UOSM2008: Summarising Topic 4

Topic 4 focused on the ethical issues raised by educational and business uses of social media. I feel disinclined to summarise this topic, owing to the breadth of ethical issues that arose during my and other students’ research on this topic for the module UOSM2008. I feel that we have only scratched the surface of a much wider and rapidly growing problem.

Owing to limited word count, I chose to focus on ethical issues raised by business uses of social media, specifically employees’ use of company social media accounts in my blog post, which you can read in full here. I then, looked to focus on ethical issues raised by the use of social media in an educational context in my comments and appraisal of others’ blog posts.

Interactions with and the work of other students on UOSM2008 has extended or altered my thoughts on this topic:

TWitter Education

  • Samantha Eslinger in both her comments on my blog post and in her own post on this topic, introduced me to the notion of the ‘digital divide’ and the ethical problems of access. Developing countries’ limited access to the internet and thus, reduced opportunities (both in educational and business terms) is not something I had previously considered.
  • An exchange on Twitter enabled me to develop my thoughts further on whether there is a place for ‘social media’ should be covered by the national curriculum. (see image)
  • Eldar Alasgarov in his blog post focused on the ‘report/flag’ function which many social media networks operate.
  • Evie Bool in her blog post introduced the idea that social media use in higher education (specifically at live events) could isolate individuals who are not active social networkers.

To conclude, I maintain my viewpoint that it is of paramount importance that clear social media policies must be established, communicated and upheld in both educational and business contexts. I think this would go some way to reduce ethical issues in some online contexts. However, I have only just begun to develop my thoughts on the ethical issues created by the ‘digital divide’ and issues of access.

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