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Online Ethical Communities
Finding a space for ethics in cyberspace
The Internet is ideal for bringing people together who are geographically disparate but united by common interests. The Ethics Center takes advantage of this by creating online ethical communities—groups of people from across the country who care passionately about ethics in specific fields. In 2013, these efforts have included:
As a complement to the work we do with students on campus, we started The Big Q, a blog, Facebook page, and Twitter campaign about the ethical issues all college students face in their everyday lives. The blog alone has had more than 200,000 views by undergraduates from Columbia University to Eastern Washington, from UCLA to Maine College of the Arts.
This year, thanks to our Advisory Board member Lori Laub, The Big Q will offer prizes to participants from Yiftee, “the easy and instant way to send thoughtful gifts at local shops and restaurants.” Laub, a Yiftee co-founder, said, “We’re proud to partner with the Center, whose innovative Big Q project is vital to student engagement in ethical discussions. We hope this project will help to further ethical thinking and action by our future leaders."
With the help of a group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, we have laid out ethical dilemmas associated with different stages in the life of a startup. Through LinkedIn, those have been rolled out to an online community of 300 people, who are commenting on our initial dilemmas and adding others.
Twitter and Facebook are the platforms for discussion among a group of leaders in the field of digital journalism, who have been meeting at the Ethics Center for the past four years. Award-winning reporter Sally Lehrman, formerly the Knight Ridder Professor of Journalism and the Public Interest at SCU, convenes the group. In the time between their annual roundtables, they can use these vehicles to continue their discussion of ethical issues and involve the larger community of journalists in the conversation.