Cyberethics of Business Social Networking

Cyberethics of Business Social Networking

Dário de Oliveira Rodrigues (Instituto Politécnico de Santarém, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-168-9.ch016
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The digital technologies open a virtual world where making successful business over the Internet and especially on social networks imply unusual ethical dilemmas. This chapter will seek to handle this problem, characteristic of the information age, highlighting ethical challenges surrounding the participation in a new electronic dimension which quickly became ubiquitous. In the same line of the marketing model entitled “Marketing-mix”1, a new mnemonical model is presented. This model will be designated as “Cyberethics2-mix”, and is composed by four elements, all of them having the initial letter “P”. These elements represent the following ethical issues that should be carefully taken into account when practicing business on the Internet: Property of intellectual rights over digitized contents; Precision of the content and data made available on the www 3; Possibility to access the on-line information flow; Privacy of personal data on Internet networking /
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The New Digital Economy

The predictions for the new information age allows us to envision an economic environment substantially different from the one that ruled the industrial age, but the points of view on the meaning of these changes are sometimes opposed.

The forecasting spectre cannot be bigger, embracing so different scenarios as the prediction of self-organized monopolies digitally induced (Murphy, 2004), or the foresight of multiple business opportunities now within reach of a large number of entrepreneurs due to the reduction of entrance barriers implied in the new digital paradigm (Anderson, 2009).

Establishing one of the most worrisome scenarios, Murphy (2004) points out that this new digital economy entails a trend of monopolistic structures spontaneous creation, likely to endanger a traditionally positive economic balance and even dramatically compromise the future performance of the economic model consecrated by the industrial age. Due to five interrelated factors, pointed by this author, the individuals eagerness and economic organizations will stop to lead the economic system to a healthy market balance, translating into a relentless self-organization of undesirable monopolistic structures.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cyberethics: Ethics in electronic space or virtual world.

Transaction Costs: Costs that companies incur when they use outside suppliers instead of doing things internally. When is cheaper to do things externally, companies downsize. The digital paradigm is characterized by inducing low transaction costs (many times even zero).

Trade-Off: Balance between something we want and something we have to sacrifice correspondingly. That`s the case occurring between privacy and convenience.

Digital Paradigm: Pattern of reality that results from a sampling process encoded in binary language. Unlike the analog paradigm, characteristic of a physical reality composed of complex signs that are not yet computable, the digital paradigm is reflected in a virtual reality composed entirely by computable finite groups of just two different signals (0 and 1).

Business Models: Method or process of negotiation through which one intends to generate income. It is the manner by which the value can be created and collected.

Open-Code Software: Computer software available within the public domain, developed in a public and collaborative manner.

Web 2.0: The second generation of the World Wide Web, mainly composed by dynamic and shareable content, as well as by social networking applications.

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