Case Studies

Reporting on the Night Stalker

July 14, 2021

How far should journalists go in covering a deadly serial killer? Read More
Reporting on the Night Stalker

A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

April 26, 2021

Should Yelp be in the business of branding businesses as racist? Read More
A Tool for Racial Equality or Cancel Culture?

Accurate and Effective Reporting in a Pandemic

April 5, 2021

What ethical choices await Indian news media covering the pandemic? Read More
Accurate and Effective Reporting in a Pandemic

The Ethics of News Paywalls

February 15, 2021

Are news paywalls good for journalism and democracy? Read More
The Ethics of News Paywalls
Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

February 8, 2021

Should platforms censor anti-vaccination memes to help end the pandemic? Read More
Stopping the Spread of Anti-Vax Memes

The Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing

January 28, 2021

What worries arise when we use digital contact tracing to fight COVID-19? Read More
The Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing

Newsroom Objectivity in the Age of Black Lives Mat...

January 20, 2021

What does objective reporting mean in covering the Black Lives Matter protests? Read More
Newsroom Objectivity in the Age of Black Lives Matter

The Ethics of Op-Eds

December 29, 2020

Should newspapers run controversial or offensive op-ed pieces? Read More
The Ethics of Op-Eds

The News We Desire

December 27, 2020

Are partisan news outlets good for our democracy? Read More
The News We Desire

Greed or Good Intentions in Investigative Journali...

December 21, 2020

Did Bob Woodward do something wrong in delaying the release of his investigative research on Trump and COVID-19? Read More
Greed or Good Intentions in Investigative Journalism?

Reporting on Caste and Sexual Assault

December 5, 2020

What are the challenges and choices journalists face in reporting caste-based violence in India? Read More
Reporting on Caste and Sexual Assault

Who’s Helping Who in the Game of Lobbying?

October 27, 2020

What are the ethical risks and rewards of political lobbying? Read More
Who’s Helping Who in the Game of Lobbying?

TikTok, Time to Snitch

October 21, 2020

Is it ethical to use TikTok to shame fellow college students who violate COVID-19 guidelines? Read More
TikTok, Time to Snitch

Quelling Interference or Dissent?

October 20, 2020

Did Tumblr's purge of Russian misinformation accounts go too far? Read More
Quelling Interference or Dissent?

Putting the President in Check

October 13, 2020

Is Twitter's decision to add a factcheck to Trump's voter fraud tweet a good thing? Read More
Putting the President in Check

Celebrity Death in the Media

October 5, 2020

What challenges arise when the media covers dead celebrities who were both loved and hated? Read More
Celebrity Death in the Media

Setting the Terms of the Debate

October 1, 2020

What ethical trade-offs accompany different ways of framing advocacy campaigns in political communication? Read More
Setting the Terms of the Debate

The Ethics of Word Choice

September 28, 2020

Is ambiguity and creative wordplay ethical in political communication? Read More
The Ethics of Word Choice

Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

September 21, 2020

Is Netflix's "Elite" a case of creative filmmaking or Muslim stereotyping? Read More
Sex, Drugs, and Hijabs on Netflix

Freedom Of Skepticism and the Social Responsibilit...

September 17, 2020

How much skepticism of experts is ethical for powerful leaders during a pandemic? Read More
Freedom Of Skepticism and the Social Responsibility of the Powerful

Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

September 14, 2020

When the gaming platform Twitch wants to police the speech of its users, what could go wrong? Read More
Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

Angry for Change

September 8, 2020

Is anger - and angry political rhetoric - good for democracy? Read More
Angry for Change

Political Speech or Legalized Bribery?

September 1, 2020

Lobbying may be legal in politics, but is it ethical? Read More
Political Speech or Legalized Bribery?

Blurring the Line Between Reporting the Truth and ...

August 25, 2020

Should journalists show the faces of protesters in news coverage? Read More
Blurring the Line Between Reporting the Truth and Minimizing Harm

Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

August 17, 2020

What ethical worries accompany Jay-Z's attempt to document injustices in the American prison system? Read More
Picturing Justice for Kalief Browder

Campaign Promises and Vague Rhetoric

August 12, 2020

What are the ethical uses and abuses when it comes to using ambiguity in political communication? Read More
Campaign Promises and Vague Rhetoric

The Paradox of Pathos

August 1, 2020

What are the ethical promises and perils of using emotional messages in politics? Read More
The Paradox of Pathos

Objectivity in Journalism

July 28, 2020

What are the challenges of objectivity in journalism? Read More
Objectivity in Journalism

Ghosting the People?

July 13, 2020

Is using a ghostwriter in presidential communication ethical? Read More
Ghosting the People?

Whose Image is It to Use?

July 9, 2020

What ethical choices lie behind the use of images for advocacy campaigns? Read More
Whose Image is It to Use?

Doxing in the Name of Public Health

July 6, 2020

Is it ethical to name and shame those that violate travel precautions in the COVID-19 pandemic? Read More
Doxing in the Name of Public Health

Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

June 22, 2020

What are the ethics of using counterspeech to fight online harassment? Read More
Fighting (Online) Fire with Fire?

Pandemic Prime Time for the Cuomo Brothers

May 26, 2020

What ethical concerns arise with the brotherly interactions between Governor Cuomo and journalist Cuomo? Read More
Pandemic Prime Time for the Cuomo Brothers

Politics in the Age of Digital Information Overloa...

May 21, 2020

What are the ethics of Facebook allowing potentially misleading political ads? Read More
Politics in the Age of Digital Information Overload

Paying Your Way to the Top

May 20, 2020

Are purchases made in multiplayer video games unethical and unfair? Read More
Paying Your Way to the Top

Written In Only to Be Excluded?

May 11, 2020

What are the ethics of screenwriting and diversity in hits like "Game of Thrones?" Read More
Written In Only to Be Excluded?

Campaigning for Your Enemies

May 7, 2020

Is it ethical to campaign for opponents you know you can beat? Read More
Campaigning for Your Enemies

Producing Fear for the Greater Good?

May 4, 2020

How much complexity can we overlook in persuading young adults to fight COVID-19? Read More
Producing Fear for the Greater Good?

Can Artificial Intelligence Reprogram the Newsroom...

April 27, 2020

As artificial intelligence plays an increasing role in newsrooms, what ethical issues arise? Read More
Can Artificial Intelligence Reprogram the Newsroom?

Are there Bigger Fish to Fry in the Struggle for A...

April 13, 2020

Is PETA right that our anti-animal sayings do more harm than good? Read More
Are there Bigger Fish to Fry in the Struggle for Animal Rights?

Images of Death in the Media

April 2, 2020

What ethical challenges arise when the media uses images of the dead? Read More
Images of Death in the Media

Powerful Art, Harmed Environments

March 29, 2020

What if great art has to harm the environment to make its point? Read More
Powerful Art, Harmed Environments

Misinformation, Social Media, and the Price of Pol...

March 25, 2020

Is banning paid political advertising on social media good for democracy? Read More
Misinformation, Social Media, and the Price of Political Persuasion

The Different Species of the Online Catfish

March 24, 2020

What ethical complexities circle around catfishing and online deception? Read More
The Different Species of the Online Catfish

Actors Playing Protestors in Real Life

March 19, 2020

What are the ethics of Bollywood celebrities joining popular protest movements--and the calls to "cancel" their careers? Read More
Actors Playing Protestors in Real Life

Changing Comments or Changing Minds?

February 20, 2020

When a Pakistani newspaper uses an algorithm to change user comments to protest government censorship, what could go wrong? Read More
Changing Comments or Changing Minds?

Dramatization or Falsification?

February 17, 2020

How far can films about journalists push the truth for dramatic effects? Read More
Dramatization or Falsification?

Beer Cans and Cancel Culture

February 5, 2020

What are the ethical challenges when journalism and cancel culture merge? Read More
Beer Cans and Cancel Culture

How Vigilant Should Cable News Be About Political ...

February 3, 2020

What are the ethical implications of CNN refusing to air Trump's misleading advertisements? Read More
How Vigilant Should Cable News Be About Political Messages?

Greta Thunberg and Her Harsh Critics

January 30, 2020

What are the ethics of criticizing young political activists like Greta Thunberg? Read More
Greta Thunberg and Her Harsh Critics

The Ethics of Anonymous Criticism in Political Jou...

January 22, 2020

What are the ethical implications of using anonymous political sources in journalism? Read More
The Ethics of Anonymous Criticism in Political Journalism

To Release or Not to Release

January 22, 2020

What are the ethics of films that portray political assassinations in India? Read More
To Release or Not to Release

Ethics and E-Cigarette Advertising

January 20, 2020

What ethical concerns arise in regulating e-cigarette advertisements? Read More
Ethics and E-Cigarette Advertising

Fighting the Amazon Fires with Misinformation

December 2, 2019

What are the ethical dilemmas posed by celebrity activists using not-so-accurate information on social media to save the environment? Read More
Fighting the Amazon Fires with Misinformation

Secret Facebook Groups and the Ethics of Democracy

November 18, 2019

People are turning to secret Facebook groups to express their political opinions. What are the ethical implications of this trend for democracy? Read More
Secret Facebook Groups and the Ethics of Democracy

Censorship in Pakistan

November 12, 2019

What are the challenges to reporting the news in Pakistan? Read More
Censorship in Pakistan

Social Media Activism or Mere Slacktivism?

November 12, 2019

When online activists vow to make a villain famous, what could go wrong? Read More
Social Media Activism or Mere Slacktivism?

Matters of Facebook Live or Death

November 12, 2019

What are the ethical worries over Facebook Live and immediate internet broadcasting? Read More
Matters of Facebook Live or Death

No Comment

November 12, 2019

What are the ethical issues involved in closing news website comment sections in a democracy? Read More
No Comment

Virtual Reality, Immersive Media, and Journalism

November 12, 2019

What are the ethics of using virtual reality in real journalism? Read More
Virtual Reality, Immersive Media, and Journalism

Cooperation and Compromise in the Artworld

November 11, 2019

When can artists work with repressive governments to create valuable art? Read More
Cooperation and Compromise in the Artworld

Reporting on Sexual Assault in India

November 4, 2019

What are the challenges to privacy and community safety in reporting on sexual assault in India? Read More
Reporting on Sexual Assault in India

Green is the New Color of Money

April 30, 2019

What are the ethical concerns with "greenwashing" in advertisements to sell products? Read More
Green is the New Color of Money

Limiting or Lifesaving?

April 9, 2019

Are there any ethical problems with banning anti-vaccination content from social media platforms? Read More
Limiting or Lifesaving?

Halloween Hijinks and Internet Shaming

April 3, 2019

What ethical decisions await those dressing up for Halloween--and those reacting to racially insensitive costumes? Read More
Halloween Hijinks and Internet Shaming

Netflix and Kill

March 14, 2019

What are the ethics of portraying heinous criminals in popular films? Read More
Netflix and Kill

Advertising Ethics and Social Issues

March 5, 2019

Gillette walks the razor's edge in using the battle against toxic masculinity in their recent ad campaign. Read More
Advertising Ethics and Social Issues

And Nothing But the Truth

March 1, 2019

How can reporters balance accuracy and good effects in their reporting on war-torn African communities? Read More
And Nothing But the Truth

The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

February 13, 2019

What ethical concerns arise when filmmakers use CGI to resurrect dead actors? Read More
The Ethics of Computer-Generated Actors

When Does Artistic Creativity Become the Exploitat...

January 22, 2019

What ethical concerns arise when a prominent photographic artist uses her children in her work? Read More
When Does Artistic Creativity Become the Exploitation of Children?

“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

January 14, 2019

When does the creation and sharing of internet memes go too far? Read More
“One Does Not Simply Create a Meme”

Entertaining Endorsements in Sports Journalism

December 28, 2018

What conflicts arise when sports journalists also get endorsement deals? Read More
Entertaining Endorsements in Sports Journalism

Sacking Social Media in College Sports

December 27, 2018

Should college athletes be limited in their use of social media? Read More
Sacking Social Media in College Sports

Defending Freedom of Tweets?

December 21, 2018

What are the ethical challenges that arise when professional athletes share their views on social media? Read More
Defending Freedom of Tweets?

The Wild West of Sports Journalism?

December 20, 2018

Do the ethics of sports blogs differ from mainstream journalism, especially when covering sexual scandals? Read More
The Wild West of Sports Journalism?

Just Do It?

December 12, 2018

Did Nike do too much in their use of Colin Kaepernick and others in their recent advertising campaign? Read More
Just Do It?

Does the Photo Fit the News?

December 11, 2018

What happens when a powerful image becomes the face of the immigration debate? Read More
Does the Photo Fit the News?

Digital Immortality on an App

December 10, 2018

When AI chatbots let us talk with the dead, what ethical issues might haunt us? Read More
Digital Immortality on an App

Is It Only A Game?

December 6, 2018

First-person shooter video games are popular. But are they ethical to enjoy? Read More
Is It Only A Game?

“Some of My Best Friends are Internet Vigilantes”

December 5, 2018

What are the ethical issues that arise with naming and shaming racists online? Read More
“Some of My Best Friends are Internet Vigilantes”

How Can I Be So Mean to Myself?

December 4, 2018

What are the ethical concerns with the new phenomena of digital self-harm? Read More
How Can I Be So Mean to Myself?

Side Effects May Include Persuasion

December 3, 2018

What ethical concerns are raised by direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceutical products? Read More
Side Effects May Include Persuasion

Covering Female Athletes

November 30, 2018

What ethical choices are made in how female athletes are portrayed in sports media? Read More
Covering Female Athletes

Don’t “Like” My Children

November 28, 2018

What could go wrong when parents share information about their children online? Read More
Don’t “Like” My Children

When Actors Become Characters

November 26, 2018

What are the ethics of fictional works created by fans that involve real people as characters? Read More
When Actors Become Characters

Filtering Out Cyberbullying

November 23, 2018

What are the ethical issues raised by Instagram's efforts to filter out cyberbullying? Read More
Filtering Out Cyberbullying

To Catfish or Not to Catfish?

November 15, 2018

What are the ethical problems with "catfishing" online? Read More
To Catfish or Not to Catfish?

Values Preserved in Stone

November 7, 2018

What are the ethical issues surrounding Confederate memorials? Read More
Values Preserved in Stone

Gaming the System?

November 4, 2018

What are the ethical problems with cheating in Fortnite? Read More
Gaming the System?

Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

October 31, 2018

When does fan fiction cross the line from inspired creativity to unethical stealing? Read More
Boldly Going Where Studios Have Gone Before

AI and Online Hate Speech

September 25, 2018

Can AI save us from online hate speech? Or will it learn our worst traits? Read More
AI and Online Hate Speech

Google Assistant and the Ethics of AI

September 24, 2018

What ethical issues arise when realistic-sounding AI is used in human interactions? Read More
Google Assistant and the Ethics of AI

Sweet Justice?

July 25, 2018

Did Pepsi go too far in its use of protest iconography to sell its product? Read More
Sweet Justice?

#MeToo and the Arts

July 18, 2018

What happens when the #MeToo movement meets the artworld? Read More
#MeToo and the Arts

When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

July 8, 2018

Do humorous - but stereotypical - characters like Apu from "The Simpsons" cross ethical lines? Read More
When Comedic Stereotypes Cease to Be Funny

Doxing and Digital Journalism

July 6, 2018

When can journalists reveal the identity of controversial social media users? Read More
Doxing and Digital Journalism

First, Do No Harm?

May 7, 2018

What ethical issues arise when balancing doctor-patient confidentiality and the protection of third parties? Read More
First, Do No Harm?

Finsta Fad

April 30, 2018

What are the real ethical issues raised by fake Instagram accounts? Read More
Finsta Fad

Collateral Damage to the Truth

April 27, 2018

What conflicts arise when journalists want transparency on drone deaths? Read More
Collateral Damage to the Truth

Swipe Right to Expose

April 24, 2018

What could go wrong with an investigative journalist covering the sordid side of the Rio Olympics? Read More
Swipe Right to Expose

Biometrics, Data, and Privacy

April 17, 2018

Does national security trade off with privacy in biometric identification? Read More
Biometrics, Data, and Privacy

Dying to Be Online

April 12, 2018

What could go wrong when you die on Facebook? Read More
Dying to Be Online

Sharing the Pain

March 30, 2018

What ethical issues does the rapid sharing of information in emergencies raise? Read More
Sharing the Pain

Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

March 29, 2018

What are the ethical issues involved in the use of AI in creating fake video content? Read More
Fake News, Fake Porn, and AI

Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

March 26, 2018

What are the ethical issues raised by reframing the meaning of public artworks? Read More
Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

March 21, 2018

What are the ethical issues raised by Netflix's "13 Reasons Why"? Read More
Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

Free Speech and the Ethics of Protest

March 14, 2018

What are the ethics of free speech and controversial protests? Read More
Free Speech and the Ethics of Protest

Ethics and the Tweeter-in-Chief

March 5, 2018

What are the ethical issues with President Trump's use of Twitter? Read More
Ethics and the Tweeter-in-Chief