While I could probably just write KFC and Twitter, drop the mic and walk away this week – there are some nuances that are worthy of further exploration.
- Unethical or stupid – It sounds like something from a bad PR parody. Let’s promote our fried chicken around Kristallnacht and the acceleration of the persecution of Jews in Germany. But unfortunately, KFC did just that. I tell my students all the time – just because something is stupid, doesn’t mean it is unethical. I was ready to chalk this up to stupidity. But then KFC explained it was due to an unmonitored bot creating the promotions. That is where I see the ethical failures creeping in – with poor MI and AI and not checking for biases.
- Blue Check – People are writing volumes on the “Blue check debacle.” The article that really hit home with me is how someone created and verified a fake Eli Lilly account and immediately tweeted out that Lilly was going to make insulin free. (disclosure, I led a team supporting their social efforts a few years ago). The fake news spread like wildfire. This ties back to truth, honesty and transparency, and how Twitter is now unfortunately a great new tool for bad actors to spread misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation.
- Companies are responding appropriately to employee reports… – The good news according to the stat of the week from the Ethics & Compliance Initiative is that 67% of employees are satisfied with their organization’s response when they report misconduct….
- …Unless you are Twitter – Where there have been multiple reports that employees are being fired for criticism of management, even if it is just within the company channels. It is a chilling example to use to drive home that what you say can have consequences – particularly if you say it on outside channels. This is a great discussion topic with students on why they need to be careful what they say on social. And also, the type of culture this builds at a company.
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