Ethics and the new age of social media

Report
ETHICS AND THE NEW AGE OF
SOCIAL MEDIA
Jeffrey Dulko, Ph.D., CRC, LMHC
OVERVIEW AND TAKEAWAYS
• General understanding of the power of social networking/media
• Potential ethical challenges in the context of the 6 Ethical
Principles of the CRC code
• Ethical implications of electronic communication focusing on
privacy, professional boundaries, and dual relationships
• Strategies to prevent inadvertent ethical violations through
electronic communication
SOCIAL NETWORKING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
• Umbrella terms to describe social and interpersonal
interactions via technology (most commonly internetbased platforms) to create, share or exchange
information
• Who are you representing?
• Do you have a choice?
POWER OF
SOCIAL NETWORKING/SOCIAL MEDIA
• Speed and scope of information transfer at rates never seen before
• Sense of permanence to what’s posted
• Little to no cost
• Interactive
• Anonymity and lack of immediate accountability
• Blurring boundaries between professional and personal life
• Just plain POWERFUL!
SAMPLE OF POPULAR SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
• Facebook
• Flickr
• Google+
• LinkedIn
• Twitter
• MySpace
• Instagram
• Pinterest
• Tumblr
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERNET
EXPOSURE
• Blogs
• Chat rooms
• Message boards
• Online communities
• Webcasts
NATIONAL BUSINESS SURVEY RESULTS
(ETHICS RESOURCE CENTER)
There is something about communication
through social media that creates
permissiveness.
BRIEF REVIEW OF
THE SIX CRC ETHICAL PRINCIPLES
• Autonomy
• Beneficence
• Nonmaleficence
• Justice
• Fidelity
• Veracity
CRC CODES
•
C.5.c. MEDIA PRESENTATIONS. When rehabilitation counselors provide advice or
comment by means of public lectures, demonstrations, radio or television programs,
prerecorded tapes, technology- based applications, printed articles, mailed materials,
or other media, they take reasonable precautions to ensure that: (1) the statements
are based on appropriate professional counseling literature and practice; (2) the
statements are otherwise consistent with the Code; and, (3) the recipients of the
information are not encouraged to infer that a professional rehabilitation counseling
relationship has been established.
•
C.5.h. PERSONAL PUBLIC STATEMENTS. When making personal statements in a
public context, rehabilitation counselors clarify that they are speaking from their
personal perspective and that they are NOT speaking on behalf of all rehabilitation
counselors, the profession, or any professional organizations with which they may be
affiliated.
SO MANY PRIVACY CONSIDERATIONS
• Social communication occurs in a public forum
• Dangers of perceived anonymity
• Communication and connections are visible and potentially
permanent
• Underestimating our exposure: three degrees of separation on
the web
• People we serve can see your private information and
communication with others
• Others can see your private, confidential communication
SO MANY PRIVACY CONSIDERATIONS
• Information can be shared through a friend of a friend
(“tagging”)
• Your children and friends will post things about you without your
knowledge
• Potential for accounts to be hacked
• Cyber footprints from games, retailers, etc.; companies mining
online communication
• Sense of “fairness” – no one can see disability
BLURRED (PROFESSIONAL) LINES
• Individuals we serve have access to more of our personal information than
ever before.
• Those with poor boundary issues may access the professional’s private
information or disclose what they experienced in a recent session on a blog.
• A professional may access client information online that the individual would
not or did not want to disclose in the professional relationship (i.e., criminal
records).
• How accessible is the professional outside of the set office hours?
• Information about your family and friends is open to viewing.
• Affiliations to clubs, organizations and political parties.
DUAL RELATIONSHIPS
• Maintaining another relationship with the person you serve
outside of the professional context
• Not always avoidable or bad but it must be clearly defined
• Joining mutual forums in which your opinion is shared
• Shared “Likes” and subsequent comments
• Some individuals we serve can learn of the “special” electronic
relationship you have with others and want it too.
OTHER POTENTIAL ETHICAL CHALLENGES
• CRC Ethics Code doesn’t specifically address social media
• Clicking inadvertently on certain links can hijack your email addresses
• Countless professionals being put on leave or fired for what they posted
• Completing online job applications/assessments for clients that goes beyond
accommodation
• Posting testimonials
• Inadvertently establishing a counselor-client relationship
• Interruptions in sessions
• “Friend” denials can hurt
• Misinterpretations without the face-to-face contact
NEW EMPLOYEES AND INTERNS WHO ARE
STRONG SOCIAL NETWORKERS
• Strong sense of permissiveness to connect to others online
• Habit and culture shift
• Open dialogue about ethical principles and practices – everyone
is learning
• Increasing privacy and cautiousness about postings
• Alter egos don’t guarantee privacy
• Embracing a professional identity carries feelings of loss,
confusion and potentially being displaced
SUGGESTIONS
• Define your objectives for social networking
• Abstain from social media or maintain a static profile
• Untag yourself in Facebook photos
• Don’t use your whole or real name (i.e., maiden name as an alternative)
• Use separate accounts for personal and professional identities
• Set policies for both professional and personal social networking use
• Let client’s know your personal/professional social media policy at the start
of the relationship
SUGGESTIONS
• Google yourself on a regular basis; try different search criteria
• Ask friends and family for discretion when posting pictures
about you (i.e., no pictures when in a drunken stupor from
college days)
• Address all concerns offline
• Don’t post anything about the people you serve online
• Think twice; write once
• Use caution when recommending social networking to others;
present potential for harm
BUT … WHEN THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY
• The Facebook example
• Facebook security features are complex and make it easy to
give up or not complete the security features accurately.
• People seem to be able to get around them easily enough
anyway.
• Friends of friends
• Have a teenager or other social media expert try to access your
information.
QUESTIONS
REFERENCES
•
Commission on Rehabilitation Counseling Certification (CRCC; 2010). Code of
Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors. Schaumburg, IL.
•
Duncan-Daston, R., Hunter-Sloan, M., & Fullmer, E. (2013). Considering the ethical
implications of social media in social work education. Ethics and Information Technology,
15(1), 35-43.
•
Gross, R., & Acquisti, A. (2005). Information revelation and privacy in online social
networks: The Facebook case. In Proceedings of the 2005 ACM Workshop on Privacy in
the Electronic Society. New York: 71-80.
•
Judd, R.G., & Johnston, L.B. (2012). Ethical consequences of using social network sites
for students in professional social work programs. Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics,
9(1), 5-12.

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