Topic 4: Different shades of social media

Having a really broad topic to write, it was so interesting to see all the different ethics issues being brought up by my classmates.

In Amanda’s post, she talked about freedom of speech of how we should be aware of what we post and how it might affects us in the future. I commented on how having separate profiles might not help in the internet world because ‘friends’ that have access on our personal accounts could share out post to others. Hence I feel that internet doesn’t really allow freedom of speech because post being put online might be criticized or judged by other users.

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However certain users make user of this freedom of speech into a marketing strategy, in Wei Jie’s post, he mention that Kenneth Cole made use of unethical marketing as a marketing strategy to boost his sales.

Being guilty of having a upward social comparison, Nicole’s post has opened my eyes to a ethical issue that I never thought of. She mentioned about social comparison being a ethical issue, this comparison caused psychological problems like depression.This video below hows social media comparison has affect users.

But users need to be aware that certain post they see online aren’t real. Because social media influencer portray their personal life as their professional profile, many users has the perception that their working life is their way of live. “No one is you, and no one will ever be you. You are you, and you will never by anyone else” (elitedaily). Take a look at this article that shows how we shouldn’t let media affects our self worth.

Hence that leads to my topic of distorted endorsement, social media influencer must obey the FTC guildline to let users know that their post is sponsored by companies. If social media influencer follow the guideline, social comparison wouldn’t exist.

Here are my comments on Amanda and Nicole ‘s post.


Social Media, are you lying to me? (Topic 4)

(Image Source: thunderhouse)

According to the Internet Live Stats there are currently 3 billion internet users in the world, in singapore there are 4 million users, that is 80% of our population using the internet. As a marketer, this will be an opportunities for us, the internet will be the most viable platform to market business. Hence, companies now is making use of social media to promote their business. Based on Jayson DeMers’s article on the benefits on social media marketing, one of the few benefits are increased brand recognition and decreased marketing cost.

An example of social media marketing is online endorsement, here are a few examples:
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(Image source: sugarrandspice & feralcreature)

So that led me to the main topic of an example of ethical issue:

Distorted Endorsement 

Distorted Endorsement is a misrepresentation of your credential and affiliation. It is where the company ask consumer to use their products with stories, consumer may seem to appear as anonymous testimony but it’s actually a sponsor or advertorial post (Dr. Barry, 2014).

An example is where Wal-Mart was found indirectly paying bloggers when they had a road trip around U.S. writing about positive stories on Wal-Mart through the organisation Working Families for Wal-Mart.

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Another example that is closer to home is Gushcloud Expose (A influencer marketing agency). Xiaxue (A renowned Singapore blogger) has disclose information about a endorsement between Gushcloud’s influencer and their client.

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The above image is an email from the client to the influencer. Because of the improper anonymity, this affected the company and all the other clients they worked with, like Singtel.

Having to mask an advertisement is distorted endorsement. To gain companies’ trust, they must have a true representation of business or products they offer. Any intentional fabrication of stories could damage the company’s reputation.

I feel that online endorsement is a great marketing method to promote the business, but it should be executed professionally and ethically. Based on the FTC guideline: “A simple disclosure like ‘Company X gave me this product to try . . . .’ will usually be effective” so as long as they obey the FTC regulation, it will not result in distorted endorsement or improper anonymity. A good example of online endorsement is like the image and video below. It clearly states it is being ‘sponsored’ or show the client’s logo in the video.

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It is a privilege to be an influential blogger or social media star, where a small community of internet users look up to. Influencer shouldn’t abuse their power but partner with companies they genuine like or feels their follower will benefit from.

What do you think of online endorsement?
ETHICAL OR NOT? Comment down below 🙂

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