“Does anybody know of any groups, resources, or websites that focus on ethics in blogging and social media? The only ones I'm finding have to do with blogging about ethical products, but not code of conduct as a blogger, content producer, or social media "influencer." Thanks in advance!
I’m a member of a Facebook Group where we had another member post this question. It’s a great question because it is a thing (trend we are noticing today, but been around since the dawn of time) on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms where people are posting content that doesn’t belong to them!
Before we really dive into this, let’s clarify some terminology:
Ethics: moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity. Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
I won’t mince words, this is stealing people! And not cool at all. Charles Caleb Colton said “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” If you think about the meaning here, as applied to Social Media, it could be, following people you admire and developing a relationships with them. Show them your authenticity and find ways to engage in conversations. Then. ask for their PERMISSION to repost their content, giving proper credit and linking back to their site or pages, or asking them for a quote that you can include in a Blog you’re writing. This is flattery, and we all LOVE to be recognized for what we have done or created.
I asked my friend Joel Comm who is an influencer in the Live Streaming World, (also author, speaker, entrepreneur & consultant,) if he’s encountered this problem. This is what he said:
“is it a trend?”
“I think people have always ripped others off”
“don't steal other people's' stuff.”
“I've seen people rip my stuff off for 20 years”
“I get a google alerts where one of my books is being shared, an article has been republished my photos are being swiped”
I also talked to my friend Felicia Slattery who is a brilliant author, speaker, consultant and coach asking her if I could repost an update on Facebook written on 2/23/17 where she said this:
“What's in the air today? Some advertiser is advertising a "signature speech," (not as an affiliate for me) which I own the legal trademark on and have since 2007. And then a little while ago in my inbox I got a promo for a "speaker sheet" with the exact copy from my sales page (and blog post promoting the same thing). When I replied and said thanks for promoting my one sheets, the list owner replied back and said she wasn't and that her copywriter had written the email. Ummm... nope, I wrote it in 2014.
Seriously, humanity, we need to step it up. I'm pretty sure thou shalt not steal is still in the top 10 of things not to do, right? Sigh…”
We see what we want to see. And today we chose to see using others’ content and not giving credit, as a problem. Joel keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s happening in his world by using Google Alerts. But it’s been happening all along. However, for some (inexplicable) reason we are just now cluing into this (again?).
In Part II of this article, you can read more about some of the steps you can take to be sure you are staying Ethical in the Blogging World. Click here to see it!
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