Category Archives: Unethical App

The 8th Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2016: The Last Of The Worst

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Ethics Alarms wraps up the Worst in 2016 Ethics with the usual education and journalism breaches, Ethics Dunce of the Year, and more delights for the sadistic…

Unethical Government Fiasco Of The Year

The Flint, Michigan water crisisA failure of competence, diligence, responsibility and honesty, compounded by bureaucrats, elected officials, the city of Detroit, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the EPA made people sick and cost billions.

Good job, everybody!

Scam of the Year

Sen.Ted Cruz’s fake “official” mailer before the Iowa Caucus. Cruz’s campaign  sent out mailers labeled in all capital letters, “ELECTION ALERT,” “VOTER VIOLATION,” “PUBLIC RECORD,” and “FURTHER ACTION NEEDED.” On the other side, the mailer said, in red letters at the top, “VOTING VIOLATION.” The text read:

You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses.

This is why Trump’s nickname for Cruz, “Lyin’ Ted,” was crude but accurate.

Ethics Dunces Of The Year

All the social media users and others who ended Facebook friendships, genuine friendships and relationship over the 2016 election. Haven’t they ever seen “It’s A Wonderful Life”? Morons. Shame on all of them.

Weenies of the Year

The college students who demanded that exams be cancelled, therapists be available, safe spaces be found, puppies be summoned and cry-ins be organized because the awful candidate they supported in the Presidential election lost, as candidates often do.

How embarrassing.

Unethical University Of The Year 

Liberty University.  This is the most competitive of categories, with all the schools that railroaded male students based on questionable sexual assault claims while quailing in fear of the Dept. of Education’s “Dear Colleague Letter,” and all the schools that signaled that the results of a simple election justified PTSD treatment for their shattered charges, as well as making it clear to any students who dared to tilt Republican that they were persona non grata. Nonetheless, Liberty University takes the prize with its unique combination of greed, hypocrisy, and warped values. From the Ethics Alarms post:

Last week, with great fanfare, Liberty hired Ian McCaw as its new athletic director. “My vision for Liberty is to position it as a pre-eminent Christian athletic program in America,” McCaw said during a news conference.

This is his first paying assignment since May, when he left his job as the athletic director at Baylor, also a Christian university. His departure was made essential after a thorough investigation that found that those overseeing Baylor’s  football team as well as the management of  the athletic department—that is, McCaw— had been informed of multiple gang rapes and sexual assault by team members and had ignored it, as any good football-loving Christian would….especially when a star was involved.

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An Unethical Match: The Ex-Yelp Whiner Finds The Perfect Potential Employer, Sort of

Fdbak

Fdbak, for those times you are afraid to complain about bad service. I think you need a better example for your website, Bob. Signed, Anonymous.

In writing about Talia Jane, Ethics Alarms concluded that her “open letter” to her boss at Yelp was really an career play designed to get the aspiring writer publicity and sufficient fame to exploit for her advancement. If it constituted unprofessional conduct and betrayal of trust, she really didn’t care. (Subsequent investigations of her social media activity indicate that her representations of abject poverty were less than honest). Whether this was the plan or not, her public screed, like excrement attracts flies, got her a job interview with what seems like a good match for someone with her peculiar sense of ethical conduct.

The marketing director at a Dallas startup company called Fdbak sent an invitation Talia’s way on the company’s Facebook page:

Dear Talia Jane,

I commend you for standing up for yourself, and your coworkers. Communicating directly with your CEO takes a lot of courage, especially when the subject matter is negative. I’m reaching out to you on behalf of Fdbak, Inc., a Dallas, TX based technology firm. Fdbak created a messaging app that lets you send and receive anonymous feedback to and from anyone. More importantly, you can tell your employer what you really think, without fear of retribution.

You have already been put through a tumultuous gauntlet of improper employee-employer relations, but there are many employees out there that are struggling to speak up, fearing a result similar to yours. Our goal is to provide individuals with an anonymous vehicle for workplace communication, protecting them from what happened to you. We’d love to have you on our team, helping us build a professional environment where you can speak freely and safely to anyone.

Robert Cowlishaw
Marketing Director at Fdbak

The message is factually incorrect, and what is known in the marketing field as “bullshit.” Talia didn’t communicate directly with her CEO, or if she did, she hasn’t said so. She communicated indirectly and publicly, using a medium, “Medium,” that it was a fair guess that her boss never used or read. So why is Fdbak extolling her unethical open letter and misrepresenting it? Simple: the company, a start-up, is trying to hitchhike on her 15 minutes of fame before it expires, even though her conduct doesn’t really fit.

‘Uh, Bob? She didn’t get fired for communicating directly with her boss. She got fired for embarrassing the company by attacking it in public.’

‘Close enough!!!!’

I now know this is a sleazy company aborning, and so should you.

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Unethical App Of The Month: Peeple

The co-founders of Peeple. I don't care which is which.

The co-founders of Peeple. I don’t care which is which.

(I’m officially adding this as an Ethics Alarms category. I don’t know why it too so long.)

The Washington Post reports that a greedy woman who never heard of the Golden Rule will be launching Peeple, “essentially Yelp for humans,” sometime in November:

“…you will be able to assign reviews and one- to five-star ratings to everyone you know: your exes, your co-workers, the old guy who lives next door. You can’t opt out — once someone puts your name in the Peeple system, it’s there unless you violate the site’s terms of service. And you can’t delete bad or biased reviews — that would defeat the whole purpose.”

Which is what, exactly? To pre-bias all future relationships by making sure they are colored by someone else’s judgment, emotions, or prejudices? Not only should no one want to be rated on such a service, no one should want to use it if they have a brain in their head. (No one should want to use Yelp, either.) Why should my standards, which are unique to me, be suppressed by the standards of other people I don’t know or respect? My ability to trust new acquaintances will be undermined by people I have no reason to trust, since a) I won’t know them and b) I won’t trust anyone so unethical as to smear someone like this.

As for positive reviews, what’s to stop someone from arranging to give positive feedback on a friend in exchange for a return rave? Nothing. The app will pave the way for sociopaths and con artists. Imagine what Bill Clinton’s reviews would look like.

Julia Cordray, one of the app’s founders, tells the Post, “People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”

Because it isn’t valid research, you moron. It is hearsay and opinion, neither of which would be admissible in court, for excellent reasons: they are unreliable.

The Post:

“A bubbly, no-holds-barred trendy lady” with a marketing degree and two recruiting companies”—“Trendy lady”? Great, I hate her already—“Cordray sees no reason you wouldn’t want to ‘showcase your character’ online”—I already showcase my character online, thanks. It’s called Ethics Alarms, but the difference is that I really do know myself, and I trust the standards of the reviewer implicitly. They are very close to my own…

“Co-founder Nicole McCullough comes at the app from a different angle: As a mother of two in an era when people don’t always know their neighbors, she wanted something to help her decide whom to trust with her kids.”

There we go. With any luck, there will be a few good, whopping law suits for defamation that will either reduce the user base of this App From Hell to four pranksters and a few mean and bored seniors with grudges, or drive the Trendy Lady to another scheme to make the world a little more unpleasant. Continue reading

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