Apply Decision-Making Frameworks to It-Related Ethical Issue

Since the dawn of civilization, man has sought to further communication and interaction with his fellow man - Apply Decision-Making Frameworks to It-Related Ethical Issue introduction. The motivation behind this pursuit has been many fold: Some sought and seek this interaction for economic purposes, some for cultural purposes, and some still for educational purposes. Regardless of the incentive, different people in different times have sought to enhance the technology so as to further this pursuit.

From the advent of writing in pre-bronze age Mesopotamia to the creation of the printing press in Renaissance Germany to more modern inventions like the radio and telegraph, much of human history has been devoted to making this large world smaller and smaller and furthering our communication and interaction. In this vain, society invented the internet, possibly the most revolutionary piece of technology in human history. Like the other aforementioned innovations, the internet provided man a medium to communicate with his fellow man.

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Yet, the internet furthered the pursuit of shrinking the world so much that thanks to it, physical distance is a small hindrance in the free exchange of ideas and opinions. One of the major disciplines constructing internet based communication is social networking. During the recent years, social networking has been the victim of ethical issues concerning vigilance and safeguard of privacy for the members and their personal data.

The invasion of personal information is a cause of distress for many individuals and organizations. Moreover, it has become an issue that requires constant effort from the concerned parties who are striving to create a safe and comfortable environment for everyone to communicate on these social sites. During the course of this paper some ethical issues regarding the social networking sites such as Facebook will be discussed and the decision making process will be implemented to explore alternatives and implement the solutions. Stacy Snyder, an English education teacher candidate at Millersville University, was denied her teaching certificate and given an English degree rather than an education degree after campus administrators discovered photos on her MySpace profile portraying her as a “drunken pirate. ” She filed a lawsuit against the university claiming an infringement upon her civil liberties (Read, 2007). Stacy’s situation is just one of many recent cases in which aspiring and practicing educators have faced unfortunate consequences because of the way others perceive the use of social networking tools such as MySpace and Face book. Carter, Foulger & Ewbank, 2008). ” (www. pbworks. com, page 1) The above mentioned example is one of many questioning the credibility of the social networking sites. The fact that anyone can go to a person’s profile and save his/her picture to be used as desired is uncomfortable and disturbing. Another method for the disruption of ethical boundaries in regards to these networking channels is their utilization to conduct predatory marketing. The level of discomfort is high when a product/service is offered to a user on the basis of the needs assessment done by the exploitation of personal information.

Some employers are also the culprits due to the fact that they make hiring decisions on the basis of prospective employee’s social network activities. These and many other scenarios lead problem solvers to come up with alternatives and implement productive decisions. The first step in the decision making process is to gather information about the problem. The best method to acquire this information is from the users through polls and surveys. Moreover, the research for past violations for example identity thefts, cyber crimes and ethnic stereotyping etc. plays an important part in this process.

The next step in the process is to do an extensive analysis of the acquired data and complete a needs assessment. This process determines the priorities for the decision maker and assists in selecting the areas that require prompt attention. In the social networking environment the biggest stakeholders are the users. That is why their involvement is significant in the development of safe and secure social networking environment. The results of the polls and surveys along with a complete understanding of violation history must be the major alibis to come up with alternate approaches to the matter.

Moreover, the stake holders i. e. the users can contribute heavily in the idea development process and the solutions generated through this channel will create extensive and efficient results. After the tragic incident of September 11, 2001, federal government monitors the online activities for the purpose of fighting terrorism. This legislation known as the PATRIOT ACT has been the victim of many debates. The feeling of being monitored all the time develops a number of concerns in the minds of citizens especially those who conduct major portion of their professional and social life on the web.

Other legislatures like the copyright laws and the sexual harassment laws are of pivotal importance when it comes to dealing with issues regarding social networks. Through the help of user surveys and concerned federal agencies a common ground must be established such that the significance of the laws remains intact along with the trust of the users. The users should have the liberty and ease to utilize a social network but they should be aware of the consequences of tampering with ethical and legal standards.

The implementation plan of the decision making framework will include infrastructure change in the back end through corporate channels. It will also include changes in the interface design that gives users a tremendous social networking experience and keeps them in compliance with laws and regulations. Moreover, it will provide enhanced security for the private information of the users. The results of this plan should be analyzed through another poll whose participants are again the stake holders i. e. the users.

Their comfort level and satisfaction with the system will determine the success rate of the implementation plan. “The Greek philosophers have also contributed the notion that life in community is a good in itself and our actions should contribute to that life. ”(www. scu. edu) All the ethical decisions made in this regard should result in the common good for all. If policies and procedures are followed to come up with an ethical solution then the stakeholders will be happy because they will feel safer. On the other hand the federal authorities will show satisfaction and display confidence on the social networking channel.

So, the above discussed decision making framework should result in betterment and welfare for all.

References: A Framework for Thinking Ethically . (n. d. ). Santa Clara University -Welcome. Retrieved January 30, 2013, from http://www. scu. edu/ethics/practicing/decision/framework. html Foulger, T. , Ewbank, A. , Kay, A. , Popp, S. , & Carter, H. (2009). Moral Spaces in MySpace: Preservice Teachers’ Perspectives about Ethical Issues in Social Networking. JRTE, 42(1), 1. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from http://teachinglearningresources. pbworks. com/f/Moral_Space_Social_Networking_JRTE_20

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