As was pointed out in your post, “Ethics is an important part of life and running a successful business is no exception to this. To become successful, a business needs to be driven by strong ethical values”.
As digital media becomes popular and necessary in the business world today, these same ethics plays an important role in social media. As the transformation in communication has evolved over the past few years, it has become more apparent not only the challenges we face when utilizing these different arenas for communication, but the potential for deception or intent of misrepresentation.
Therefore, an important role I feel that ethics plays in online sharing and communication is honesty. While most want the freedom of speech and the freedom to use all progressive forms of technology to further their communications and potential for business opportunities, with that freedom also comes certain responsibilities, especially the responsibility of communicating with honest and sincere intent and without intentions of misleading, deception, or manipulation. This freedom and responsibility should always go hand in hand.
Honest and sincere communication should be devoid of any attempt to deceive, manipulate or even mislead through the message provided. These ethical behaviors of honesty and integrity in any process of communication used should be applied. And now with the growing use of digital media (whether personally or for business purposes) every person must be responsible in representing their message and intent to others in this ethical manner. Also, a business must make sure that every associate is representing their organization and communications ethically. Communication ethics should guide us to speak truthfully and without deception or even misrepresentation.
As discussed in the book “Ethics in Human Communication,” “Potential ethical issues are inherent in any instance of communication between humans to the degree that the communication can be judged on right-wrong dimension, that it involves possible significant influence on other humans, and that the communicator consciously chooses specific ends sought and communicative means to achieve those ends” (Johannesen, Valde, & Whedbee, 2008, p. 2). This statement alone shows the need for responsible communications, and even more so online where one does not have the advantage of face-to-face communication to “read” one’s body language or look into their eyes to gauge the truthfulness and intent of their words and message. Therefore, ethics must play a role when communicating so those who receive the messages can have the confidence that there is no intent to mislead, deceive or manipulate, but rather, feel comfortable that a respect for others is apparent and the communication is honest, open, and responsible. In this age of social media, the need for such ethics in an area where dishonesty is easier to achieve becomes increasingly important to apply.