Business based social media accounts can be a risky affair. I’m sure all pages are created with good intentions, however various ethical issues (which are seldom given any degree of thought before making said accounts) can arise. Ethics are considered to be moral principles (BBC, 2014). The main ethical issue of interest that I will be discussing concerns working with children, and the following repercussions that can occur regarding social media use for business.
One personal implication of working with children is random ‘friend requests’ on Facebook. In many cases, the friend requests I receive are all from children under the age of 13. As quoted on the NSPCC website, “around half of 11 and 12 year olds have an under age profile in the UK” (Lilley and Ball, 2013). We are dealing with more than one ethical issue here – what will the child’s parents think if they see that I have accepted the friend request from their 10 year old son, as well as the fact that he has gone behind their back and created a Facebook account under age? O’Keeffe et al. (2011) says that “social media offers today’s youth a portal for entertainment and communication” – so we need to be careful how they use this ‘portal’.They may feel comfortable contacting you, and may need to talk to someone confidentially. The appropriate way to deal with this would be to speak to the child privately when you next see them, or speak to a manager. The Guardian (2014) reiterates that social media “has given a voice to people who have often felt excluded and powerless”. One child recently messaged my company’s Facebook page wanting to speak to someone about coming out.
Another implication of working with children is the distribution of images on social media. Posting images of children online requires signed consent from parents. Even then, you have to ensure that all the pictures have been deleted from the original source. Furthermore, it is essential that you check the privacy of the picture you have just posted on the page – you could be placing the children involved at risk.
How about the other side of the story? What happens when pupils you work with are able to view your profiles and updates? Imagine the further uproar that could’ve been caused had Justine Sacco’s famous tweet (NY Times, 2015) been posted by a teacher.
400 words excluding quotations
Lilley, C. and Ball, R. (2013) Youngerchildren and social networking sites: a blind spot. [London]: NSPCC.
“BBC – Ethics – Introduction To Ethics: Ethics: A General Introduction”. Bbc.co.uk. N.p., 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
Children And Teachers Social Media. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.
“Implications Of Children Using Social Media”. ISYS6621: Social Media for Managers. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
O’Keeffe, G. S. and K. Clarke-Pearson. “The Impact Of Social Media On Children, Adolescents, And Families”. N.p., 2011. Print.
Ronson, Jon. “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’S Life”. Nytimes.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.
“Twitter Abuse: Easy On The Messenger | Editorial”. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2016.