Social networking has evolved as an important business method over the years. A sizable proportion of companies now interact with their customers via social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (Chan, Li and Zhu, 2015). In the good intentions of using social media for publicity and advertisement, there has been an increase in ethical violations on the part of companies. Indeed, companies publish material that demonstrates an outward lack of respect for ethics in order to draw clients (Scheiner, Krämer, and Baccarella, 2016). In most cases, the actions undertaking by the organizations have received both positive and negative feedback from the public regarding their posts. Red Square, a nightclub on Hindley Street is an example of businesses that have failed to uphold ethical behavior through social media. The paper critically analyzes why the case study is not an example of good ethical decision-making, through the application of deontological ethics. The choice to use social media platforms in business should be accompanied by high regard toward ethical conduct, and to uphold their customers in the highest esteem possible.
Application of Deontological Theory to Real-life Example
The use of ethical theories can facilitate the understanding of the underlying concepts regarding how organizations conduct their affairs in accordance with media law. Deontological ethics acknowledges the moral obligation that one has in performing their duties (Koçyiğit and Karadağ, 2016). In particular, it reiterates the need for one to conduct themselves in a moral way by acting in the right manner. In the case of Red Square, it is evident that there is a gross violation of deontological ethics. The nightclub has resorted to disrespectful activities in a bid to attract customers. For example, the club made a decision to post a picture on Instagram which justifies the act of groping women. Indeed, according to deontological ethics, one ought to act in a moral manner at all times (Paquette, Sommerfeldt, and Kent, 2015).
Issues Ought to have been Addressed
In the case presented, various issues ought to have been addressed with regard to the ethical representation of diverse and vulnerable groups. For decades, women continue to suffer from sexual harassment (Quick and McFadyen, 2017). The case study failed to address the problem and instead, supports the vice through a vice on Instagram which supports groping of women. Red Square is depicted as disrespecting women since it appears as if they are justifying sexual assault. In essence, the nightclub would attract a significant percentage of male customers, who would present knowing well that they have an opportunity to assault women sexually and nothing would happen to them.
Deontological ethics condemns vices such as greed, jealousy, and selfishness. In the case study, such issues were equally not addressed. Red Square nightclub has depicted signs of practicing such vices regardless of the impact that it has on women and the society at large. For example, in posting the image, the organization is selfish to the fact that their primary concern is making profits regardless of the manner in which they do so. The club chose to disrespect women by supporting sexual assault through the Instagram post. The concept of greed is equally manifested in the Instagram post which further results in the violation of ethical theory. The ultimate intention of the nightclub is to make profits regardless of the way in which it is attained. The woman who chose to have herself be part of the Instagram post has been demeaned. Consequently, it is a confirmation of the failure by organizations to use social networking sites in a professional manner.
Alternative Approach to be Considered
The case study ought to develop an approach which seeks to reiterate their stance on the protection of women from any form of sexual harassment. The alternative method would improve the case study since it would be a reflection of efforts to protect the female gender.
The potential problems that were avoided entail the risk of drawing sharp criticism from clients and disruption of the normal status quo. The ability to avoid the problems resulted in the emergence of the case study as has been depicted. In the long-term, the club would make profits because of the increase in the number of customers showing up. However, it should be noted that the increase can be attributed to the inappropriate post which seemingly justifies sexual assault against women. Consequently, it is a violation of ethical conduct and ought to be condemned.
While businesses have the mandate to make a profit, they should do so without violating the ethical principles. Organizations have the mandate of ensuring that they uphold existing laws which guide on the use of social network sites. For example, there is the concept of not using offensive language that is likely to cause outrage amongst other users. Red Square has violated media laws since it has failed to operate within the law. The image posted by the woman is evidently offensive, not only to her but to the female gender. Social media serves as a vital tool for business. It has promoted communication between clients and business. However, firms should ensure that they operate within the established ethical frameworks.
Chan, K.W., Li, S.Y. and Zhu, J.J., 2015. Fostering customer ideation in crowdsourcing community: the role of peer-to-peer and peer-to-firm interactions. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 31, pp.42-62.
Koçyiğit, M. and Karadağ, E., 2016. Developing an Ethical Tendencies Scale Based on the Theories of Ethics.
Paquette, M., Sommerfeldt, E.J. and Kent, M.L., 2015. Do the ends justify the means? Dialogue, development communication, and deontological ethics. Public Relations Review, 41(1), pp.30-39.
Quick, J.C. and McFadyen, M., 2017. Sexual harassment: Have we made any progress?. Journal of occupational health psychology, 22(3), p.286.
Scheiner, C.W., Krämer, K. and Baccarella, C.V., 2016, July. Cruel intentions?–The role of moral awareness, moral disengagement, and regulatory focus in the unethical use of social media by entrepreneurs. In International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media (pp. 437-448). Springer International Publishing.