Doing social network ethics: a critical, interdisciplinary approach


Jones, S. 2017. Doing social network ethics: a critical, interdisciplinary approach. Information Technology and People. 30 (4), pp. 910-926.
TitleDoing social network ethics: a critical, interdisciplinary approach
AuthorsJones, S.

Purpose: This paper proposes an inter-disciplinary approach to the ethics of social networking services (SNS) that connects critical analysis with the doing of ethics in terms of both pedagogic and technological practice.
Design/methodology/approach: Primarily conceptual and discursive, drawing on theoretical concepts from a broad, inter-disciplinary field. These concepts are integrated into a multi-dimensional framework that proceeds through four sequential stages; socio-economic, ethical, legal and practical/professional. Particular instances of SNS are used as illustrative examples.
Findings: The evaluation of ethical issues can be enriched by broader, holistic approaches that take account of the socio-economic, technical and legal contexts in which SNS technologies are designed, deployed and used. Inter-disciplinary approaches have the potential to generate new connections and possibilities for both the teaching and the professional practice of ethics.
Practical implications: Applied ethics are used to consider practical solutions that explore regulatory measures and envision alternative models of social networking. The approach proposed has practical value for teachers and students of computer ethics, as well as for IT practitioners.
Originality/value: This paper synthesises elements from media, communication and cultural studies, science and technology, information systems and computer science. The paper offers a strategy of inquiry to understand various aspects of SNS ethics—legal, socio-economic and technical. It presents a methodology for thinking about and doing ethics which can be used by IT practitioners.

JournalInformation Technology and People
Publication dates
Print06 Nov 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Oct 2017
Accepted05 Feb 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Simon Jones, (2017) Doing social network ethics: a critical, interdisciplinary approach", published in the journal "Information Technology & People" available via:

Additional information

Awarded "2018 Outstanding Paper" by Emerald Publishing

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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