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The discussion and Jenelle's closing graf about thinking twice about the share button also reminded me of an instance demonstrating how ugly social media is getting. A friend and coworker was one of several commenters in a newspaper forum on a controversial topic. Because she logged in under her FB profile to make her comments someone from the opposing view tracked her down to our place of work. They used the company website's "contact us" to send in a rather vicious email and threatened to discontinue any business dealings with the company. Obviously they had no dealings with our company so there's no serious risk there, but it's another example of how ugly things can get if you aren't careful with your social activity.
1 year, 6 months ago on The Ugly Side of Social Media Sharing
@jenelleconner No lawyer or expert, but the best I can come up with is they are trying to draw a parallel to "fair use" rules listed in copyright laws that provides some leeway for others to use a portion of copyrighted material for educational purposes (still requires crediting the content creator though). None of it really applies since the content wasn't copyrighted in the first place. Sounds like they were just trying to stack up excuses and alibis for denying her request to remove the photo.
Very sorry to hear about your friend and her kids, Jenelle. But the incident makes for an exceptional social media case study from both the management and legal aspects. It's also confusing why any organization would push back so hard on the simple request. True the photo got out in the public domain, but c'mon ... really? I've checked out [redacted]'s FB page and with the number of axes they appear to be grinding, dumping a photo of minors at the mom's request shouldn't have any affect on their timeline. I guess they didn't read their own article about meditation making you more compassionate.
@DebraCaplick @ginidietrich With that additional Gawker tidbit, it sounds like she wasn't given the option of whether or not to accept her mission and was just disavowed when she was caught.
And Debra makes an excellent point. What kid just out of school is going toe-to-toe with well-established senior executives by calling them out for unethical tactics? Might be a few, but I'd be willing to bet they'll be looking for new work shortly after. If a company uses unethical practices in the first place, why would they think twice about sacking the "new kid"?
2 years, 5 months ago on Wal-Mart Case: Don’t Overlook the Institutional Ethics
I believe the ethical "righting of the wrong" in this situation has challenges. There's the argument for turning over all the collected materials to the wronged parties with some sort of apologetic statement saying this is not how they want to do business (like they said in their official statement). However, the result of that would most likely cause widespread heart attacks in the Legal Department as they envision a steady stream of potential lawsuits.
The ethics expert says sharing is what needs to be done. But what happens if company and client don't agree on what the right course of action is? And there's always the chance the media will get their hands on the material too -- lots of fun directions that could go ...
It may be a great Catch-22 example where the right thing to do leads to more problems and litigation for the company and client. But avoiding the ethical response continues to give life to the PR crisis and negative press, which can still lead to more of the same. I'm not sure what the best answer is, but will be interested to see what types of solutions the Spin Sucks community would suggest. This whole situation makes for a great case study to watch unfold.
And in the spirit of full disclosure, I'm one of John's colleagues at Vox Optima, so I'm hoping this community will forgive a certain amount favor toward John's post.
Just got back from Savannah and catching up on everything when I ran across your blog post. You can count us folks here in Athens, GA, to keep your brother, you and the rest of your family in our thoughts and prayers.
2 years, 8 months ago on A Personal Request