Conceptualizing Codes of Conduct in Social Networking Communities

Conceptualizing Codes of Conduct in Social Networking Communities

Ann Dutton Ewbank (Arizona State University, USA), Adam G. Kay (Dartmouth College, USA), Teresa S. Foulger (Arizona State University, USA) and Heather L. Carter (Arizona State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-729-4.ch002
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This chapter reviews the capabilities of social networking tools and links those capabilities to recent legal and ethical controversies involving use of social networking tools such as Facebook and MySpace. A social cognitive moral framework is applied to explore and analyze the ethical issues present in these incidents. Three ethical vulnerabilities are identified in the use of social networking tools: 1) the medium provides a magnified forum for public humiliation or hazing, 2) a blurring of boundaries exists between private and public information on social networking sites, and 3) the medium merges individuals’ professional and non-professional identities. Prevalent legal and social responses to these kinds of incidents are considered and implications are suggested for encouraging responsible use. The chapter includes a description of the authors’ current research with preservice students involving an intervention whereby students read and think about real cases where educators use social networking. The intervention was created to improve students’ critical thinking about the ethical issues involved. Recommendations for applying institutional codes of conduct to ethical dilemmas involving online tools are discussed.
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Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have become ubiquitous. Whereas email was the electronic communication norm in the late twentieth century, social networking is rapidly replacing email as the most favored means of networking, connecting, and staying in touch. In fact, MySpace is the sixth most visited site on the Internet (Alexa, 2008) and Facebook is the world’s largest and the fastest growing social networking site (Schonfeld, 2008). These tools are quite popular with teenagers, college-age students, and young professionals because they allow them to more easily stay connected. Using social networking sites, individuals can present themselves to others through an online identity that is tailored to their unique interests and desires, and participate in a variety of interconnected communication networks - personal, professional, creative, or informative. However, when individuals create a personal space online, they also create a digital footprint—the kind of footprint that can be permanent. And when a trail of personal information is left behind in a searchable and open format, notions of public and private information are challenged and the potential for liabilities may be high. This is of particular importance to those who wish to convey a professional image. An online profile that may have seemed innocuous and private during one stage of life may haunt an individual at the point in their life when they transition from student to professional.

For educational institutions, the widespread popularity of social networking sites as a means of communication, provide in-roads for experimenting with ways to connect with clientele. While innovative educators are quick to embrace and harness the learning potential of Web 2.0 tools, an understanding of the ethical issues in these unusual forms of social interaction has been slower to develop. Undoubtedly there are value-added features, many of which are yet to be discovered; but some institutions are refusing to innovate with this powerful technology tool due to the risks involved.

In order to design and endorse effective use of these tools, educators need socially responsible models and guidelines. What are the ethical considerations required of online social networking, and how can educational organizations capitalize on this innovative means of communicating while promoting responsible use? This chapter will highlight legal and ethical controversies surrounding social networking sites, identify ethical vulnerabilities associated with using the online tools through a social cognitive moral framework, and discuss implications for promoting socially responsible use of social networking tools.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
George Siemens
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Stephen Downes
The purpose of this chapter is to outline some of the thinking behind new e-learning technology, including e-portfolios and personal learning... Sample PDF
Learning Networks and Connective Knowledge
Chapter 2
Ann Dutton Ewbank, Adam G. Kay, Teresa S. Foulger, Heather L. Carter
This chapter reviews the capabilities of social networking tools and links those capabilities to recent legal and ethical controversies involving... Sample PDF
Conceptualizing Codes of Conduct in Social Networking Communities
Chapter 3
Judi Repman, Cordelia Zinskie, Elizabeth Downs
As online learning continues to expand and evolve, new challenges emerge regarding the implementation of Web 2.0 tools and technologies in online... Sample PDF
Fulfilling the Promise: Addressing Institutional Factors that Impede the Implementation of E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 4
Robert Z. Zheng
The growth of online resources and the advancement of Web 2.0 technology are changing the instructional landscape and have significantly impacted... Sample PDF
Designing Dynamic Learning Environment for Web 2.0 Application
Chapter 5
Marshall G. Jones, Stephen W. Harmon
This chapter deals centrally with one emerging aspect of Web 2.0 for education, that of the increasing demand for real time and near real-time... Sample PDF
Instructional Strategies for Teaching in Synchronous Online Learning Environments (SOLE)
Chapter 6
Daniel W. Surry, David C. Ensminger
Higher education is changing in important and profound ways. New technologies are enabling universities to reach new students and create innovative... Sample PDF
University 2.0: Human, Social, and Societal Issues
Chapter 7
Jay Alden
The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies with its emphasis on social networking has presented an opportunity for academic institutions to take... Sample PDF
Use of Wikis to Support Collaboration among Online Students
Chapter 8
Curtis J. Bonk, Mimi Miyoung Lee, Nari Kim, Meng-Fen Grace Lin
A Wikibook is a transformative and disruptive technology that is finding increasing use in schools and higher education institutions. This new form... Sample PDF
Wikibook Transformations and Disruptions: Looking Back Twenty Years to Today
Chapter 9
Chareen Snelson
The recent explosive growth of Web-based video has expanded the repository of free content that can be tapped into for e-learning. Millions of video... Sample PDF
Web-Based Video for e-Learning: Tapping into the YouTubeTM Phenomenon
Chapter 10
Deborah Everhart, Kaye Shelton
Collaborative research teaches students critical knowledge management skills, whether they are undergraduates learning the basics of Web research or... Sample PDF
From Information Literacy to Scholarly Identity: Effective Pedagogical Strategies for Social Bookmarking
Chapter 11
Morris S.Y. Jong, Junjie Shang, Fong-Lok Lee, Jimmy H.M. Lee
VISOLE (Virtual Interactive Student-Oriented Learning Environment) is a constructivist pedagogical approach to empower computer game-based learning.... Sample PDF
VISOLE: A Constructivist Pedagogical Approach to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 12
Patricia Edwards, Mercedes Rico, Eva Dominguez, J. Enrique Agudo
Web 2.0 technologies are described as new and emerging for all fields of knowledge, including academia. Innovative e-learning formats like on-demand... Sample PDF
Second Language E-Learning and Professional Training with Second Life®
Chapter 13
Hyung Sung Park, Young Kyun Baek
The purpose of this chapter is to offer practical ideas and cases for educational use of the Second Life® virtual world with Web 2.0 based... Sample PDF
Empirical Evidence and Practical Cases for Using Virtual Worlds in Educational Contexts
Chapter 14
Sharon Stoerger
Schools based in the United States are trapped in a Henry Ford factory model of education that is focused on high-stakes testing. This model was... Sample PDF
A Pedagogical Odyssey in Three-Dimensional Virtual Worlds: The SECOND LIFE® Model
Chapter 15
Youmei Liu, Shawn McCombs
E-Learning has undergone an amazing metamorphosis: it has changed from the delivery of individualized, static curricular information to the... Sample PDF
Podcasting: A Flexible E-Learning Tool
Chapter 16
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Harrison Hao Yang
This chapter provides an overview and development of sense of community and social networking; discusses the potential uses of social networking in... Sample PDF
Using Social Networking to Enhance Sense of Community in E-Learning Courses
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