Case 4-a: Evaluation with Potter Box

by davidamelotti

The Potter Box as indicated on page 100 of the class text has four steps. They are (1) understanding the facts, (2) outlining the values inherent in the decision, (3) applying relevant philosophical principles and (4) articulating a loyalty.


Case 4-A will be evaluated by using the Potter Box.


Understanding the facts:

Twitter is a growing form of social media that can be instrumental when used appropriately however, just as dangerous if used by an individual with a lack of control of his or her emotions.


In January 2009, David Schlesinger, Editor-in-Chief at Reuters, published a blog.


Outlining the values inherent in the decision:

The crucial ethical situation is whether or not Schlesinger did wrong in releasing the information. In the case study, when asked if he would fire an employee for tweeting information before the company, Schlesinger said no and went on to encourage this. However, to develop your fan base, establish credibility, and set firmly an image with the public one cannot allow their employees to provide information before the corporate juggernaut makes the public aware. If it was an individual from outside the company, than Schlesinger would have had no one to blame but himself or his people for leaking the information.


Applying relevant philosophical principles:

The main concern in this case study is whether or not information posted on social media is truly private in regards to the individual who makes the post, tweet, etc. There are some with the mentality that it is SOCIAL MEDIA and therefore what you post have the potential to reach millions. If that is the party one agrees with, post at your own risk.


A second party and it would be fairly safe to say this is the mentality of Schlesinger and other influential businesses and corporations is that social media allows one to have their own account to present their own presence in the social media world. You can choose who your friend on Facebook is, that freedom doesn’t exist on Twitter where anyone who is savvy enough to use the search option can find an individual of prominence.


Although people want to be engaged with a mass populous, there comes a time when one wishes they could regress, go back to a time when they weren’t vulnerable on such a large, public stage.


Articulating a loyalty:

Loyalty in this case study is directed at a few various parties. First, in the case of Schlesinger, he has an obligation to himself, the public, and his business.


The overarching loyalty is the provider of the information and their relationship to the public. The loyalty is a factor when providing the information in a factual manner.