Week 10: Scott Anderson

One area of ethics that jumped out at me in this class related back to my group project. Going into this project, I did not think there would be many ethical dilemmas that my group would face, simply because of our content. The main reason I thought this was because our project was fairly light in terms of social activism (we were not trying to prevent genocide or anything like that).

That area where we faced an ethical dilemma was when a story was posted on our website that told the story of a father who was trying to get together support for bike helmet reform in England after his son, who was not wearing a helmet, collided with a van while riding his bike. Unbeknownst to me, bike helmet reform is a contentious subject in the cycling community and the story we posted on our site could have been a negative focal point. So do ethical considerations come into play for the story to be posted on our site? For some people, those considerations do. For other, they do not.

So this brings me to many of the works we interacted with this term, which were controversial in nature. If there’s a strong, engaged and active public on one end and a latent public on the other end of the spectrum, is it ethical to either limit or promote controversial content? It would seem there’s a possible risk of alienating the active publics and not engaging the latent publics by posting controversial content, but more important than that is that limiting or eliminating the controversial content could take a step in not helping to expand the knowledge base — and ultimately possibly saving lives — of people. How much of a responsibility do we have to help save lives if we can? I think that’s a question people can only answer for themselves.

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1 comment to Week 10: Scott Anderson

  • kblack7@uoregon.edu

    That is really interesting that you had a personal account of an ethical dilemma with your group project. I would argue that, yes, ethical considerations should come in to play to solve this issue. To me, the question lies in whether or not you want content of that weight on your site. It might serve audiences a greater function than merely helmet fashion and safety.

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