Is Social Media Monitoring Ethical?

28Jan10

For my PR and Social Media Class we were given the topic: Is social media monitoring ethical? Provide commentary and discussion on both sides of the issue, and offer your personal viewpoint, to blog on.

Social Media Monitoring can be argued as both ethical and unethical, it all depends upon who is monitoring, why you are mointoring, and how you are monitoring. If monitoring is used as a way to hurt the company being monitored, and to benefit the person who is doing the monitoring then that would be considered an unethical use of Social Media Monitoring.

There will always be arguments for and against social media monitoring:

For: According to Ignite Social Media’s Post, Monitoring is important because it provides a competitive analysis product development, reputation management, and outreach. Ignite Social Media went into detail on these points by defining them as:

  • Competitive Analysis: This means social media monitoring provides a way of keeping tabs on your competitors, and what new products they produce, and create.
  • Product Development: Social Media Monitoring can help to supplement  the product development process
  • Reputation Management: This means that Social Media Monitoring will help companies to monitor what is being said about them, and help companies have a handle on how their consumers feel about their product.
  • Outreach: Social Media Monitoring helps companies keep connections with their consumers.  Including thanking consumers for trying their product and sending them free samples.

Against: Social Media Monitoring does give competing companies an easy way of checking up on their competitors. They can also take what negative things consumers are saying about their competitive and use it to promote their own company. Certain medias are more reliable than others, and many people are not educated on who to trust and who not to, anyone can write what they want to on twitter, and facebook, it’s hard to measure whats truthful and not.

Personally, I think Social Media Monitoring is ethical, as long as it is done correctly. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s unethical to bash another company, and to hurt another’s reputation. Social Media Monitoring is ethical as long as it’s used to keep up with competitors, but not to drag them down. I think as technology grows its vital for companies to stay current and use any

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