Re: Ethics in Technical Writing

Subject: Re: Ethics in Technical Writing
From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 2 May 2017 14:38:29 -0700

Yes, I'd say that as a writer you have an ethical duty to ensure that you are not putting inaccurate information in your documents. By that, I mean inaccurate PRODUCT information. Bad grammar and funny jargon may reflect badly on you and/or your product, but that doesn't make it an issue of ethics.

As for why we don't see real issues of ethics being discussed...

Best case scenario, there aren't a lot of people being asked to do things that are critically wrong enough to be unethical.

Worst case scenario, a lot of people are obsessed with "wordsmithing" noncritical grammar and phrasing because they lack the in-depth technical knowledge of what they're writing about that would enable them to catch all the critically wrong stuff that SMEs are slipping into their documents.

Since the news is not a regular flood of reports on disasters caused by someone following directions that turned out to be dangerously inaccurate, I have to think the former is more likely or I'd never step out my front door.

Gene Kim-Eng


On 5/2/2017 1:18 PM, Lauren wrote:

Nice segue. So back to my questions. Do technical writer have an ethical duty to validate accuracy of instruction? Why are technical writing ethics never discussed?


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Ethics in Technical Writing: From: Lauren
Re: Ethics in Technical Writing: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: Ethics in Technical Writing: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Ethics in Technical Writing: From: Lauren

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