Political and legal influences and the moral and ethical implications of social media
Political and legal influences/consequences of social media
Political Causes/Effects: Look at government policy, government intervention, government involvement (support or lack of support, funding), both nationally and internationally. Consider Congress, the President, the Supreme Court (decisions), the rate of change, liberalism, conservatism, legislation, litigation, etc. What political factors are at work in the progression or regression of the technology (e.g. lobbyists, special interest groups, partisan views, vocal advocates or spokespersons)? For example: The Americans with Disabilities Act was designed to prevent discrimination and encourage accessibility to public facilities; it impacted architects, companies, organizations and persons with disabilities through the installation of ramps (wider doors, lower knobs/handles, larger restroom stalls), the use of assistive devices in schools and in the workplace, hiring practices and lawsuits against employers, etc.
ETHICAL and MORAL implications of social media
Moral and Ethical Considerations: Consider quality of life, human rights, codes of ethics, privacy, accountability, corporate responsibility government responsibility, individual responsibility (e.g., ways of dying and rights of dying). What ethical values are expressed implicitly or explicitly by this technology? Pride (being the first-to-get-to-the moon kind of thing)? Greed? Power? Fraud? Theft? Deception? Lies? Whose rights are violated? Whose rights are honored? Consumer rights? The rights of the general public? Freedom? Authority? Control? What are the major moral concerns associated with the creation and adoption of this technology? Remember the e-Waste example in the reading I gave you?the disposal of dangerous toxins in ?poorer? countries, the not-in-my-backyard phenomenon. What do religious groups have to say (this group thing may fit better in the sociology section)? For example, contraceptives generally prevent pregnancy but for some this technology violates what they call ?natural law? and their religious belief in God?s command to ?be fruitful and multiply.? Look at corporate code of ethics, professional codes of ethics (IEEE, etc.) available through websites such as Illinois Institute of Technology?s and Case Western Reserve University?s (compilation) or ethicsonline.org. Look at the companies developing the technology and check out their ?codes of ethics? to determine whether the technology they are developing is in keeping with their mission and values. Who is responsible if something goes wrong or if critical information is withheld from the public? Example: asbestos and cigarettes
Apply ethical theory on your own?utilitarianism, act utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, Kant?s categorical imperative, ethic of care, deontology, teleology, ethical egoism, absolutism, Fletcher?s situation ethics, ethical relativism, etc. Consider an encyclopedia of ethics for terms and applicable concepts. Check out the reading in our textbook on morality and technology.