The Ethics of Ghost-blogging and Ghost-tweeting

A year ago, the term “ghost-tweeting” would have been nonsense. Today, it’s an occupation.

Susan Esparza has posted an opinion that while ghost-writing articles and books for traditional publications is ethical, having someone author one’s blog posts and tweets is deceptive and wrong.

She is correct. As Esparza points out, the whole appeal of blogs and Twitter messages is that they are personal and  convey a genuine connection with a specific individual.  There are corporate and institutional  blogs and tweets, of course, but they don’t fool anyone: obviously “The White House” isn’t writing a blog; the Smithsonian has an employee writing its tweets. But if Superman’s blog is really being written by Lois Lane, he has an obligation to tell his readers.

As I’m sure he would, having super-ethics and all.

Meanwhile, let’s give some credit to maligned celebrities like Rosie O’Donnell and Lindsay Lohan: their posts and tweets may be silly or worse, they may have typos and grammatical errors, but at least they are genuine.

Whether it’s ethical to publish thoughts that aren’t worth publishing is a completely separate matter.

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