Research

Case Studies

Communicating the Origin of COVID-19

April 16, 2024

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, originated from Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Since then, SARS-CoV-2 has spread across the world and has claimed over 6 million lives as of…...
Communicating the Origin of COVID-19

Cold Cases or Hot Topics?

February 22, 2024

What are the ethical concerns of true crime podcasts?...
Cold Cases or Hot Topics?

Scientists as Superheroes?

February 22, 2024

How can scientists ethically and effectively communicate urgent information?...
Scientists as Superheroes?

The Ethics of Amazon Alexa

August 29, 2023

On November 14, 2014 tech giant Amazon announced the newest voice assistant to hit the market. The voice assistant, commonly known as “Alexa,” was a primary feature of a new…...
The Ethics of Amazon Alexa

Psychedelic Hype

July 18, 2023

What are the ethics of communicating new research on psychedelic drugs?...
Psychedelic Hype

My Murder, Your Entertainment

May 15, 2023

It’s no secret that true crime media, whether in podcast or film format, has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. True crime is popular for reasons other than entertainment, as…...
My Murder, Your Entertainment

Love Yourself or Just Your Selfie?

May 8, 2023

While Instagram used to be a casual platform to share quick snapshots with friends, it has turned into a perfectly curated stream of highlight reels. Like many young people, 21-year-old…...
Love Yourself or Just Your Selfie?

Sprinting Towards Publication

February 27, 2023

Now that social media sites like Twitter allow news to spread like wildfire, journalists have been feeling more pressure than ever to get their stories published in accordance with stricter…...
Sprinting Towards Publication

The Ethics of AI Art

February 24, 2023

For thousands of years, art has been an endeavor of the human race. From Rembrandt to Basquiat, from the Benin Bronzes to the new wave cinema of Hong Kong, art…...
The Ethics of AI Art

Cancel Culture in Journalism?

February 20, 2023

2020 and 2021 were years marked by the concept of “cancelling.” To cancel someone or something means to stop supporting that person, business, or organization. It could also mean using…...
Cancel Culture in Journalism?

With Great Fame Comes Great Responsibility?

February 13, 2023

TikTok Influencers have a lot of power. Should they use it in ethical ways?...
With Great Fame Comes Great Responsibility?

It ain’t Easy Being Green

January 12, 2023

What are the ethics of greenwashing products in advertising?...
It ain’t Easy Being Green

The Ethics of DNA Predictive Technology in Law Enf...

December 5, 2022

What are the ethical tradeoffs of surveillance software in online education?...
The Ethics of DNA Predictive Technology in Law Enforcement

Imperfections or Revealing Mistakes on Twitter?

November 30, 2022

What ethical concerns arise when Twitter users can edit their tweets?...
Imperfections or Revealing Mistakes on Twitter?

Can Journalists also be Activists?

October 31, 2022

What does objective reporting mean in covering the Black Lives Matter protests?...
Can Journalists also be Activists?

Newsworthy Expression or Tragic Tea?

October 18, 2022

What happens when YouTube drama channels switch from influencer gossip to serious tragedies?...
Newsworthy Expression or Tragic Tea?

Is Coordinated Political Activity on Social Media ...

October 13, 2022

Are coordinated political campaigns ethical?...
Is Coordinated Political Activity on Social Media a Threat to Democracy?

The Ethics of TikTok Trends

September 15, 2022

When do popular TikTok trends become unethical?...
The Ethics of TikTok Trends

Socratic Discussion or Masked Bigotry?

September 1, 2022

How offensive can trolls be? A case study in online free speech....
Socratic Discussion or Masked Bigotry?

More than a Fashion Faux Pas?

August 25, 2022

Can inclusive advertising survive the heavy hand of Facebook's able-biased AI?...
More than a Fashion Faux Pas?
Internet Activism

Internet Activism or Cyberterrorism?

August 18, 2022

Is hacktivism an ethical form of protest or activism?...
Internet Activism or Cyberterrorism?

Historical Accuracy in Entertainment Media

August 10, 2022

How accurate do historical dramas like "The Crown" need to be?...
Historical Accuracy in Entertainment Media

Adam Schefter and “Mr. Editor”

June 7, 2022

How much control over stories should journalists give sources and subjects?...
Adam Schefter and “Mr. Editor”

The Good, the Bad, and the Sticky

May 24, 2022

What are the tradeoffs associated with sticker art in public spaces?...
The Good, the Bad, and the Sticky

Reporting on the Night Stalker

July 14, 2021

How far should journalists go in covering a deadly serial killer?...
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?...
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?...
Accurate and Effective Reporting in a Pandemic

The Ethics of News Paywalls

February 15, 2021

Are news paywalls good for journalism and democracy?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
The Ethics of Op-Eds

The News We Desire

December 27, 2020

Are partisan news outlets good for our democracy?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
TikTok, Time to Snitch

Quelling Interference or Dissent?

October 20, 2020

Did Tumblr's purge of Russian misinformation accounts go too far?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
Setting the Terms of the Debate

The Ethics of Word Choice

September 28, 2020

Is ambiguity and creative wordplay ethical in political communication?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
Gaming Platforms and Shocking Speech

Angry for Change

September 8, 2020

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

Political Speech or Legalized Bribery?

September 1, 2020

Lobbying may be legal in politics, but is it ethical?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
The Paradox of Pathos

Objectivity in Journalism

July 28, 2020

What are the challenges of objectivity in journalism?...
Objectivity in Journalism

Ghosting the People?

July 13, 2020

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

Whose Image is It to Use?

July 9, 2020

What ethical choices lie behind the use of images for advocacy campaigns?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?"...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
Changing Comments or Changing Minds?

Dramatization or Falsification?

February 17, 2020

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

Beer Cans and Cancel Culture

February 5, 2020

What are the ethical challenges when journalism and cancel culture merge?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
To Release or Not to Release

Ethics and E-Cigarette Advertising

January 20, 2020

What ethical concerns arise in regulating e-cigarette advertisements?...
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?...
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?...
Secret Facebook Groups and the Ethics of Democracy

Censorship in Pakistan

November 12, 2019

What are the challenges to reporting the news in Pakistan?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
No Comment

Virtual Reality, Immersive Media, and Journalism

November 12, 2019

What are the ethics of using virtual reality in real journalism?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
Halloween Hijinks and Internet Shaming

Netflix and Kill

March 14, 2019

What are the ethics of portraying heinous criminals in popular films?...
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....
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
“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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
“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?...
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?...
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?...
Covering Female Athletes

Don’t “Like” My Children

November 28, 2018

What could go wrong when parents share information about their children online?...
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?...
When Actors Become Characters

Filtering Out Cyberbullying

November 23, 2018

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

To Catfish or Not to Catfish?

November 15, 2018

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

Values Preserved in Stone

November 7, 2018

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

Gaming the System?

November 4, 2018

What are the ethical problems with cheating in Fortnite?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
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?...
Sweet Justice?

#MeToo and the Arts

July 18, 2018

What happens when the #MeToo movement meets the artworld?...
#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?...
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?...
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?...
First, Do No Harm?

Finsta Fad

April 30, 2018

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

Collateral Damage to the Truth

April 27, 2018

What conflicts arise when journalists want transparency on drone deaths?...
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?...
Swipe Right to Expose

Biometrics, Data, and Privacy

April 17, 2018

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

Dying to Be Online

April 12, 2018

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

Sharing the Pain

March 30, 2018

What ethical issues does the rapid sharing of information in emergencies raise?...
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?...
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?...
Ethics and Artistic Appropriation

Suicide, Fiction, and Ethics

March 21, 2018

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

Free Speech and the Ethics of Protest

March 14, 2018

What are the ethics of free speech and controversial protests?...
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?...
Ethics and the Tweeter-in-Chief