Professional code of conduct as well as ethics is important in an individual’s way of live and work. This is of great importance to the world of technology that includes multimedia and information technology sectors. The Multimedia and IT field in the recent years have shown great improvement due to advancement in internet through the use of optical fibber that have led to social networks sites such as the twitter, Facebook, and the bloggers.
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In addition, the development of internet gadgets such as mobile phones, modems, laptops and the networking of computers have posed a great threat to the ethics of multimedia and IT. The increase in use of these sites and other IT related gadgets have brought the maintenance and integrity of ethics in the communication and media field to a threat.
According to the media associations, the work of the media and IT is to inform people about the happenings of the world and a means of communication that would bring growth rather than disasters. However, the main objective of the communication and media field has changed as in the recent cases of the Arab countries.
In Egypt, during the Anti-Mubarak protests, the protesters used the social networks to organize themselves, spread rumours, and keep each other informed of the progress of the protests Sharp (2011, p. 2). They used several forms of communication especially the use of social networks.
Sharp (2011, p. 2) asserts that after the government realized the role of the media to the protests, they blocked all forms of media including the use of internet. In addition, in 2009 the social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and bloggers and Yu tube played a great role in organization of protests to show their feelings after the result Kamalipour (2010, p. 62).
Kamalipour (2010, p. 62) further asserts that this social media sites informed the world on the situation in Iran. Like in Egypt, the Iranian government responded by blocking the use of internet in Iran, especially the social network sites Kamalipour (2011, p. 62). The media was further used to send rumours of the situation on the grounds such as the magnitude of the people killed by the riot police as they tried to seek for sympathizers from the world Sharp (2011, p. 9).
During these instances, the media generally focus only on one of the parties involved. For instance during the Egypt protests the major focus was on the killings of the protestors by the riot police. The media and communication ethic on public matter has been to preach peace and unity but in several instances, the media has caused political instability. Further, media has spread hate speeches and rumours either between political affiliates or between countries.
Several nations have experienced political instabilities in the recent years due to the conflicting information passed through the media or through social networks. For instance in many countries after elections, tribal clashes are highly initiated by the tallying proceedings that are broadcasted in different stations. Communication and media ethics further dictate that media has the right to influence the people’s morals in a positive manner.
However, with the extensive use of internet, TV’s, video films and video games, media has influenced the moral behaviours of many youths. The use of media have exposed people to several programs, movies and sites that are not worth to be viewed by different kinds of people. For instance, young people who have access to internet on their phones and private laptops have been exposed to information that has influenced their behaviours.
Technology advancement has affected the morals of the people as they are exposed to them. Further, the media and IT ethics have been affected by the increase in media and IT crimes. With the improved technology, the knowledge of people has greatly changed causing a great threat in the media fields.
The cases of cyber crimes and cyber burying have tremendously increased with time. This has put the security of the people and government at risk. Cyber crimes such as cyber theft where thieves steal through the internet by getting access to other peoples accounts have increased.
Other cyber crimes include hackling of websites and email addresses, the use of email to send spam messages to other people. People use the media to send messages in request of ransoms for an internet crime committed or to con other people over the internet. Further, IT has been used to impersonate and in copyrights. Copyrighting being a crime has violated many people’s rights.
Those who perpetuate these crimes copy and sell the pirated copies for their own benefit. Further, there are media sources that cause fear to the audience or the people. In May 2006, an American TV (ABC) aired a movie in name “Fatal Contact: bird Flu in America” Perebinossoff (2008, p. 75-76) that had excessive and rumours of the H5N1 virus that causes bird flu. This movie was also made available in DVDs, which caused great fear to the people. The movie further exaggerated the threat of the H5N1virus.
With the advancement in technology, the ethics in the communication and media has greatly fluctuated. This is due to the increase in the number of people using the media sources. There have been great efforts by the government and the media associations but to date their efforts have not brought good results.
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Their efforts have been greatly affected by the fact that media and IT cannot be abolished completely. In day-to-day activities, media and IT has to be involved and in the government. However, more and more efforts need to be inputted to bring a long-term solution that will raise the ethics of media. This will help in maintenance of peace and order as well as to increase the security of the citizens through reduction of cyber crimes.
Kamalipour, Y 2010, Media, power and politics in the digital age: The 2009 presidential uprising in Iran, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Maryland.
Perebinossoff, P 2008, Real-world media ethics: Inside the broadcast and Entertainment Industries, Elsevier, Oxford.
Sharp, J 2011, Egypt: the January 25 revolution and implication for US foreign policy, Congressional Research service, Washington DC.