Are You Using Social Media the Right Way? These Tips Will Help.

    Some countries and organizations have developed guidelines for exposure to social media. For example, the Federal Association of Digital Economy (Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft – BVDW) in Germany has Social Media Code of Ethics, which helps maintain the constructive use of the social media and also guides the relationship between companies and bloggers and other social network users. Most importantly as regards contents, they expect respect towards users and their opinions, objectivity in communication, quick and appropriate response to comments, questions and opinions, honesty in dealing with errors and mistakes, and respects for copyrights, privacy policies and data protection.

    However, to avoid undermining another person’s right or allowing your own rights to be overstepped on social media, there are a few basic tenets of online communication that you should be aware of:

    Read and Follow Privacy Policies and Terms of Use

    First and foremost, the “Privacy Policy” and “Terms of Service” signed during registration on various social media platforms stipulate exactly how the platforms should be used by all the parties involved – users, developers, advertisers etc. As long as activities are performed within the limits of these contracts, we have no ethical rights to complain. It is the responsibility of every user to carefully study corresponding contracts before clicking “Accept” on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, LinkedIn and so on.

    Know the Boundaries of the Rights of a Blogger

    As publishers, bloggers have the responsibility to declare whether they are giving an opinion or speaking as a representative of a group. Already, we have said that Compensated Endorsement of Blog Posts and Tweets should be clearly stated. In addition, bloggers have the responsibility to state the source of their information and how authentic the sources are. Also, bloggers are expected to verify information before propagating them via their blogs or social networks. False information could severely affect the credibility of bloggers and negatively affect their audiences.

    Understand Employees-Employers' Social Media Constraints

    While there is so much to say about the rights and privileges of employees and employers as regards social media, it is simply advisable that all employers update their staff handbook and state their expectations clearly. They should be fair in their demands, considering the extent to which social media has woven itself into our daily activities.


    Social media is obviously in its infancy, and the ethical challenges facing it should be expected. In fact, ethics – what is right and what is wrong – is a subject of constant controversy. We just need to regularly develop policies to help manage the excesses of people.

    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun
    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun
    Dr. Ayoade Oyedotun is the co-founder of Afrimash - An Online Shopping Site for Agricultural Items. His daily work encompasses customer service, sales and marketing, human capital management, and business operations management. He is passionate about working smarter using the Internet technology.

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