You hold a responsible position in a ministry in the government. One day in the morning you received a call from the school of your 11-year-old son that you are required to come and meet the Principal. You proceed to the school and find your son in the Principal’s office. The Principal informs you. that your son had been found wandering aimlessly in the grounds during the time classes were in progress. The class teacher further informs you that your son has lately become a loner and did not respond to questions in the class, he had also been unable to perform well in the football trials held recently. You bring your son back from the school and in the evening, you along with your wife try to find out the reasons for your son’s changed behaviour. After repeated cajoling, your son shares that some children had been making fun of him in the class as well as in the WhatsApp group of the students by calling him stunted, duh and a frog. He tells you the names of a few children who are the main culprits but pleads with you to let the matter rest.
After a few days, during a sporting event, where you and your wife have gone to watch your son play, one of your colleague’s son shows you a video in which students have caricatured your son. Further, he also points out to the perpetrators who were sitting in the stands. You purposefully walk past them with your son and go home. Next day, you find on social media, a video denigrating you, your son and even your wife, stating that you engaged in physical bullying of children on the sports field. The video became viral on social media. Your friends and colleagues began calling you to find out the details. One of your juniors advised you to make a counter video giving the background and explaining that nothing had happened on the field. You, in turn posted a video which you have captured during the sporting event, identifying the likely perpetrators who were responsible for your son’s predicament. You have also narrated what has actually happened in the field and made attempts to bring out the adverse effects of the misuse of social media.
(a) Based on the above case study, discuss the ethical issues involved in the use of social media.
(b) Discuss the pros and cons of using social media by you to put across the facts to counter the fake propaganda against your family.
The given case highlights the misuse of technology to demean someone.
Ethical issues involved in the use of social media:
- Lack of wisdom- misuse of social media to demean someone shows a lack of wisdom in common people.
- Improper attitudinal training- peer students are making fun of their classmate on the basis of his physical appearance which shows that there is a lack of proper attitudinal training by their family and school.
- Causing harm to self: we are witnessing the phase where people are making reels even at the cost of their lives many people people have lost their lives while making reels for social media.
- Pros and cons of using social media:
- It can provide maximum reach to connect with the masses in a short span of time with minimum resources in this it will be proven optimum utilisation of means available which is one of the required values for a public servant.
- It can ensure the greatest good to the greatest number because it can leave the right message to those students who were making fun of your boy and at the same time your boy can come out of discomfort. Other people can also learn not to misuse social media.
- This idea may not work- all content uploaded on social media may not go viral in that case purpose may be defeated.
- Against professionalism- the government official is not supposed to reply through videos rather he should use press briefing or police to raise his concerns.
Hence, it can be concluded that there is a need to create an ethical ecosystem where everyone can live with full dignity and can use the means judiciously.
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