Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Doing well by doing good? Normative tensions underlying Twitter's corporate social responsibility ethos

Busch, Thorsten and Shepherd, Tamara (2014) Doing well by doing good? Normative tensions underlying Twitter's corporate social responsibility ethos. Convergence: The International Journal of Research Into New Media Technologies, 20 (3). pp. 293-315. ISSN 1354-8565

Full text not available from this repository.
Identification Number: 10.1177/1354856514531533


This article examines the rhetoric of in order to gain insight into the company’s normative self-understanding, or ethos. From a business ethics perspective, we analyze Twitter’s ethos in relation to debates around democratic communication and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Partly thanks to its CSR strategy, Twitter has acquired the critical mass of users necessary to successfully establish a robust and financially viable social network. Despite its success, however, we argue that Twitter does not sufficiently address three ethical implications of its strategy: (1) from an ethical perspective, Twitter mainly seems to employ an ‘instrumental CSR’ ethos that fails to properly recognize the moral rights, responsibilities, and strategic challenges of corporate actors with regard to their stakeholders; (2) this issue becomes all the more pressing because online social networks to a certain extent have taken on the role of quasi-governmental bodies today, regulating what their users can and cannot do, thus raising questions of accountability and legitimacy; and (3) in Twitter’s case, this leads to normative tension between the site's rhetoric, which is centered around civic motives, and the way its Terms of Service and licensing policies seem to favor its commercial stakeholders over its noncommercial ones.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2014 13:25
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2024 00:54
Projects: Grant no. PBSGP1-141961, Award no. 752-2010-2356
Funders: Swiss National Science Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item