The presence of university students is increasing in the digital realm, where a lively and ever-evolving world of content creation flourishes. UP students are completely entangled in the digital era, just like many others throughout the world. The screens that brighten up our everyday lives serve as platforms for us to create content, as well as windows to information and entertainment. However, every student should be conscious of the ethical conundrums that exist beneath the creative enthusiasm. Thus, the decisions made by content creators count.

Content creation is more than simply a trendy hobby. It is a narrative technique that has the ability to sway attitudes, unite different groups of people, and influence views. Your thoughts, pictures, and videos might strike a chord with your peers, represent the university culture, and even influence more general discussions. In essence, you have the authority to tell stories digitally, and just like any other storyteller, you have responsibilities, and this is where ethical issues become important. For instance, by taking pictures of strangers without their permission, content creators unintentionally step into a grey area of ethics and morality. The desire for creativity and expression is one thing, and the individual’s right to privacy and dignity is another. The important thing is to strike a balance between these two.

Lately, content creators have gone as far as making videos of people without their permission and looking up the cost of their clothes online. Many students agree that this is unethical because these actions have a negative impact on those who are involved. Students continue to share how uneasy they can feel from just imagining being the victim. Consent is important, and individuals have the right to manage their personal data in accordance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

In the world of content creation, where digital realms are shaped by the creativity of individuals, there are voices that echo a commitment to ethical and responsible content creation, and there are those who do not. PDBY spoke to Tarryn Burton, also known as @g.oldengirl_ within the content creator sphere, who stands as a testament to this ethos. With years of dedicated growth in her online accounts, she creates content without rigid themes. Instead, she aligns herself with trends that captivate audiences. Yet, what sets her apart is her strong opposition to unethical practices in the digital space. “I find it disrespectful for content creators to disregard cultural ethical boundaries,” Burton asserts, reflecting on her journey as a creator. She is aware that not all content creators follow the same path, and ignorance is not the sole driving force behind their questionable choices. Some are just unaware, and they acknowledge their mistakes. She advises her fellow content creators to not be selfish with their creative desires. Instead, she encourages them to consider their supporters and their impact, offering a potential guide for navigating the unknown parts of content creation with greater awareness and responsibility.

The principles you learn about ethical content production may be applied to your work as future professionals, where upholding limits and rights is essential. Being a good digital citizen is a life skill that will affect how you engage online, both as a content creator and as an informed member of the online community. But this is just a way to emphasise ethical practices in content creation and beyond, and it concerns the more general problem of moral behaviour in the digital age. It also advises all students to be cautious about their online actions and take part in building a responsible and supportive online community at the university.

Ompha Mudau
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