TikTok, Social Media Outlets Voted Least Ethical in Australia: Report – The Epoch Times

In a strong sign of low confidence in Big Tech, Australians have voted TikTok the least ethical organisation of the year followed by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
According to the Ethics Index 2022 (pdf) published by the Governance Institute of Australia, the nation’s overall ethics score fell for the second year in a row from 45 to 42.
TikTok gained the unenviable wooden spoon with a score of -32, followed by Payday Loans (-30), Facebook (-28), Twitter (-21), and Instagram (-12).
“Media sees only minor softening [in its score], but remains well below levels seen in 2020,” the report stated.
Further, the latest news comes as nearly 80 percent of respondents from an earlier poll expressed concern about the security of personal information stored on TikTok, the China-based video-sharing platform.
Australian Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil ordered cybersecurity authorities to investigate TikTok’s data collection security in September after the company conceded that employees in mainland China can access the data of seven million Australian users.
In addition, a BBC documentary released in October revealed that TikTok made huge profits from the livestreaming of displaced Syrian refugees asking for donations. The social media app received 70 percent of the revenue from the streams, while refugee families received a much smaller cut.
The Ethics Index, based on a survey of 1000 people nationally by Ipsos, found the media industry to be Australia’s least ethical sector (-15), sitting below large corporations (-3) and resource companies (-1).
Questions in the survey revolved around issues like COVID-19, climate change, gender, and cultural diversity, as well as CEO pay levels.
Megan Motto, CEO of the Governance Institute, said this year’s results showed a downward trend for trust, and direct action was required to reverse it.
“A stabilisation in trust and ethics had been hoped for this year but it was not to be,” Motto said in a statement. “We are now seeing a distinct downward trend in trust and ethics. Given strong ethics are an indicator of a strong, well-functioning society, this is a major concern and this year’s results must serve as a red flag reminder of the importance of trust and ethics at all levels of our society.”
Motto noted that a strong sense of togetherness saw trust soar at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But we have seen an unravelling since,” she said. “It seems we are a little less trusting, more cynical, and more divided.”
Nurses were found to be the most ethical and trusted profession by Australians, with a score of 77, followed by firefighters (75).
State politicians scored -22, down from -10 last year, making them the least ethical occupation in Australia—a sign of bad news for campaigners in Victoria and New South Wales, which will hold state elections soon.
The organisations rated as the most ethical were pathology services, specialists and primary schools, which scored 66 and 65 respectively.


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