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Social Media and the Ethical

concerns of violating privacy

By Karressa Mingham , David Romero, and Amanda Sibley

Whats the buzz with social media?

Social media is the current trend amongst young teens as well as

Social media sites allow individuals to create profiles in which
people can form relationships with other users of the same web
site that have access to their profiles.
Social media sites allow users to upload pictures, videos, and send
text messages.
Social media sites can be used for blogging, forums, as well as

But how much of our privacy are we giving up? Privacy

concerns are heightened due to the current trend of social

Social media site that

allows family and friends to
connect through pictures,
tweets, and messages
Cyber foot prints are being left
every time you post, search, or
share which are being used for

The largest social media

site for professionals

Online mobile picture

sharing site

Privacy is for old people

said Reid Hoffman the
founder of Linkedin. Your
information is sold to HR
departments and recruiters
without your consent.

Photos that were once only

available to your close list
of friends are now available
to the naked eye of the

The youth use social media sites as a way to meet others and explore identity
Teenagers, often we freely give up personal information. Anything from their
location, their school, to personal details about their life.
The personal information revealed by teenagers attracts social predators
But even with privacy protection polices in place, our audience is bigger then we
Social media sites can access your location, data, and pictures without your consent

The privacy paradox

Individuals who often die young leave behind a plethora of digital assets.
Some social media sites such as Facebook have polices which enforce
terms and conditions after death, however they do not fully protect a
deceased persons right to privacy.
Should others be allowed to post RIP on friends social media sites after
friends and loved ones have passed? Many feel that it is morally
incorrect to find out of a loved ones passing through social media.
Others feel that posting on ones wall after death is a way to honor the
Deceased individuals should have the right to privacy even after death.
Deceased individuals should have the right to preserve their dignity and


The Rights Approach, is the philosophy in which we all have the

right to make decisions as individuals. The rights approach also
gives us the right to know be told the truth and to be informed
about matters that significantly affect our choices. (Manuel
Velasquez) We also have the right to privacy. The rights approach
conveys that we also have the right to be free of intimate danger
unless our decisions our deserving on such punishment. This
approach holds that our dignity is based on our ability to choose
freely how we live our lives, and that we have a moral right to
respect for our choices as free, equal, and rational people, and a
moral duty to respect others in the same way. (unknown, Five Ways
to Shape Ethical Decisions: Rights Approach, 2011)
Social media sites un ethically violate are right to privacy, our
right to choose, and our right to preserve our dignity.

Chu, N. (2015, October 1). Protecting Privacy after Death. Journal of International Human Rights, 13(2), 255-275.

Hoffmann, C. & Lutz, C. (2015). The impact of online media on stakeholder engagement and
the governance of corporations. Journal of Public Affairs. 15(2), 163-174. doi:

Lachman, V. (2013). Social media: Managing the ethical issues.Medsurg Nursing. 22(5), 326329. Retrieved from
Manuel Velasquez, C. A. (n.d.). Thinking Ethically: A Framework for Moral Decision Making. Retrieved 11 17,
2015, from Santa Clara University Ethics Home Page:
Quinn, K. (2014, December 1). An Ecological Approach to Privacy: Doing Online Privacy at Midlife. Journal of
Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 58(4), 562-580.
unknown. (2011, December 30). Five Ways to Shape Ethical Decisions: Rights Approch. Retrieved 11 17, 2015, from