Markkula Center for Applied Ethics/Santa Clara University
As more and more day-to-day interaction in business and academia has begun to take place through electronic mail, probably every one of its users has experienced some breakdown. By now, we have come to expect occasional hardware failures, but the human ones still catch us by surprise.
That message we dashed off with no ill intent is received with hard feelings. Or it is forwarded to someone we never meant should see it. Or, unbeknown to us, it is read by our boss.
E-mail has raised a host of ethical questions about how we treat one another and how we work, but its very newness as a medium can make the answers more obscure.
Soukup, Paul A. (1997). Ethics @ email: Do new media require new ethics? Issues in Ethics, 8(2), 16-18. [Available on line, http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v8n2/email.html.]