Digital Ethics Case Studies

A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

Should Yelp be in the business of branding businesses as racist?
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Ethical Targeting or Transgressing Ethics?

Ethical Targeting or Transgressing Ethics?

Is it ethical to use personalized data to target voters in political ad campaigns?
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Privacy versus Products in Targeted Digital Advertising

Privacy versus Products in Targeted Digital Advertising

What does objective reporting mean in covering the Black Lives Matter protests?
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Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

Should platforms censor anti-vaccination memes to help end the pandemic?
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The Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing

The Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing

What concerns arise when we use digital contact tracing to fight COVID-19?
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TikTok, Time to Snitch

TikTok, Time to Snitch

Is it ethical to use TikTok to shame fellow students in a pandemic?
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Quelling Interference or Dissent?

Quelling Interference or Dissent?

Did Tumblr's purge of Russian misinformation accounts go too far?
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Putting the President in Check

Putting the President in Check

Should Twitter factcheck Trump's misleading tweets?
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Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

What could go wrong with Twitch's efforts to police speech on its platform?
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Doxing in the Name of Public Health

Doxing in the Name of Public Health

What ethical concerns accompany the use of internet shaming in the age of COVID-19?
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Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

What are the ethics of using counterspeech to fight online harassment?
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Politics in the Age of Digital Information Overload

Politics in the Age of Digital Information Overload

What are the ethics of Facebook allowing potentially misleading political ads?
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Paying Your Way to the Top

Paying Your Way to the Top

Are purchases made in multiplayer video games unethical and unfair?
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The Different Species of the Online Catfish

The Different Species of the Online Catfish

What ethical complexities circle around catfishing and online deception?
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Beer Cans and Cancel Culture

Beer Cans and Cancel Culture

What are the ethical challenges when journalism and cancel culture meet?
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Fighting the Amazon Fires with Misinformation

Fighting the Amazon Fires with Misinformation

What are the ethical dilemmas posed by celebrity activists using not-so-accurate information on social media to save the environment?
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Matters of Facebook Live or Death

Matters of Facebook Live or Death

What are the ethical worries over Facebook Live and immediate internet broadcasting?
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Social Media Activism or Mere Slacktivism?

Social Media Activism or Mere Slacktivism?

When online activists vow to make a villain famous, what could go wrong?
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The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

What ethical concerns arise when filmmakers use CGI to resurrect dead actors?
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“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

When does the creation and sharing of internet memes go too far?
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Case studies produced by the Media Ethics Initiative remain the intellectual property of the Media Ethics Initiative and the University of Texas at Austin. They can be used in unmodified PDF form without permission for classroom use. For use in publications such as textbooks and other works, please contact the Media Ethics Initiative.