Am I to ethical?

Discussion in 'Self Improvement and Being Successful' started by Hurbel2k, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Hurbel2k

    Hurbel2k
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    Let's say there is no facebook. Let's assume you have the idea of facebook in your head and there is no real competition. Would you start facebook?

    I wouldn't. Facebook makes money by whoring out their customers data. I think this immoral (and I therefore don't have an facebook account with my real name).

    This is only one example, but I have been thinking recently. Often I am stopped by my moral values. I think what facebook does is just wrong. And a lot of other things on the internet that makes money is wrong.

    But I have to admit, just bull****ting the customers seems to make money. I'm sorry to pick out facebook here, but a lot of websites make money by cheating, misleading and ignoring their customers. It really seems to be like this.

    Should I give up my standards when it comes to business matters?
    Should I just do whatever makes money?
    How do you deal with this situation?
     
  2. An Alien

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    Well, the whole world uses it so it looks like people aren't bothered with the fact that FB is keeping there info. But I don't see how FB is doing any harm with that info. They're keeping it there because you give it to them.

    Edit: I completely forgot about one important thing. If you think FB is un-ethical, then Google must be the biggest most un ethical thing you have ever seen because they keep ALL of your search history. And that billions of searches/day.
     
  3. Fergal

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    Good to see you back with us Hurbel2k, I hope life is going well with you.

    Ethics, in my opinion come down to personal values and I believe that we are most successful when we are true to our values. We are more likely to be dedicated to our work and do whatever is required to succeed, when we are doing work that is congruent with those personal values.

    I know you only use Facebook as an example, however, I don't agree with that statement. FaceBook don't sell your personal data to other companies, what they do is display ads to you based on the profile info that you have given to them. There is nothing unethical about this in my opinion.

    I'm not a huge user of FaceBook, however I do visit it for a few minutes on most days. FaceBook has helped me to catch up with some old friends that I haven't had contact with in a few years. In this way I feel that it has improved my life at least a little and I don't believe that it has harmed me in any way. Hence, the owners of FaceBook are entitled to believe that they are running a business that helps others.

    The fact that we disagree on this, is an example of how ethics comes down to personal values. What one person considers ethical is different to what others consider to be ethical. For example, I might consider adult sites to be unethical while others believe that there is nothing unethical about them and are happy to make money from them.

    My short answer to both of those questions would be "No". What I'd suggest is that you write out a list of your core values, then try to put that list into order with your most important values appearing on top of the list. Then try to find a business that is congruent with those values and that helps you live those values through your business.
     
  4. Hurbel2k

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    Let me give you some examples of how I think about facebook, so you can understand my values.

    (1) If you look into the facebook API, you can see, that third parties can access about any information they want. So I could program a game that simulates a farm and then I can access anything from full name to phone number, to birth date to whatever from anyone who signs up for my farm game. People seem to not understand the implications of this, but it makes identity theft a lot easier.

    Facebook is even considering that such applications (games) can not only get information of those people who signed up (agreed to the terms of this particular application), but also details of their friends. Currently the names of these friends are already available to applications.

    Facebook has an interesting position in this game. It's like when X wants to rob a bank. Y works in the bank. While X robs the bank, Y closes his eyes and listens to iPod music. After the robbery Y says, he has not wittnessed any robbery going on. That's exactly what facebook does. It doesn't care what those third party applications do with the personal data they obtain.

    Check this article as an example:
    http://www.tressugar.com/Facebook-Applications-Trojan-Horses-Identity-Thieves-1595130

    (2) Facebook asks to access your email account to help you connect to your friends. Recently there has been a case reported in the media of my homecountry, what facebook really does with the information gained there.
    A doctor gave facebook access to his email account thinking he will find old friends. Instead all patients were recommended to other patients of this doctor as friends. This case got a lot of attention, because this doctor is a specialist for people with a very special disease and those people unvoluntarily felt exposed.. People with a technical understanding like most of us here on the forum understand the implications of giving facebook access to the personal email account. The majority of average people doesn't and facebook is misleading them by telling them, it helps to connect with friends.

    Let me make this clear...
    I'm not here to discuss the morality of facebook. Now you know how I think about these things and my question is, should I adopt the facebook mentality and turn a blind eye on some things, when it helps me? Because I do have some business ideas in my head, but most of them collide with such moral issues in one way or the other. In fact I'm a very conservative person when it comes to moral values. I'm sure I'm the perfect person for ecological farming. Unfortunately I don't have any idea of growing plants. I've been programming software for the internet for a few years and that's what I know.

    I know a few cases of split personalities. Take Bill Gates for example. Privately he is a philantropist. But in business matters he is ice cold. Currently I use my personal values also for business matters. Maybe I should have two sets of values. One for private matters one for business matters. I've heard several people say, business matters and private matters must be kept separate.

    I think I've made a decission about this in my head already. Writing it down here helped me to think about it. I'm just looking for more opinions, because I'm sure other people have faced such questions.

    Thanks for any further thoughts.

    @Fergal, yeah it's been a long time. This forum has become really big. I read here occasionally, but haven't posted in a while.
     
  5. Fergal

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    Thanks for the detailed reply Hurbel2k. There is obviously more to FaceBook than I know about.

    My opinion is that we are all only one person and that we are most successful when we hold true to the person we are and to our own values. It is very difficult to be one type of person in business and a different type of person in our personal lives. I believe that there are many ways you could make money without compromising on your values Hurbel2k. For example you say that you would be the "perfect person for ecological farming" perhaps you could provide a piece of internet software for that industry or specialise in doing development for that industry. Potential clients from a certain industry will always look favourably on suppliers who specialise in their industry.

    On the other hand Bill Gates is obviously a lot more successful than me and if it works for him perhaps it can work for you. I suppose it's very much a personal decision. Good luck with it, no matter what you decide.
     
  6. Beck

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    I don't think you're too ethical at all. I think what Facebook does is wrong and I didn't understand the depth of what they were doing until very recently. A huge part of me wishes I never joined but it's the best way to keep in contact with my friends.
     
  7. An Alien

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    So we shouldn't use facebook apps, is that what you're saying? And people are asked before using an app if they want this app to access their data, so it's there fault for not caring. But I do agree facebook should do something about them.
     
  8. GekiDan

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    Well, games are third party applications and are not made by Facebook themselves. They even put it on the app page.
    Another thing is, you CAN control what info you can give on these applications on your privacy settings. Plus, normally, you won't post ALL your personal details online, like in Facebook or any other sites...
     
  9. f5mtadas

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    I have also one unique idea for social marketing, nobodies created something similar, that I have I am sure, but
    I don't think it is cheating facebook is doing. I would not dealing with people if I see him facebook profile tells
    me something not acceptable and negative to me. I skip this people, so facebook is the biggest social network
    and it helps really helps for partnerships and networking.
     
  10. CloptonCapital

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    Whoring out their data? It just makes advertising more targeted. I prefer HULU showing me ads for things I actually like instead of watching ads targeted towards people who have kids, gamble, etc. It seems like a win-win. Personally I think people are too sensitive on this issue.
     
  11. Blake123

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    I guess earning money itself can't be ethical
    just the general idea that you spend time somewhere in the office instead of
    staying at home with your family seems weird at first sight
    but that's our reality...
     
  12. Fergal

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    I can see your point, but as you say it is reality, we need to earn money in order to survive and to take care of our families.
     
  13. Casey

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    Generally facebook does a great job in terms of connecting you with people you might know, with old friends, you can also find about what they prefer in terms of music, movies and so on. But obviously they also have to make some money, so this is their way. I think facebook is by far the most unethical business around.
     
  14. Fergal

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    I'm a little surprised by that statement. Surely they are not in the same league as say cigarette companies, oil companies and companies in the arms industry, etc?
     
  15. derekey

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    I agree with your point!
     
  16. Clint Cora

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    Your ethics and standards are yours and nobody else's. You have to do what you feel is right, not what how we feel. If you go along against your own principles, in the long run, you will not be happy with what you are doing. Trust your instincts.
     
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  17. GekiDan

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    Pretty cool advice there. And most of your point is correct.
     

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