Earlier this week, a colleague of mine (@ivox_pierre) sent me the job posting below that appeared on Craigslist in Toronto for an hour or two on March 28, 2011. At first I dismissed it as a joke. The more I thought about this ad, though, the more I pondered several questions around authenticity and acceptability of this political trolling. The big one was:
Is this ethical behaviour?
The easy answer is “no,” regardless of your political stripe. But are there exceptions to this rule? Is there a grey area here? If so, what are the ground rules?
In the past, even I have been asked to use my social networks to support candidates, but the rules were clear:
- Ensure you honestly believe in what you are saying online
- Make sure it is truthful and accurate
These rules are in stark contrast to the requirements in the job posting below:
We all know it’s not OK to encourage people to spread falsehoods; but is it OK to offer to pay people to promote your poitical angle?
In the interest of balance, I also found that a very similar ad was posted for left-wing writers. I don’t have the actual ad, but Google provides some evidence:
Regardless of whether your beliefs fall on the right, left, or centre of the spectrum, is this practice acceptable? What are the ground rules?
What do you think?