Ethical challenges are all around us. In that respect, arbitration is no different from the world around it. The decisions we all make, whether in connection with the conduct of a dispute or in the broader context of our daily lives, have an impact on us, and on those with whom we interact. Consider the following montage of “ethical moments:”
Facebook Inc. was recently criticized for conducting experiments on its users without their knowledge or consent, in which users’ feeds were altered to assess the impact on the emotional content of subsequent posts. The Wall Street Journal wrote “Justin Moreno, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at University of Pennsylvania, also criticized the study. ‘You are sending people whose emotional state you don’t know anything about communications that they might find disturbing,’ Dr. Moreno said. ‘That might or might not be something a research ethics board would worry about.’”
An innocent person was wrongfully accused, tried and convicted of kidnapping, robbery, aggravated battery and aiding and abetting attempted first degree murder. Police and prosecutors rigged the photo and video lineups, coached the victim to identify their suspect and flashed pictures of that suspect prior to showing third party witnesses the photo and video lineups, a technique known as “anchoring.” Even after all of the third party witnesses recanted their testimony and stated that the convicted person was not the person they saw, and even after the other convicted perpetrators stated that she was not the woman with them during the commission of the crimes, the prosecutor opposed the defendant’s motion to overturn the guilty verdict. Apparently, any win is a good win.