Topic 4 – Reflection

During this topic, I made a conscious effort to link my ideas to current affairs relating to business and social media, to make my arguments more engaging and relevant. It came as no surprise that business use of social media raised serious ethical issues. What was surprising was the varied ways in which ‘business use of social media’ had been interpreted by students. I chose to focus on high-profile individuals (specifically politicians but celebrities were also discussed in the comments) whose professions place them in the public eye online. Emily studied the social media platforms as businesses with policies and complicating pressures of their own, while Jordan looked at use of social media by individuals within a business and how this reflects on a company.

While these different approaches covered separate ethical concerns, a common issue raised on blogs was who is responsible for prescribing and maintaining ethical conduct on social media platforms: businesses, individuals, society, government bodies or the platforms themselves? This inspired me to think not just about the existing problems but about steps which can be taken towards solving them.

So, taking trolling on Twitter from my own blog as an example, I have gathered some of the suggestions and learnings which came through in the comments to see what can be done to help. I received several comments on my Topic 4 post, creating a rich and wide-ranging discussion (key points captured in the graphic below).

Trolling infographic
Fig. 1: visual representation of the discussion generated from my Topic 4 post

As Jordan pointed out in his comment, there are ‘few other tools’ like Twitter where opinions can be shared so freely. While I realise that this a huge part of the appeal of the platform, can the pleasure that we get from Twitter ever make up for when it goes wrong? Hopefully the wider recognition and improved understanding of trolling is leading towards less damaging online dialogue in future.

Comment on Emily’s blog here.

Comment on Jordan’s blog here.

Word count: 319

Image References

Featured Image: courtesy of Pexels.

Figure 1: self-produced using Microsoft PowerPoint.

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