This Week in PR Ethics (3/5/20): Facebook fights back and the industry moves forward

I found five public relations and communication ethics issues of note this week that could also lead to some interesting discussions.  The topics ranged from Facebook fights back, to positive stories from Page, Paula Pedene, Deloitte and Malawi.

  • Facebook fights back against disinformation – Facebook took down hundreds of fake accounts tied to marketing firms in India and Egypt. I loved Facebook’s quote on the matter “We want to make it clear that if you’re trying to build a business model around deception, we will find you and take you down and make that business model unprofitable.” What else is interesting is Facebook promises to make public a monthly report on its activities in this area.
  • Page Center honors leaders with integrity – I typically point out ethical dilemmas and failing on this blog, but in this case, I wanted to celebrate instead. In mid-February the Page Center honored leaders with integrity.
  • Taking a stand for PR Ethics – Paula Pedene was the first person I interviewed when I launched EthicalVoices in 2018. She was the VA Whistleblower and her story is amazing. Now PRSA has it available as an on demand Webinar for members. You can listen to a shorter version, in my interview with her as well.
  • Technology and trust – Full disclosure, I led the Deloitte Analytics predictions thought leadership for a few years at my prior firm. I noticed in their 2020 predictions they highlighted technology and trust. Specifically, “Business leaders who understand the importance of merging their companies’ organizational values and technological ethics across their organization demonstrate an ethical commitment that can establish a long-term foundation of trust with stakeholders.”
  • More codes globally – It is great to see more PR associations in countries creating new codes of ethics. In this case, the Public Relations Society of Malawi launched their first code of ethics.

Did you see anything of note?

Mark McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA
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Mark W. McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the general manager of C+C's Boston office. C+C is a communications agency all about the good and purpose-driven brands. He has more than 20 years of tech and fintech agency experience, served as the 2016 National Chair of PRSA, drove the creation of the PRSA Ethics App and is the host of


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