Social Media Monitoring, Good or Bad?

1 Feb

This semester at school, I am taking two law classes. So I am having my fair share of law and ethics right now. In fact, I just read a huge controversy about an ethical situation about a college newspaper that is very similar to this topic. I’ll explain the story:
At the University of Wisconsin- Madison there was a student newspaper making its way around the school campus. The newspaper is called the Badger Herald and made a lot of controversy when a group of anti-Semitic starting harassing the Jewish community by writing anti holocaust articles and opinions on the newspaper’s online edition. Saying things like “Jews were the world’s worst predators of the 20th century” and saying the Jewish fraternity at University of Wisconsin- Madison, AEPi, should be turned into an oven.

Since the newspaper is an independent student newspaper, not edited by the University of Wisconsin the students thought they could say anything that they wanted without consequences. When the Jewish community started to fight trying to get the posts offline the paper admitted that the posts were false and malicious, but said they cannot take them down because it was part of the First Amendment. Since people have to approve posts online they must have noticed the posts. Nobody did anything about it and just let them be posted, but later said they didn’t approve of the comments and it must have been a mistake.

 I believe that the posts are all unethical and should not have been posted at    all. All the horrific comments about the Jewish community are poor judgment and are not true at all. Yes, people have the right to their opinion, but why should they be able to bash people just because of their race. They had nothing to do with the holocaust and were not even alive at the time. I believe the paper should be shut down.

Now, this case is different I know because this is very serious, but I believe this could happen to anybody, anytime. Like I posted in my last blog post, people harass other people on the Internet a lot because they feel stronger when they are not face to face with who they are attacking verbally. I think online bullying can be prevented by monitoring posts.

On the other side, I can see where people may not like the monitoring because it is restricting their right to the First Amendment of freedom of speech.

I think social media monitoring is ethical in every way. Why should we allow people to harass other people. People suffer from verbal abuse just as much as physical abuse.  That’s just wrong.


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