics


MC-301 Business Ethics

Assignment The ethics of the business of social media

Submitted by: Rahul Kumar Jha 0258/49

Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49)




............................................................................................................... 15 Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC Page 2 ...........................................................................................................1 Copy of Approval ............................................................3 Executive Summary ..................................2 MC-301 Business Ethics Contents Assignment ........................ 14 Bibliography ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5 Recommendations...........................................................4 Report .........................................................................................................................................................................................................

3 MC-301 Business Ethics Copy of Approval Dear rahul Your proposal is accepted. > lack of privacy concerns of the users of social media. Regards sanjana > Hi. suggested > Remedies > which can help solve this concerns > > Methodology:. > Rahul Jha Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC Page 3 . > > Please find below my required details: > > Name: Rahul Kumar Jha > Reg No : 0258/49 > Section E > Title: The ethics of the business of social media > > Scope: The controversies in the use of unethical practices in social > media. news reports > > Regards.Article.

Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC Page 4 . linkedin. etc are with us. People need to learn how to use social media or at least they need to be made aware of the fact that every bit of information they share may be used by social marketers to sell something to them or on their behalf to someone else. Every link you click or every video you watch on youtube is being watched by algorithms which learn our habits and suggest some other links to our liking. twitter.4 MC-301 Business Ethics Executive Summary In today’s world social media is ubiquitous. People marry. there are genuine privacy concerns. Everywhere we go facebook. and nothing is left. people die. the product being on social media is you-the people. Well this angle is correct. We cannot live without it seems. We need a lot of ethical practices in Social media business and this article talks about that. But we need to draw a line somewhere. This seems nice but when the same information is used to sell things. everything is updated. social media websites sell our information to other companies and help them form a better opinion of us. It is like everything that happens around us is there on some social media website. Now the question arises is what the need of business ethics in social media is. This has led to various businesses mushrooming which not only tap social media but also help other firms use social media to promote their business. of our habits and so on. The answer is obvious: Social media is us and businesses are using us to sell things to us. In popular language it is said in a world where nothing is free. it might not be that bad but it can get worse.

Terms like ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) have recently entered our business vocabulary. many of which are internet based. LinkedIn and Google Plus. Its speed and scope means that once content is published it is available instantaneously. ‘ethics’ is a hot topic. It is there everywhere around us. What exactly is Social Media and how is it being used by businesses? Social media is an umbrella term used to describe social interaction through a suite of technology based tools. networking sites such as Facebook. but is not limited to. and how well it upholds social justice when dealing with employees and residents of the local region in which they operate. internet forums. Generally we associate the term CSR with how well a business takes responsibility for its impact upon the environment. especially when we start talking about big business and advertising. Social media blurs private/public boundaries when individuals’ personal information and opinions enter the public domain. But while these are the ‘mega’ issues we tend to hear about in the media. webcasts. Social media is usually interactive in a way that traditional media is not. and likewise employees access personal sites while at work. This includes. the fundamental issue of ‘ethics’ has a far deeper and more personal purport. The boundaries between personal and work life also become blurred as companies make use of social media (originally designed for personal use) for business purposes. Social media tools tend to be free or available at a very low cost relative to other forms of media and do not require users to have much technical knowledge. to a potentially global audience. This allows larger numbers of individuals to access and publish material than with traditional media forms. and blogs. Twitter. so users can comment on and edit published material. Page Carrying out our natural duty to ‘do no harm’ to our planet and humanity does not automatically make Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC 5 . making it difficult to control content. These days. Social media exhibits unique characteristics when compared to ”traditional‟ media forms.5 MC-301 Business Ethics Report We all hear the term Social media everyday.

it is not a list of ‘rules’ we should follow and ‘regulations’ we should not break. we only increase this Deadly Sin of Disconnection by putting people into categories of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘good’ and ‘evil’. or whatever. it means our decisions.6 MC-301 Business Ethics us ‘ethical’. When we live an ethical life or run an ethical business. terrorism and warfare. But I believe greed is just a symptom of something subtler. this superficial understanding of ethics can produce a polarity of thought that creates a sword of division between individuals. people or planet. At its most extreme. we find a great deal of common ground. Beneath greed. Rather. you will always find fear – fear of loss. fear of survival. What that actually ‘looks like’ is. Rather. more than a bit hazy. But I believe when we dig deeply enough and get to the core of the intent behind those values. it is a vibrant code that expresses our values. What one person puts at the forefront of their values may not match another person’s values. we hear a lot of people say they think ‘greed’ is the ‘evil’ that drives people to be unethical. Page Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC 6 . whether it be of an environmental. Ethics is not simply the absence of a negative. For example. you will eventually find the root cause from which the apparently ‘unethical’ behaviour of greediness was born: a fundamental feeling of disconnection. Because of this. races and nations. admittedly. It is a repeated observation that if you look beneath the surface of any ‘unethical’ behaviour. we as a society are likely never to reach consensus about what is ‘ethical’ and what is not. When we feel disconnected from Self. policies and behaviour are all congruent with our values. It is my view that disconnection is at the root of all so-called ‘evils’ in the world. Greed is just one of the darker shades of disconnection. and that these values illuminate a higher purpose and vision for the world. we open the door to various shades of ‘unethical’ behaviour. and becomes the fuel of crime. you will always find the ‘Deadly Sin of Disconnection’ as its point of origin. And if you dig even more deeply to look beneath the fear. fear of rejection. if our view of ‘ethics’ is defined solely by behaviour rather than the cause of that behaviour. economic or societal nature.

seeing it as an alluring. Then. Social media has slipped into our lives so quickly and so pervasively that many people find it overwhelming. or even repugnant. wide-open canvas for experimentation and innovation. There is a need to address how social media is changing the way we communicate. Twitter or LinkedIn step in and announce a new set of ground rules. If we can step back from our personal feelings about Page Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC 7 .7 MC-301 Business Ethics Because of this. like a mob. experimentation and innovation lies a dilemma: the old paradigms for communication are being stretched and morphed into a new culture we don’t fully understand yet. more genuine. where the underlying assumption is that if we are driven by a desire to create a deeper. And while we will openly express my personal views on what I believe ‘ethical marketing’ might look like on social media (and Twitter in particular). Statistics show that our adoption of communication platforms like Facebook and Twitter has spread at lightning speed. You could say that social media is one big global communication laboratory. We’re making up the rules as we go along. I do respect that you will undoubtedly have your own interpretations of what is and is not ethical. confusing. it is preferred to take a core-focused perspective of ethics. all the end users have to shift gears and the whole mob dynamic starts again. our outward behaviour will automatically be ‘ethical’. the policy makers behind platforms like Facebook. and that every one of us is playing a part in its creation. hundreds of times faster than the adoption of either the telephone or television in the 0th century. The rise of social media is arguably the fastest paradigm shift in communication humankind has ever experienced. Others have embraced it with great enthusiasm. But within that vast. exciting world of lightning-speed change. The idea of Corporate Social Responsibility came about in response to an urgent need of our changing times: the need to address ecological imbalance and social injustice. When things start to get out of hand. more respectful connection with others. which may differ from mine.

our communications are no longer limited by time and space. We can sense that the status quo of business and marketing is changing. A vibrant. Our old ideas about privacy and propriety are being challenged. There is no point in talking about ethics AFTER things have ‘settled down’. chances are that dogma will be only a slight variation of the old paradigm. we can perhaps begin to appreciate what a powerful and fascinating chapter in human history this is. On Twitter. rather than wait for big businesses.8 MC-301 Business Ethics social media just enough to look at it from a sociological perspective. If we wait until then. the only sensible time to talk about ethics is when we are exactly where we are now – confused. And because we are in the midst of a major shift in our communication paradigms. value-driven paradigm for ethics can only be created if we begin the dialogue NOW. while we are still amidst this blitz of change. through employees‟ use of social media on behalf of the company. we cannot wait any longer. Page Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC 8 . These unique characteristics of social media pose ethical challenges for business. but we have not yet reached a consensus as to what is ‘ethical marketing’ and what is not. we are also in the midst of a shift in our paradigms for ethics. Reaching that consensus is what we as a world are being called upon to do now. Many ‘old school’ advertisers are starting to stick out like sore thumbs when they barge into our new communication universe. instead they are limited to 140 characters. It is only within the ‘mess’ of our confusion that we will find our greatest resource for innovation and social change. as well as their personal use. governments or even the social media platforms themselves to make our minds up for us. but with hundreds or even thousands. If this happens to be a large corporate or political entity whose primary motive is to protect their financial or political interests. new. the ethical standards that emerge will most likely be the dogma of the loudest or most powerful voice. No. Our conversations are no longer with one person at a time.

organizations must monitor the remarks of employees as well as those of their stakeholders. When an employee uses social media in an irresponsible way either on behalf of the company or through their personal social media account. fraud and internal control training are conducted -. This is harder for companies to control. Amidst calls to boycott Nestlé. A sensitive topic we've all Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) 9 . For example. we all have a duty to use social Page IIMC media in an honourable manner and take responsibility for our actions. it can undermine the company’s commitment to ethical practice and expose it to integrity risk. employees might post negative comments about the company on their personal social media profile. Alternatively. which has even provided the impetus for government changes in some parts of the world. In addition. However. individuals need proper education and training. we've not yet reached an era where social media sites share ethical responsibility for public content. Unfortunately. The case of Nestlé provides an example. an employee who was managing content on the company’s Facebook Fan Page posted offensive comments in response to negative remarks by fans. In combating this misuse.this should include the penalties for specific violations. sexual harassment. 6 of 7 respondents identified integrity risk as the main ethical challenge with regard to social media. The power of social media is constantly emerging on a global basis. In March 2011. organizations and individuals should develop their own ethical policies and processes for handling social media internally. Customer or other stakeholder complaints may add value by identifying product and process issues to be addressed. a frustrated Tweet about traffic sent on the wrong site caused an employee to be fired and his company's consulting contract to be terminated.9 MC-301 Business Ethics In a survey of large companies. Many recent lapses have occurred and are occurring daily. members of the general public also joined the Fan Page specifically to criticise the Company. Therefore. The employee’s behaviour violated the company’s business principle of integrity and their commitment to “avoid any conduct that could damage or risk Nestlé or its reputation” and provoked a consumer backlash. much in the same way as ethics.

Over time. but I also contend that there is a tremendous amount of progress yet to be made to fulfil on this positive vision.' There are ethical concerns about the uses of data in complex political and legal situations in which people might be at risk if their identity is revealed.' I want to specifically address this last concern. how to change them and to what degree their data is deemed 'public. Secondly. a magazine buy or a website display ad for example. Then social media showed up on the scene. very personal data. My position: I believe that brand marketing within social media is a positive step forward for the end consumer. when they do reach Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC 10 . all fears allayed. I had product x. how they engage with the world online and begin to carve out who their best audience really is. what their affiliations are. With the advent of social media the idea of understanding a person's personal taste became a reality. The marketer no longer had to boil the ocean with a single idea. If only. Lastly there are ethical concerns around the use of social media data for brand marketing purposes where the lines blur between 'relevant' and just plain old 'creepy. They can find the people that want to hear from them. there are ethical concerns about how social networks inform users of what their privacy levels are. The marketer could move beyond analyzing the standard fare of demographic and psychographic data presented by a TV show advertising opportunity. the marketer can read the data of what people like. For example. the people who truly do want to hear from them.10 MC-301 Business Ethics grappled with is the subject of ethics in social media marketing practices. In sum: By knowing more about their audience and having a direct channel to reach them brands can Page reach the right people. Now. y or z and all my ills would be solved. The story is complex and one blog post will certainly not solve the many ethical dilemmas that data privacy presents. First: Why is social media marketing a positive step forward for the end consumer?. often times. I wane. all dreams realized. specifically: the proper uses of. the messaging has dulled our senses and for a period the ads had to become more and more sensational just to get our attention at all.

Additionally the end consumers had a thoughtful and interesting experience. give-away model to deliver a truly meaningful experience. I’ve built a nice reputation by talking a lot about Page Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC 11 . The singular nostalgic message of a childhood cookie and cup of milk was nowhere to be found yet the campaign succeeded wildly.' You will know you’ve graduated beyond the superficiality of social media marketing when you shed the “social media” label from your thinking. it was news relevant. instead brands are able to listen and create truly engaging and more meaningful ways of interacting with that audience: from interactive applications that make people's lives easier. As I mentioned early on. engaging and thoughtful experience. The campaign was successful on many fronts: it was time relevant. The best way to explain my point is with an example: Oreo recently launched a campaign called the Oreo Daily Twist. entertaining and even at times cause based or political. of the sort they had never experienced before with the brand. it's not all a rosy parade. The end consumer is now the one able to determine the landscape of their marketing experience and the brand is better off as a result. The brand listened to the data. Each day Oreo took a sometimes fun and at other times quite politically risky approach of visually refashioning their iconic cookie to be relevant to a news level topic of the day. used it effectively and the end consumer had a relevant. what we call a 'win-win. The bottom line: The communication funnel is being reversed. Certainly. it was at times risky and political and it understood the nature of it's social community and their willingness to support and engage with the effort. to rich media campaigns that are relevant.11 MC-301 Business Ethics their target audience they no longer engage in a 'top-down' manner. sweepstakes. Truly. Brands have a long way to go to get better at understanding how to use social media as a listening device that shapes their campaigns. those engagements need to evolve beyond the contest. Additionally.

we’ve done something unambiguously good. including maintaining the interconnectivity of family members. Social media promises improvements here. Sites like Groupon. they tend to insult it as if ads are not effective at all. Page Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC 12 . Identity theft. And god forbid you actually take out an ad on Facebook?! Sacrilege. colleagues. hacking and other privacy concerns can stop you or your business in its tracks. classmates. This is one example of the ethical power of social media. too. It may only take one sitting through a FBI presentation on cybercrime to raise awareness. phishing. alumni and friends. or more generally any situation in which a buyer or seller is able to exert “market power. Used in the right way. For allow individuals to aggregate in ways that give them substantial bargaining power. ensure that your organization has adequate policies in place to guide the use of social media and that the staff is properly trained. Another big enemy of efficient markets is monopoly power. However. The positive effect of social media is quite general: just about any time we find a way to foster mutuallyadvantageous market exchanges. Also. instead of embracing advertising as an integral part of a marketing plan. think or say. Another thing the purists are married to is an unrealistic ethical positioning. keep in mind that "less is more" when disclosing information about yourself. social media can provide many professional and personal benefits.” essentially a situation in which some market actor enjoys a relative lack of competition and hence has the ability to throw its weight around.12 MC-301 Business Ethics social media in the last few years. They call email marketers spammers and look down their noses at people who still spend money on Pay-Per-Click and online media campaigns. But social media is a small part of what will drive customers to buy or try.

and filtering information.13 MC-301 Business Ethics The general lesson here is that markets thrive on information. social media has provided firms as well as people with lots of information and that information weilds a lot of power. In the words of Spiderman. sharing. The need of the hour is to use this power with great responsibility both from the firms as well as the users. “with great power comes great responsibility”. including important information about what consumers want.” the real payoff may lie in the way social media render markets more efficient. So while a lot of attention has been paid to the sense in which social media are “bringing us together. economists’ formal models for efficient markets assume that all participants have full knowledge — that is. Social networks are providing increasingly sophisticated mechanisms for aggregating. Indeed. about what companies have to offer. Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC Page 13 . and so on. they assume that lack of information will never be an issue.

just read about the privacy policy of your social network. Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC Page 14 . Facebook for example gives you a lot of power to decide what is shared and what is not. They should not use some sensitive information about users against them and try to use the information which is important but not too personal. Secondly businesses using social media to sell need to understand what they are doing with the data. attempts at privacy invasion etc by the social networks. what is required is a sense of trust and use of ethical practices. it is most important that users of social media first and foremost read and understand what all is shared and what all is protected. It is also of prime importance to notify breach of data. There is a need to expose the businesses using unethical practices so that users know which firms are rogue and they can take their own decisions whether they want to buy or not. Social media is a great tool and can be used for the benefit of all. So go ahead and understand those features and use them if you have concerns. To do this is simple. This doesn’t restrict the profitability of the businesses’ selling campaign and also helps keep the trust of users in the businesses.14 MC-301 Business Ethics Recommendations To solve the problem of privacy as well as lack of awareness of people about social media.

15 MC-301 Business Ethics Bibliography Rahul Kumar Jha (0258/49) IIMC Page 15 .com/article/ethical-challenges-social-media-0321 http://businessethicsblog.