Social Media Ethics

Social Media Ethics in today's society are very important, especially with the past couple years and how social media has played a major part in the U.S. Election, the Coronavirus pandemic and protests associated with each. As a photographer, being ethical and unbiased are part of my job.

When I was living in Reno, Nevada, I was freelancing for a newspaper (RGJ) as a photojournalist at the time (2019-2021). This was starting to be the peak of anger in the general public with topics such as opening states back up due to COVID-19 lockdowns, and George Floyd protests that were a series of protests and civil unrest against police brutality and racism (NY Times Article). With these two things combined, government rebellion was at an all time high.

As a photojournalist covering these protests, It quickly became evident that I needed to uphold the strictest of standards when it came to Social Media Ethics. I had to remain unbiased, ethical and report the facts in front of me without skewing the details. A big part of this came into play at the height of the riots in Nevada, as news outlets were posting stories covering protests, but not covering up people's faces in photos.

The public quickly became outraged at this, as it was potentially dangerous to reveal identities of some parties. As a photojournalist, I respected the safety concerns, but ultimately did not choose to cover up protestors faces in post production (photo editing) as this is not unbiased, objective journalism. By doing this, I would not be reporting the news and facts as they are, but would be skewing public perception and be completely unethical.

During this time, Journalists were also getting targeted by Police, so you had no choice but to remain objective, uphold your ethics, and report the facts - Even if it meant getting bashed publicly and getting targeted by Law Enforcement (Journalist blinded by police)