The McCourt Code of Ethics for Social Media

With everyone from your grandma to your grocer on social media, it has become necessary to create a universally accepted Code of  Ethics that can be adopted by all social media websites. With that, I recommend adopting The McCourt Code of Ethics for Social Media. This simple 3-step code is designed to cover the vast amount of ethical issues that stem from social media abuse.

The McCourt Code of Ethics for Social Media

1.) Information and photos of others must not be published without their consent. 

Image obtained from: itthing.com

  • This is the most important tenant of the code, because it seems that most ethical violations are centered around exposures of information. Whether it’s an email that gets leaked on Twitter.com or a revealing photograph that is posted to Facebook.com, users and non-users alike need to have the right to protect their private information.

2.) Harassment, obscenity, and/or cyber-bullying will not be tolerated.\

Image obtained from: bullyville.com

  • This tenant is necessary because a great deal of communication now takes place through social media, and with that comes the negative forms of communication. Harassment of another, obscene postings, or behavior that can be classified as cyber-bullying must be clearly prohibited, audited, and met with real consequences.

3.) Profiles and/or posts cannot be purposefully deceptive.

Image obtained from: farm5.static.flickr.com

  • This tenant stems from the ethical issues surrounding deceptive activities such as the creation of fake profiles or spreading of false information. Blogs, profiles, and posts cannot be used to willfully deceive. You cannot blog on behalf of another, you cannot create a profile to benefit your organization unless the connection is made public, and you cannot knowingly post falsehoods that can be misinterpreted as fact.

 

Comcast Cares: Customer Service through Social Media

Everyone with a cable subscription knows all too well how frustrating a call to the Customer Service hotline can be. I remember earlier this year, I called the AT&T U-verse hotline to dispute being charged twice in the same month. One hour later, I had been transferred 6-7 times. I had been “accidentally” disconnected. I had been given no answers. And I had begun to see red. Later that night, over dinner with friends, they questioned my snippy attitude and short temper. My only response: AT&T ruined my evening.

Now, the days of calling 1-800 may be coming to a close. Comcast’s Digital Care team has attempted to take Customer Service to the next level. Launched last year, Comcast Cares has attempted to use Twitter as a form of customer relations to proactively assist guests that may be having issues with their service.

The team, headed up by Frank Eliason, spends their time skimming twitter feeds for any tweets that mention Comcast. Once one is found, the Comcast subscriber can anticipate a personalized re-tweet or direct message simply asking: :”How can I help?” Also, when outages or issues occur, the team take to the Twitterverse to spread the word:

This sounds like a brilliant idea, right? Let’s take a closer look:

The biggest win of this campaign is that they personalized several Twitter accounts to coincide with the man or woman behind the screen. Instead of talking to @ComcastSupportAgent, you speak with @ComcastMichael or @ComcastSteve. This makes a huge difference by adding that human element to something that could be very dehumanizing.

However, after thorough review of the service, I have noticed some areas that can use some TLC:

  1. Consistency in communication. With each different Twitter account comes a unique personality. And all these personalities seem to engage the Comcast customers in different ways and at different frequencies.
  2. Promotion of this tool. I now know about this seemingly excellent service; however, I’ve been using Twitter for over a year now and only found out about Comcast Cares now.
  3. Actually Respond. The service seems to be tapering off. Each Comcast Twitter user seems to post few and far between (sometimes months apart). If this service is up and running, it deserves a little more focus.

In conclusion, I’d like to note that I actually tested this service yesterday by tweeting the statement: “So frustrated with Comcast right now.” Over 24-hrs later, I’m still waiting for a response. If this was once a great service with a sneak-peak to the next generation of customer service, it seems to have fallen short of its initial hype.