AT&T teaches ethics

Written By: Miranda - Aug• 19•11

I saw an ad for the new AT&T phone, the HTC Status, the other night on the Comedy channel. The new phone has a Facebook button on the face of it and when you take a photo or a video the button glows blue. When you press the button, your photo or video is shared to your Facebook account.

The ad shows three friends in an airport. They have appparently been waiting for a plane for some time. One of the group is asleep. His mouth is open, earhones slung around his neck, he looks like anyone looks when they are asleep in a public place, that is to say – stupid.

His friends are taking video of him and giggling. The sleeper briefly wakes and asks – you guys aren’t taking pictures, are you? Giggling, his “friends:” tell him to go back to sleep.

This ad teaches three things:

  • Taking video of someone without their permission is ethical.
  • Posting video of someone without their permission on the internet is both ethical, and by extension, legal.
  • Being cruel to your friends is funny.

I think this is outrageous. At a time when young people are being bombarded with new technologies which they must learn to use in an ethical way, this advertisement teaches them all the wrong things.

Aside from the fact that posting video of someone online without their permission is neither legal nor ethical, the casual cruelty towards a friend is very troubling.

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