Is There an Ethical Quandary to Corporate Social Networking and Crowdsourcing?

May 4, 2011 No Comments

Is corporate social media ethical? Is there a “Tom Sawyer syndrome” at work in which people are suckered into doing work thinking that it’s something to be enjoyed?

Those are the provocative questions raised by Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, at the recent South by Southwest Interactive confab. His argument: a key value proposition of social networking is crowdsourcing, in which an actively engaged community contributes new ideas for innovation, or even does some piecework, for little or no compensation. As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Zittrain argues that these may be morally questionable ventures.

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