Here are some examples of social irresponsibility by companies or industries.
Microsoft: The recent worldwide viral malware infecting millions of computers using Windows operating systems, mainly XP, can in part be blamed on Microsoft’s desire to constantly ‘upgrade’ their operating systems to force people to buy more but the downside is that they make older systems quickly redundant and fail to support them by providing software security patches. These systems become vulnerable to hackers. The National Health Service’s computer systems in the UK suffered a massive amount of temporary damage causing shut downs. The malware froze the computers and demanded $300 (per terminal) to unfreeze them. Some hospitals paid up. In the meantime patients where in a precarious situation and many in pain as pain meds were unavailable. Microsoft should have been aware of this and supported the NHS to help protect it before the malware attack. They make enough money to have a social conscience. Let’s see it in action. Gates the founder of Microsoft gives generously to charity. Where is that attitude in his company?
Pet Food Manufacturers: it seems that pet food manufacturers have a stranglehold over their customers and their customers’ veterinarians. They have their fingers in all the pies that concern them. They fund research studies thereby controlling the results to their benefit. They do deals with veterinarians to sell their cat foods. They promote their cat food as scientifically prepared and veterinarian recommended and therefore good for the health of the cat but this often misleading. They generally dominate the scene to ensure that nothing goes wrong so that they can continue to sell billions of dollars worth of pet food and avoid any hiccups to the process by trying to squash enlightened thought presented by independent website owners such as Susan Thixton’s (Truth About Pet Food).
In addition pet food manufacturers sometimes do tests on animals. Animal testing is obnoxious to many, many people. As I recall, Purina do animal testing. Arguably, health problems emanate from commercially many prepared cat foods. The manufacturers could do a lot better. They could be more concerned about the health of companion animals and present a more socially responsible attitude towards their millions of customers and their companion animals.
Petrochemical companies: petrochemical companies need to keep producing petrol so when ever a small independent start-up emerges which might undermine that objective they buy up them at an exorbitant fee and then dissolve the company. In this way we are chained to petrol and diesel driven cars which pollute the environment and damage the health of millions of people. In addition, there are the well-known massive oil spills causing massive environmental damage. These could have been avoided. I feel that there is a socially irresponsible attitude at the top of the huge petrochemical companies.
Veterinarians: they have to make a profit. They are independent businesses very often. They combine making a profit while providing a service in the interests of companion animal welfare. They have to find a delicate balance between profit and animal welfare. Sometimes they go over the line towards profit at the expense of animal welfare. Even worse, in America, veterinarians declaw cats by the millions. This is profit-based and heavily to the detriment of cats. This shows a socially irresponsible attitude which alienates customers. Thousands of lines of text have been written on the Internet criticising veterinarians. They are worried about their status in society. They can regain their status if they present a more socially acceptable face and stop doing unethical things. Their society is not hard enough on them and do not provide proper guidelines but that said the AVMA is toothless and pretty well useless.
Search Engines: Google provides what is to all intents and purposes a public service and yet it is a heavily commercial company which increasingly fails to stick to their avowed oath of ‘do no evil’. Their search results are biased to benefit Google’s profits. They are not neutral results. Microsoft’s Bing is much better, in point of fact. There is a case for a government run search engine that is publicly owned. People forget that Google is a business making massive profits.
Facebook: Facebook is in the news because, arguably, they have lost control of their website. People are posting extremist views on the website – you can get animal abusers posting obnoxious messages on the website. Often when these are reported to Facebook’s administrators they refused to pull down the content. Either that, or the content is not spotted by anybody therefore it stays up on the website. In addition, there have been allegations of fake news being presented by Facebook to the point where it may have affected the USA presidential election. Facebook’s administrators have an obligation of social responsibility to ensure that their website does not promote extremist views and criminality. Currently they are arguably failing in that objective.
YouTube: Once again, the Times newspaper has unearthed a lack of social responsibility through an inability to weed out inappropriate and extremist video presentations and further when they are told about these presentations they sometimes refuse to take them down. YouTube is owned by Google. Google has a very laissez-faire attitude about content on the Internet. They very much dislike censoring any form of content. This is because they want the Internet to expand in an unregulated manner to further their objectives which is to make more money. In doing so, arguably, they have demonstrated a socially irresponsible attitude which endangers the public.
The above are just some examples of socially irresponsible behaviour by organisations, institutions and businesses. There are countless more. The world demands better.
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