Tag Archives: ethics

The Internet Changes the World

Make no mistake – technology use is a global economic and communcation force. Consider that today more than two billion people use Facebook – that’s one-quarter of the world’s population! And, one in every five minutes online is estimated to be spent on Facebook. It’s potentially a juggernaut of massive proportions. With the extensive reach of Facebook and other technology companies such as Google and Apple, it is also a challenge to many countries’ governments control over their own citizen’s information sources and habits.

Whether it is politics, music, business, or education, the reach of global technology companies represents a challenge for businesses and marketers. This is particularly true when technology companies in essence subsidize connectivity in developing nations. Economies of nations rest on profit-driven technology companies based in Silicon Valley.

The Internet has a reputation of being a free-wheeling, anything-goes system that cannot be contained by nations. Or at least, not easily contained even in countries such as China and Vietnam. In the U.S., technology companies are facing new scrutiny by the government when it comes to politics, advertising, hacking, and controlling news. More than 50 counties have passed laws in the last five years to increase control over how their citizens use the Internet. And, in particular, digital privacy is a growing issue throughout European nations and the United States.

Where is the Internet going? And, how should marketing use it?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role that technology companies play in global economies and policies.
  2. Show the New York Times video: https://nyti.ms/2y8o8WC
  3. Discuss recent news about politics, hacking, news, bullying, privacy, and advertising buys.
  4. Divide students into groups. Have each group discuss what their experiences have been online.
  5. Task each team to come up with standards for how companies should use the Internet.
  6. Task each team to come up with five recommendations that could be implemented to improve online use and privacy.

Source: New York Times

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China’s Great Firewall

While many people and countries view the Internet as a place of total freedom to say whatever they want – often without fear of reprisal – inside of China’s Great Firewall there exists an extensive system of filters and controls. The system is often quite subjective, and at times even contradictory. Nonetheless, for the 700 million Chinese, use is growing exponentially.

This summer, China’s fast-growing digital media sector set 68 categories of material that are censored. The guidelines ban material that include excessive drinking or gambling, sensationalizing criminal cases, ridicules historical revolutionary leaders, current members of the military, police, judiciary, or anything that promotes and publicizes “luxury life.” Also banned are material associated with prostitution, rape, affairs, partner swapping, and sexual liberation.

Despite the restrictions and bans, China’s Internet continues to expand. While China bans Facebook, Twitter, and Google apps, the use of WeChat in the country is expanding. In China, WeChat is a super-app that does virtually everything a user needs, all from within the app itself. Need a service? Want to schedule a lunch? Transfer funds? Post a review? Buy something? It is all contained within the app, making it powerful, and also a little scary. Advertisers love it, but all data must be shared with the Chinese government.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the freedoms of the Internet. Are there downsides to this?
  2. View the NYT video on WeChat in China: https://nyti.ms/2jZdURP
  3. How does the Great Firewall impact global marketing?
  4. Show the TED Talk about China’s Great Firewall: https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_anti_behind_the_great_firewall_of_china
  5. What are the implications for global commerce?

Source: New York Times

 

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Corruption Index 2016

While the world is not a perfect place, people still hold out hope that it can become a better place for all citizens across the globe. However, a vicious cycle of corruption, unequal distribution of wealth, and unequal distribution of power, all conspire to create a climate of corruption in every nation on the planet.

Transparency International is a global organization with a vision of a “world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.” The organization is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting corruption. One of its most public tools in the Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures corruption around the world. It ranks countries on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

Unfortunately, no country gets a perfect score in the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index. Two-thirds of the 176 countries measured were below the mid-point score. The global average: 43 out of 100, and top-scoring nations were far outnumbered by countries were citizens face corruption daily.

  • Top score: Denmark and New Zealand with a score of 90.
  • Low score: Somalia with a score of 10.

Curious where the United States ranks? Check out the Index and see the results.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of ethics, legality, and corruption in global marketing. What are the differences? What factors contribute to a poor business climate? To a poor living situation for citizens?
  2. Before showing the Index, poll students as to the countries that they believe will score the best, and worst, on corruptions.
  3. Show a video for the Corruptions Perception Index: https://youtu.be/zshdwWrsv3I
  4. Bring up the Index: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2016
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team analyze an area of the world and locate the high performing and low performing countries. What are the contributing factors to these scores?

Source: Transparency International

 

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