In Media class today we talked about media ethics. One of the points we tried to make was how changing technology brings up new ethical dilemmas. We discussed the Megan Meier suicide case (http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=7595756&page=1) and blogging. The internet makes it possible for amateur and unprofessional publishers to reach mass audiences. Suddenly, our own personal opinions and perspectives are available to mass audiences. I wonder how much impact our words have on the values and beliefs of others.
Yesterday David Lapakko brought up the website Rate Your Professor. It is possible to flame professors on this website. My feelings about websites like this are mixed. I have been known, in my time, to advise students to take or to avoid certain professors (mostly when I was TAing at NDSU). However, hearing my review of a professor in a one-on-one situation and reading a review of a professor on a website probably have two very different impacts. What is to stop people from writing horrible and false reviews of professors on these websites? What is to stop someone from writing a horrible and false account of anything on a blog? And how harmful could these comments be to individuals? Of course, I don't have any answer to any of these questions but the discussion surrounding these concepts has made me think more about my duty as a professor, a blogger, a communicator, and a citizen of this new technological world.