100 Ethics Issues for Thanksgiving Dinner Discussion

As Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to take a minute and just say how thankful I am to the outstanding students in my Public Relations Ethics class (COM525) as Boston University.  We meet once a week for three hours.

We start every class by discussing ethical issues we have seen or read about over the past week.  At the start of the semester, I would be lucky if one or two students would share an example. Now, most of the class has their hands up and I need to stop discussion after 30 minutes.

I firmly believe one of the best ways of relating ethics to management is by sharing stories of challenges and situations. That is what I do every week on EthicalVoices.

But there are other voices as well. Following are 100 ethics issues the students and I identified and discussed. These stories were ripped from the headlines. If you missed them, they are worth another review. They make great reading and great discussion over Zoom

  1. 90% of online content will be deepfakes
  2. A global perspective
  3. A guide to AI ethics
  4. A new model for ethical leadership
  5. An ethical framework for ethical decisions
  6. And yet another virtual person/hoax
  7. Are we moving from CSR to CSJ?
  8. Aunt Jemima is no more
  9. Authenticity and Techlash
  10. Authenticity in Brand Communication around Racial Justice
  11. Avoid being an ostrich or a turtle
  12. Big Tobacco Using #StayAtHome to promote vaping
  13. Bi-partisan, small town disinformation
  14. Character Matters
  15. Charlie Brown
  16. Civility
  17. Communication creates a speak up culture
  18. Compassion and Understanding
  19. Conflicts of interest and competition
  20. Cyberstalking and intimidation of the media
  21. Decline in trust is impacting public health
  22. Deepfakes in action
  23. Deepfakes will be a greater challenge
  24. Disclosure and astroturfing
  25. Disclosure and influence in medical testing
  26. Does tech use racist language?
  27. Don’t embezzle
  28. Effective ethics training
  29. Equal opportunity disinformation
  30. Ethical Marketing in the Age of Resistance
  31. Ethical use of data
  32. Ethics and AI
  33. Ethics and COVID
  34. Ethics and Privacy
  35. Ethics can’t be situational
  36. Ethics guide for tech workers
  37. Ethics in South Asia
  38. Ethics in the Communication Metaverse
  39. Ethics of the communication process
  40. Ethics, Transparency, Speed and Reputation Management
  41. Fighting fake news
  42. Fixing incorrect information
  43. Fundraising during natural disasters
  44. Gender Bias in Reviews
  45. Global violence against journalists
  46. Government Relations Ethics in an election year
  47. Hedonism key to leading a happier life
  48. How do the most ethical companies train their employees about ethics?
  49. How do you ethically manage conflicts in a cancel culture
  50. How does professional identity influence moral reasoning?
  51. How ethical are corporate donations to non-profits?
  52. How ethical were attacks on Canada’s health care system?
  53. How the Milwaukee Bucks Exemplified Ethical Action
  54. Is the COVID-19 Pandemic increasing pressure for employees to bend the rules?
  55. Just because you can do something, should you?
  56. Manipulating COVID data
  57. McDonald’s former CEO and bad behavior
  58. Meaning matters
  59. More conflicts of interest
  60. NBA ethics
  61. Pay for Play in Sports Media Coverage
  62. PR Ethics issues in Europe
  63. PR is at the intersection of AI and Ethics
  64. PRCA Launches Global Ethics Council
  65. Privacy and Facial Recognition
  66. Racial inequality in PR is deplorable
  67. Seeing won’t be believing
  68. Seize the moment
  69. Social Media Advertising Boycott
  70. Stereotyping Asians
  71. Taking a stand
  72. The Barcelona Principles 3.0
  73. The Ethics of Meetings
  74. The ethics of the Social Dilemma
  75. The ethics of wildlife photography
  76. The NRA and ethical use of money
  77. The perils of wokewashing
  78. The power of virtue
  79. The Rise of the Millennial Moral Leader
  80. The Rise of the Virtual Being
  81. The scummiest of moves
  82. The three rings of an effective ethics system
  83. There is unethical and then there are bad ideas
  84. TikTok plans social media coalition
  85. Trust but verify
  86. Unethical business practices
  87. Walking the purpose tightrope
  88. Was pardoning Susan B Anthony the ethical thing to do?
  89. Webtoons and censorship
  90. What do you do when ethics codes collide?
  91. What ethical issues are involved in media buying?
  92. What is appropriate?
  93. What is Facebook’s responsibility?
  94. What is PR’s role in climate change?
  95. What to do when your company brand is racist
  96. What’s in a name?
  97. When ads look like OpEds
  98. Who is responsible for what is posted on social media?
  99. Words aren’t enough
  100. Words matter
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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