There were several diagrams that codified ethical principles and moral responsibilities for professions all related to information circulation and distribution. Journalism, information technology, and library organizations all emphasize the significance of fairness and objectivity. This helps ensure that there are no conflicts of interest that could possibly serve as hindrances in providing service or publishing stories. Due to the broadness of information itself, there were many diagrams that included different sets of ethics based on each of the three professions. Examining the “Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics”, I believe the eighth rule, stipulating that one “shalt not appropriate other people’s intellectual output” is the most followed tenet (FOI, 346). In today’s society, emphasis on providing proper citations and avoiding plagiarism is put at the forefront of academic institutions. Sites such as turnitin.com and plagscan.com enable students and professors to analyze the originality of information provided by the student in their paper. Consequences of plagiarism is both economic and social; students committing plagiarism are subject to banishment of a university which can stigmatize opportunities for internships or graduate jobs. Additionally, this tarnish can estrange one from social groups and networking with peers since one’s academic and social value depreciates drastically. Similarly, professionals caught plagiarizing incur identical consequences, but on a more detrimental scale since employers have a zero-tolerance policy in hiring applicants with prior plagiarist infractions. As a result, academic honor codes, methods of MLA citations, and antiplagiarist websites are useful resources that have helped stifle the practices of mimicking one’s intellectual work as their own.
Contrarily, one tenet I believe that is seldom upheld is the third rule that articulates that one “shalt not snoop around in other people’s computer files” (FOI, 346). With the emergence of social media and its various sources, employers can monitor activities of their employees in the workplace and generate that information into cybernetic commodities (Andrejevic). In this sense, a Big Brother type of scheme is used in order to ensure that employee activities are acceptable and find ways to optimize efficiency for their workers. It is confirmed that “statutes and courts have held that employees do not have privacy rights when using equipment provided by employers”, signifying a growth in shared communication between several interacting parties (FOI, 351). Additionally, misuse of company-owned communications “may be grounds for dismissal” and employees can have their rights abridged for engaging in practices online that are detrimental to the workplace (FOI, 351). In general, security agencies such as the NSA and CIA can easily monitor communications between people on the telephone, Internet, and mail without the knowledge of those using these communication resources. Thus, Internet privacy is becoming a more contentious issue with the advent of new information and social technologies.
2. Journalists that are required to detail a narrative central to a sport’s story or any other type of story in general need to be more judicious and exercise a shred of skepticism in order to fully grasp the truth. David Griner argues that these stories are dangerous in that they have many holes that journalists should be prodding at. For instance, if “Te’o never met his cyber-girlfriend, why did the South Bend Tribune describe them meeting after a 2009 game in Palo Alto?” (Griner). Additionally, the emotions brought on by the story and how it inspired Te’o to dominate in his performances as Notre Dame’s inside linebacker provide a multifaceted narrative that journalists will immediately pounce on. I believe the spread of misinformation should be stopped at its primary source in order to prevent chains of news sources to report on the story and disseminate that falsified information to the public. ESPN columnist Wojciechowski was emotionally riveted by the story and therefore, trusted Te’o’s narrative to verbatim. He argues that there was a lack of fact-checking ability that could be used for the narrative. However, I would counter that he should have made a more concerted effort to investigate the details of Kakua’s purported car accident and subsequent hospitalization. Wojciechowski likely committed this error due to the fact that sports journalists are more loose in their fact checking and are eager to report on sports news that transcend the whole statistic reporting of sports teams and search to input potential scandals or narratives that give a sport’s personality character and more color. Therefore, limiting this pursuit while searching for fact checks can help rectify the credibility of various news sources. The “Benghazi Story” documented by CBS’s 60 minutes Lara Logan, took a false testimony provided by security contractor Dylan Davies, claiming that he witnessed the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi. This ties in with Griner’s article in that fact checking is necessary, despite the embellishment offered in “feel-good” narratives.