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Marketing Ethics - Video And Blogs Intended To Cause Harm


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:50 PM

Thanks to recent developments by Google and Twitter, for example, I've begun to pull back on how accessible I am online. It's bad enough that the Internet provides the freedom to say anything about anyone, true or not. Now, something like Google Buzz can be launched with no warning, with settings that invade privacy without your permission or even knowledge. And remember the MyBloglog plug in that bloggers put on their blogs so everyone could see who had been to the site? Now there is a Twitter one that does the exact same thing! I began to see myself showing up on sites, without my permission.

A few things have caught my eye.

The folks at REELSEO ran a great piece called Defamation and Libel in Online Video How to Protect Yourself that answers a lot of questions I know I've had. He spent time researching and getting input from Andy Beal and a lawyer.

According to ExpertLaw.com, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. The type of defamation my colleague refers to could also fall under libel, which involves making defamatory statements in a fixed medium.


As a forums, we are keenly aware of attempts by members who sign up for the sole purpose of venting about a person or company. I have, at various times, invited companies to come and defend themselves if there is a product/service complaint that is well written, fair and polite.

This is something I wrote because I get fed up.

Does Freedom of Speech Mean the Freedom to Judge?

Why does it seem that defenders of the right to free speech are sometimes the same people who enjoy verbal and written attacks on people? What makes public commentators so vengeful, ugly and vile in their statements against fellow human beings?


Politics in the USA is an absolute free for all! I have lost respect for the everyone in office. If they're not off having affairs, they're digging up something to degrade and defame someone, whether it can be proven or not.

Copyright is also a gray area. Nobody seems to understand it. Are Facebook comments copyrighted? Blog posts? User generated feedback like product reviews? Images you take and put on Facebook or Flickr?

Is it true that everything you write online or say in a video is protected by free speech and can re-used by someone else online and more importantly, what can we do to create positive change and respectful communication?

#2 AbleReach

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 07:00 PM

When MyBlogLog's widget came out there were jokes circulating about remembering to sign out before visiting any sites where you'd rather not be seen. The teasing I saw was about showing up on the sidebar of a National Enquirer style site, or p0rn. Since then, the number of widgets like that have grown. Blogger has one, as well as Google friendconnect, blogcatalog, and twittercounter. If you blog or read blogs, it looks like they're everywhere.

On one hand, it's weird to see my face show up when I hadn't intended to comment or even admit I was there - lol. On the other, there's a little bit of accountability that goes along with the visibility. I'm one of those who thinks the anonymity of the Internet can distance us from each other's feelings. With a real person's face looking back at us, some of us will be less likely to overshare or flame.

I wouldn't have thought an anonymity option was important a couple years ago, but now a few of the things I'd be signed into anyway are hooked up to other stuff -- like the twittercounter.com widget that shows which tweeters visit. Because some people don't like to show up, I think these recent visitor widgets should let us turn off if we appear on them without having to sign out of services. To do that, the apis that the widgets are using would need to be changed to allow for more user preferences.

When a Twitter puts out an api, and someone uses it to do things that others don't like, does that come down to Twitter or the people using the api?

...

I am in complete agreement about reputation management. It used to be that a certain amount of investment was needed to send opinions out to millions of people. Now all it takes is a few seconds and a click -- it's not that simple, but add search engine results and social media and you're there.


<edited to detypo & clarify>

Edited by AbleReach, 15 February 2010 - 07:12 PM.


#3 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:12 PM

Personally, I think it's too late to even try to do anything about this. We've gone way beyond the ability to have any kind of control over it. Do the best you can to control what you put out there. That's the best anyone can do, imo.

#4 jonbey

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 10:13 AM

Interesting. The BBC was even talking about this on Click the other day. Many people just do not realise that their personal information is often hard, ir not impossible, to delete. What we type today, or sites we visit, maybe be recorded indefinitely. A teenager could write something today that they regret in 5 years time when looking for a job, or a partner!

But, there are two sides to every coin. I mean, why do you have a blogcatalog profile anyway? Honestly? To make reading blogs easier? To make commenting about blogs easier? Or to help promote your own blogs?

I think that some users work with at least 2 profiles, one for personal use, for chatting with friends etc,. and another for business (i.e. web marketing).

#5 cre8pc

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:03 PM

Liz wrote:

On one hand, it's weird to see my face show up when I hadn't intended to comment or even admit I was there - lol. On the other, there's a little bit of accountability that goes along with the visibility. I'm one of those who thinks the anonymity of the Internet can distance us from each other's feelings. With a real person's face looking back at us, some of us will be less likely to overshare or flame.


That's something to consider :) I, too, rejoiced in the 1990's when I first realized how much smaller the world became when I could see and talk with so many people from around the world. I still love that part.

But, as a writer and researcher, not to mention someone paid to perform site audits on all types of sites, I don't feel like my every click should be tracked and visible.

If I WANT a site owner to know I visited, I would like the choice to tell them myself, or perhaps join they offer or leave a comment on their blog. Sometimes I land on a site because they scraped my content and I follow the link from the data I get on my sites.

Clearly, people are not reading policies and terms and conditions for the social sites they join. I discovered just one example with FriendFeed, in that they could care less if there are nasty comments said about you or your company. They suggest you block the offender from YOUR view and YOUR account, but you have no right to have any negative content removed from public view.

There are so many ways to be anonymous on the Internet as well that getting away from all manner of hateful and potentially harmful content can not be stopped because it is next to impossible to get enough factual informative on the offender.

Regarding politics, I'm thrilled that many congress persons are quitting their jobs because the environment in Washington is hopelessly useless. All parties have flunked.

Is DD right? Is there nothing that can be done to defend ourselves from intrusive Internet practices by people and companies?

#6 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:06 PM

How can you possibly defend yourself when this thing is global, but laws aren't? Just don't see it. Gotta be careful what you put out there, and live with the fact that some things just can never be controlled.

Only real choice? Crawl into a cave for the rest of your life. (Although that won't really stop anyone from talking 'bout ya, but you won't know or care). :)

#7 cre8pc

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:24 PM

How can you possibly defend yourself when this thing is global, but laws aren't?


My poor idealist soul wishes people/companies would just be logical, ethical, kind and use common sense. :)

Google lost my trust...so did Microsoft. Somehow they lost track of their customers' wishes. They want our money and will do anything to get it, including removing support for their products and rolling out new ones without our permission.

Yes, we can only control our own actions. But often that's followed up with leave the bad stuff alone. It's their choice to be rotten. Be happy for this freedom.

sigh...ok. DD's is right. :frustration:

#8 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 03:37 PM

LOL!

The key is to find a way to be happy when up to one's ears in pig dung. It's mind over matter, really. Or maybe just the old saying applies best: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me".

Yes, words can and do cause real damage, I recognize that, but sometimes there's just no way to avoid walking through the dung, so might as well just sing while you walk.

Or somethin'. :)

#9 bwelford

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 04:07 PM

I often find in these situations that the author of the message shows more about themselves than they reveal about their target. Of course if they're anonymous, then you don't learn much about the perpetrator. However anonymous comments really carry very little weight.

#10 SEOigloo

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 04:20 PM

Google lost my trust...so did Microsoft.


Kim, this surprises me, coming from you. Did you ever really *trust* a corporation in your life? I know I haven't, because my take on capitalism is that it is not about civic good, but about making money. There is nothing moral about that...it's simply financial...and therefore, something probably unworthy of the emotional quality of trust from common people.

I expect Google, Microsoft, Astro Zeneca, P&G, Monsanto, Tyson, etc. to do whatever satisfies their shareholders and makes the largest profit. I do not expect them to do what is 'right', if right means safe, kind, healthy, ethical, etc. As far as the government goes, many Americans agree that our government is owned by corporations and because of this, it is small surprise that things play out as they do. Even this is not so large a departure from recent history as it may seem. Historians will cite the Nixon era as the moment in which Americans lost their trust in government, but when you consider that the colonization of this country was founded on European corporations whose goal was to make a profit, it is not so strange to see that the U.S. has continued to operate this way, eh?

I sympathize with your idealism. I have it in heavy doses myself. But not where money is concerned.

#11 jonbey

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:42 PM

The thing is, if you do not want your fingerprints all over the web there are plenty of ways to avoid it. Possibly the simplest is to use Private Browsing (FF) or Incognito (Chrome), but just signing out of Blogcatalog etc. when you have finished is a more secure way to use the Internet.

It reminds me of people that complain about CCTV everywhere on the streets, but have no problems with it being on in their favourite clothes shop or child's school. If you do not want to leave a foot print when surfing, it is possible. Maybe more people need to be made aware of the ways of doing it?

#12 cre8pc

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 07:00 PM

Did you ever really *trust* a corporation in your life?


I refuse to work for them, that's for sure!

With trust, I feel that when I use a service or buy a product, we enter into a relationship. We're even asked to sign that we agree with their terms and conditions. (But, they don't need to agree to OUR terms!)

It's the break down of the relationship, I guess, that feels wrong to me.

#13 jonbey

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 05:18 AM

I trust the British Broadcasting Corporation!



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