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Ethics in the digital age

Could it be by chance that the Internet and social networks that “bring us closer” are really bringing out the worst in us? Do we really want to destroy what we’ve conquered in millions of years, that semblance of awareness and consciousness that theoretically differentiates us from animals?

Today online malpractice is widespread: it’s either copied or stolen. All sorts of deplorable behaviour are found in the digital world, and we’re not talking about dark web, which is a horse of a different color, we’re talking about the surface web, what we use every day.

We start from an important assumption: when we embark on a professional activity, we automatically have competition. If you think you don’t have it, you’re not in the business, you don’t have a business and it would be better if you dedicated yourself to something else. Studying the competition is, in fact, one of the first activities to be carried out in a market and feasibility study of any commercial activity. It is conducted to understand exactly in what conditions the market is, if there’s an opportunity for your business, what is your competition doing, how are they doing it, etc.

If you’re not able to differentiate yourself from them, to have your own ideas, expressing your essence, leaving your footprint to the activity to be carried out, you really shouldn’t be in business. Yet a good percentage of people who do business, especially online, suck. The truth is, quality has generally decreased in all areas. Think for example of photographs: today you need to attach a photo to an article. You find dozens of excellent directories of photos free of copyright, which you can use freely, but this means the same photo you used is being used in other sites.

Lack of originality, creativity, and the fact that digitalisation has made it possible for everyone to start an online business has resulted in an infinite series of “copy/paste” brands and businesses. But if the lack of originality and creativity is not something to accuse anyone of, the lack of ethics certainly is. We have reached such a level of unethical behaviour that it almost seems that copying is not so serious now, because there are much more risky Internet behaviours.

In an era in which everything is sharing, it would be nice if we also began to share values and adopt healthy competition as a business principle. We would like to highlight that it is one thing to copy the competition and a different one to have improper behaviour. We hope all of us always know how to distinguish the difference between them.

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