Blogging the robot – a question in ethical behavior

As blogs become more and more popular they tend to raise interesting issues. How is a blog similar to other media – like newspapers and television, and how is it different. Should someone who publishes a blog with a limited readership be held to the same standards as a large newspaper or magazine empire?

“Hey man, it's only a blog."

There have been several interesting, and thought provoking questions raised by blogging behavior recently. In one situation an employee took some photos of Mac computers being unloaded in his company’s receiving department, then posted the photos on his blog. The company, not unexpectedly, showed him the door. In other cases in the press, employees have disclosed confidental information, and then have been terminated.

But what if the job was only temporary – say, a one day gig. In that type of situation is there an implied confidentiality contract between the company and the temporary employee? Can the temp employee be held accountable for disclosing information publically on a blog – or are they free to publish anything and everything?

These are very difficult questions to grapple with. There aren’t any simple answers, at least there don’t appear to be. And, it isn’t just a hypothetical musing. There are real world instances taking place every day that raise this type of ethical question. One, that recently came to our attention via a the popular New Zealand Robosaps blog involves a Canadian named Jamie that was hired to support production of the WowWee Robopet commercial. 

Related links:

Robosaps post on Jamie and the Robopet

Jamie vs. the Robopet – post on The Bare Blog

Jamie's original "sit-bot-bot-sit-bad-dog" post


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