Social Media: An Ethical Stand

Businesses and companies have long taken ethical or moral stands. Sometimes it is because of the culture of the company, changes in society, a sense of giving back, or it’s better for the bottom line. Whatever the reason, it’s happen before.

Patagonia gave it’s workers Election Day off (link). Apple is making a stance on personal privacy (link). Not that long ago and still today many companies talk about “going green” with their business practices. There are also thousands of companies part of the B Corporation structure.

One stance that hasn’t been made. Or not made in a big way is social media (and to a larger extent, targeted advertisements). With the amazing amount of negative news coming out about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social networks about the influence these outlets have over out decision making, emotions, and interactions, I am surprised there hasn’t been more of a reaction.

Could deleting Facebook or removing your business from social media become a new ethical/moral stand for businesses? As “going green” in the past, or going organic, or being environmentally or socially conscious.

There has certainly been a reaction from consumers. The #DeleteFacebook movement and the like has caused many consumers to stop using social media. You’ve also seen many younger consumers choosing not to join social media.

With the backlash of social media lately, when does it become better business to not be on social media?

On the other side, I understand the inherent problem with businesses leaving social media. It is a massive marketing platform that drives an incredible amount of targets ads and traffic.

It won’t be easy to leave social media, but it is possible.

It seemed completely impractical for businesses to care more about the environment and invest money to making more sustainable products, but it did happen.

This has been a bit of a rant of something that has been on my mind for the last month. I’m curious what others opinions are on the topic.

Full disclosure I am a part of several different companies that have social media presences and have used target advertisements on the site. It’s become a standard way of business, and may need to change.

Want to discuss? Message me on Twitter (@swoicik) or join the GitHub Discussions.


Every so often, I send an email about interesting topics to discuss and think about. Enter your email below to be included in the conversation.