It is hard for me to pick a side on whether or not I believe if social media monitoring is ethical or not? Before I began to blog, and you use any social media networking sites, I would have said no. But now that I read and respond to posts and comments that other users write I always try to take into consideration what people have said. Whether it is a negative or positive; tweet, comment, post, tag, message, etc. I always remember that, that is a reflection of that individual’s point of view.
I think it is important to consider what kind of social media you are using to determine if it is ethical or not. For example even though Twitter is very popular, it only allows for a small amount of characters for a user to post or comment on. I personally would find something a little more ethical or believable if someone is going to take time to blog about it, and really share what they are trying to say. Basically what I’m saying is, if an individual had a bad experience at McDonald’s, I would hope that rather them sending out a tweet that read @McDonald’s sucks-the worst experience ever, that they would blog about their incident so maybe the viewers(followers) can make their own judgment after reading the situation.
Another point to take into consideration of whether or social media monitoring is ethical or not, would be how much monitoring do you really do? For example last year in PRCA Research we had the opportunity to follow a Fortune 500 company for a month and complete a social media monitoring project, I chose McDonald’s. After reviewing what bloggers wrote and what tweets were made during that time frame, there were way too many mixed views and feelings about McDonald’s. If I were someone that had never been there and just wanted to find out something about the company through social media monitoring, I would NOT know what to expect. There was everything from people who are obsessed with McDonald’s and literally eat it every day, to people who despised it-whether it be for health reasons, bad experience, or just personal problem with McDonald’s.
Here is a PowerPoint, I found online by Karl Kasca, which discusses the importance of ethics in Social Media: http://www.slideshare.net/KarlKasca/the-importance-of-ethics-in-social-media-in-marketingadvertising-03-10-09