Social Media and PR

Haley J. Higgs

Is Social Monitoring Ethical? January 30, 2010

Filed under: TOW — hhiggs87 @ 10:29 am


When I was thinking about how to answer this question, something occurred to me. The question of ethics isn’t black and white. I understand social monitoring and why companies and organizations participate in it. Social monitoring is a way for companies and organizations to track how the public views them. Companies can look and see if they were mentioned in a blog, a tweet, a video or any mix of things. It is basically like “Google-ing” themselves to see what people are saying.

I completely understand why companies are doing this and the various ways they can benefit from the information they receive but in the grand scheme of things, I can’t say if it is ethical or not. To me, social monitoring is like listening in on a conversation you weren’t invited to be a part of. It is almost like spying on people just to hear what they are saying about you. But on the other hand, everyone knows the Internet isn’t a private thing. So, if someone chooses to post their opinions on a blog for example then they should realize that they are posting it out there for the entire world to see. Companies may be taking advantage to people’s privacy but at the same time these people should know that if they are putting it in the Internet than privacy doesn’t apply.

Personally, I don’t know whether social monitoring is ethical or not. I can see both side of the spectrum and frankly they are both a little gray. I understand social monitoring, why it is done and why companies benefit from it but at the same time, I don’t know if it is ethical. There are many other factors to consider other than is it ethical or not. Companies would have to consider their mission and values and after that the decision would be theirs alone to make.

Advertisements
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s