Social networking is a communications technology that has assisted many people to interact across the globe. The concept has received a significant growth partly due to innovation in internet technology advancements. However, the progress in information technology requires taking in consideration the basic ethical standards. The reason is that information technology may pose serious ethical constraints if not careful thought and planned.
For instance, violation of rights to privacy is the most significant ethical issue. For example, Facebook initiated a program called Beacon in 2007. The program aimed at turning the user’s information as an advertisement with a view of enhancing connectivity of people sharing on the website. However, Facebook failed to put in place checks and controls of only ensuring that willing members joined the program. As a result, the individuals’ rights to privacy were violated because users lost the right to join the network on their accord. Thus, Beacon’s actions of pulling personal information that relates to Facebook users were in contravention of information technology ethics. It is because Facebook users’ personal data became available on the Beacon website without their consent.
Moreover, potential threat to expansion of social networks has been linked to violations of security. Before the establishment of social networks such as MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook, the proportion of crimes were on the lower side. However, introduction of some of these social networks have been linked to rise in criminal activities. For example, recently cases of child abduction were connected to MySpace. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, organized criminal gangs use MySpace to access private information of family members; thus, giving them relevant information to make plans of the time of their attack.
In addition, social networks development in recent years has been a key challenge to child safety. This is because of the challenge of controlling the children from accessing pornographically materials. Measures to control children from accessing social network have failed to meet the security objectives. Even so, it is beyond the control of the social networks because it needs support from other stakeholders such as parents (Laudon and Laudonm, 2010).
In conclusion, developments in social networks are essential for enhancement of the living standards by connecting multitudes. However, these developments serve other societal needs, regarding ethical considerations required in information technology. As a result, actors in the communication industry, specifically those in social networking, should take in reflection the fundamental ethics before implementation of any development program. Such moves ensure that the rights and privileges of the end user are of priority over other needs. Consequently, users will enjoy enhanced privacy and security with the improved ethical standards in the social networks.
Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2010). Management information systems: managing the digital firm. New York: Pearson/Prentice …
Posted by: Tomiko Melius