The Negative Lottery: Equifax and the Lost Art of Risk Management

December 11, 2017 | David Stockdale 

You might not be aware of it, but there is a strong likelihood that you've recently been entered into a special lottery.

Who takes ethical responsibility for social media influence?

November 30, 2017 | Kate Baucherel

There’s a storm brewing, and social media is at its eye. For a decade, businesses and politicians have increasingly used both Twitter and Facebook as convenient mouthpieces. Twitter’s values declare: “We believe in free expression and think every voice has the power to impact the world.” Facebook’s mission is to “bring the world closer together.” Unfortunately, their common quest to enable free speech in a connected world has recently come under scrutiny. Global influence is being brought to bear on domestic matters, and there is the strong possibility that voters in the 2016 presidential election were manipulated through these platforms.

Implanting Microchips: Sign of Progress or Mark of the Beast?

November 15, 2017 | Terri Williams

This summer, Three Square Market (also known as 32M), a Wisconsin-based technology company, announced that it was implanting microchips under the skin of its employees. While the process was voluntary, at least 50 of the 80 employees at the company’s headquarters agreed to have a small chip — the size of a grain of rice — implanted between their index finger and thumb. The company held a “chip party” where participating employees received the $300 implant.

NCAA’s Clamp Down on Athletes’ YouTube Use: Out of Touch and Out of Control?

November 6, 2017 | Randy Minkoff 

The NCAA has more than its share of battles with the colleges it oversees through the years. These include grade tampering, recruiting irregularities, transfer regulations and a wide assortment of alumni/booster infractions. Most seem to funnel through one key element — money. Who gets it, who gives it and how much.

Proximity Marketing: Often Creepy, but It Doesn’t Have to Be

October 26, 2017 | Nora Dunne

Imagine you’re out shopping one Saturday afternoon. You walk into a department store and see a big sign that reads, “Get our app and save!” You love a good deal so you scan the QR code and select “download.” You scroll through a user agreement with about 10,000 words of legalese and click “agree.” Then you open the app and skim through a list of coupons, bookmark one or two and proceed through the store. You spend a few minutes browsing the shoe department and try on a pair. They don’t fit well and you end up leaving the store without making any purchases.

Digital Connect: Sharing Experiences with Parents Benefits Children’s Media Literacy

October 16, 2017 | Jabari Evans

Though originally considered to be a much more secondary contributor to social learning, digital media and the sudden mobility of mass media have made it important to examine the media’s role in children’s socialization and parent usage of technology during quality time with their kids.

Social Media in the Wake of Disaster

October 12, 2017 | Nikki Williams

Houston is finally recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Throughout the aftermath, survivors took to social media to shout out encouragement to first responders, give directions to shelters and help centers for those in need, enlist essential help and, perhaps most importantly, to encourage people to act in ways appropriate to a widespread emergency.

The Ethics of Doxing Nazis

October 12, 2017 | Michael Cullinane

Following the wake-up-call that was the Unite the Right rally and subsequent chaos in Charlottesville, many Americans wondered what they could do to help suppress the growing and emboldened White Nationalist movement.

Corporate Watchdogs or Self-Serving Capitalists?

September 5, 2017 | Nikki Williams

The recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia has underscored the increase in racist hate groups in the United States. Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an advocacy organization that monitors extremist groups in the United States, said, “Since the era of formal white supremacy — right before the Civil Rights Act when we ended [legal] segregation — since that time, this is the most enlivened that we've seen the white supremacist movement.”

Will big business compromise the ethics of artificial intelligence?

July 24, 2017 | Kate Baucherel

We are entering a new era of technology adoption. We have passed the point of using new tools to perform old tasks, and our behavior is changing. In 2017, the dizzying array of shows and multiple streaming services has changed the game. You can’t simply flick through the evening’s listings. When does that episode stream? Is that U.K. or U.S. release time? Which provider is the new show on? These days, I rely on voice control, asking Alexa to find a title, an episode, or a genre. Artificial intelligence (AI) has come to the rescue, it is a tool for its time, a behavioral shift in my home.

Using Facebook to Identify Potential Problem Drinkers, Is It Ever Justified?

July 24, 2017 | Terri Williams

A study, “College Students’ Drinking and Posting About Alcohol: Forwarding a Model of Motivations, Behaviors, and Consequences,” by researchers at the University of North Carolina and Ohio University, reveals an interesting correlation between drinking alcohol and posting about it on social media. Specifically, the study of 364 college students, which was also published in the Journal of Health Communication, found that those who had an “alcohol identity” were more likely to post about their alcohol consumption on social media.

Protecting Leakers in the Digital Age

June 7, 2017 | Bastiaan Vanacker 

As volatile and unpredictable as President Trump’s first months in office have been, he has been consistent in his derision of leaks and in calling for the prosecution of those responsible for them. With the first Trump-era leak prosecution now underway, it seems as if the Department of Justice has taken the president’s marching orders to heart. This is unlikely to be the only leak prosecution we will witness under this administration and Attorney General, bringing to the forefront the question of journalists' responsibility towards leakers in a digital age.

Although seemingly trivial, livestreaming on social media poses serious problems

May 15, 2017 | Bastiaan Vanacker 

It has been well over one year now since Facebook enabled its almost two billion users to stream live video. During the roll-out, Facebook unabashedly encouraged its users to embrace the opportunity to “create, share and discover live videos.” Unlike Twitter, which required that users download the Periscope app separately before they could livestream, Facebook offered a fully integrated streaming functionality.

College Entrance Exam – “Nailed It”; Social Media Background Check – “Failed It”

April 21, 2017 | Terri Williams

Colleges weigh a variety of factors when deciding whether to admit an applicant. Students know the importance of test scores, grades, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and the college application essay. But there’s another factor that may actually be important as well.

Toward an ethic of personal technologies

April 7, 2017 | Rhema Zlaten 

The permeation of personal technology devices in American culture suggests that people have a deepening desire to be constantly connected to the world around them. Americans tend to eagerly embrace the benefits of these personal technologies without giving much consideration to the right to information privacy, despite the threats found in a burgeoning American surveillance society.

Why We Should Hold Ourselves Responsible for Fake News

March 8, 2017 | Benjamin van Loon

No matter where you’ve stuck your pin on the political map, everyone can agree that the 2016 U.S. presidential election was not business as usual for American democracy.

Ranting on Social Media: Innocent Comment Platform or Bully Pulpit?

February 21, 2017 | Terri Williams

When people have unpleasant experiences, they tend to tell others about them. But, now that social media has become the preferred communication platform, it’s only logical that people use it when they want to voice their disapproval and dissatisfaction.

Does CGI cross ethical boundaries when it depicts deceased actors?

February 10, 2017 | Kate Baucherel

The technology of CGI – computer generate imagery – is already familiar to most cinema goers, and has made possible the effective realisation of sci fi and fantasy films including the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter series. We’ve applauded the rapid improvement from jerky approximations of fantastic creatures to smooth and seamless character integrations. So, why did so many people find Rogue One’s digital resurrection morbid, disrespectful, or downright unethical?

Snapchat: A Powerful Tool for Gathering and Distributing News

January 25, 2017 | Nora Dunne

To those who think Snapchat is just for silly selfies: Think again.

What the Attack on Doris Truong Teaches Us about Critical Thinking in the Age of Fake News

January 13, 2017 | Jill Geisler

If you’d like to experience raw hate and ignorance, do a Twitter search for the words “Doris Truong” and “Tillerson.”  Angry tweets and retweets claim the home page editor of the Washington Post was caught sneaking pictures of Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s notes during his confirmation hearing. There’s video. Memes. Calls for her firing because this is proof she’s a “scumbag.” Drudge, the Gateway Pundit  and other sites had the news. Even Sarah Palin tweeted about it, so it must be true, right? Dead wrong. It wasn’t Doris.

Follow the Money: The Pros and Cons of Geolocating Currency

January 3, 2017 | Nikki Williams

The first bank opened in the United States in 1791, offering citizens a safe place to store funds. Within years, criminals figured out how to capitalize on these strategically placed caches of money. In 1798, the Bank of Pennsylvania was the site of the first bank theft, when two men with forged keys entered the bank and emptied the vault and safety deposit boxes. Since then, law officials and bank personnel have been coming up with increasingly sophisticated methods of thwarting criminals intent on grabbing easy money.