Is Social Media Monitoring Ethical?

Personally, I think social monitoring is ethical. People should be free to post online whatever they think and/or feel; however, with the action of posting online, people should always be aware that they are, in fact, posting to the public. Because of that small fact, I think it is perfectly OK to monitor networks and websites.

Businesses and famed people all over have been protecting their images since day one. It’s common PR 101 right here, folks. If someone says something negative about a business or person, the come back is always either respond positively or dispose of the evidence. If one chooses the latter, it is not unethical since the comment is meant for the public.

There are actually companies who help other companies learn how to monitor their website interaction. One company, called Jive, has a positive take on social media monitoring. Promising to “help you listen, measure, and engage” with customers seems like a constructive means of social monitoring, but is monitoring nonetheless.

Another company, called Trackur, uses “sophisticated social media monitoring and filtering technology. It scans the web for any mention of your name, brands, and products—so you don’t have to.” Trackur simply brings to attention anything that is mentioned about specific name, brands, or products; then it’s at the discretion of the user to do with the mention how they please.

There are many more websites that can assist in social monitoring, and even some websites that tell you of other websites—such as Ben Barren.

Yet another website, Mashable, provides ten helpful steps to successful social monitoring. The first of which is to define the objective: ask yourself why you are monitoring and make sure that you have a clear goal in mind.

I think the key thing to remember, as users of the internet, is that we are using a public site and, therefore, everything will be public. If there is something that we would like to post about a person, brand, and/or product that would be offensive, then watch out for it to be plucked from space.


About lindsayyshort
i enjoy music. i hate clutter. i like to work out. im moved by nature. im inspired by people. i adore my family. i love life.

5 Responses to Is Social Media Monitoring Ethical?

  1. mikefromva says:

    I totally agree with your opinion in this post. I feel it is not unethical in any way, if one posts it to the public, than obviously they are not ashamed of their content. I feel most people today are perfectly aware of just how open the web is, and how now more than ever people are checking the web to find out more about an individual. So, how would it be unethical to monitor ones content on the web? I feel the only way it would become unethical is if one were to be punished for their personal opinion. As long as it does not make the company look bad, I feel it is all fair game. Other than that I think it is quite amazing how these companies such as the one you listed, “Trackur,” has such an ability as you described.

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  3. whitness07 says:

    Thanks for this post Lindsay. People have the right to post their opinions all over the web. Basically, companies apply the old saying “if you can’t beat them, join them.” I think that it’s awesome that you mentioned that companies such as Jive and Trackur offer services that help companies monitor what is being said about them so they can then be able to address the things that need to be addressed. I usually use Google Alerts in order to see what gets posted about me. It’s pretty effective! Happy social media monitoring…

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  5. taraschwartz says:

    Wow, I had no clue there were so many websites offering the option to track what others might be saying about you.
    It honestly almost tempted me to sign up on one of them just to see if and what people might be saying about me. Alas, I think I’ll wait until I’m a bit more famous to have to observe and track what people say or type about me. 🙂

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