About the Links

The bane of ethical assessments these days, and perhaps always, is that every criticism is attacked as evidence of bias and a hidden agenda, as if you must be a Democrat to see any ethical transgressions by a Republican official, you must be a racist to be critical of the ethics of the District of Columbia Government, and you have proven yourself a homophobe if you object to the City of San Francisco violating the principles of democracy. To a great extent, this is a tactic of the unethical, of course: discredit the integrity of your critics so that people will dismiss legitimate criticism. On the other hand, it is an unavoidable fact that too many would-be ethical arbiters tend to hold their fire when the transgressor is someone they approve of, while using hyper-stringent standards in evaluating the ethical conduct of adversaries. This tendency knocked several otherwise useful websites off the list below.

While there is an identifiable ideological tone to several of the websites that are listed, they manage to be substantially fair and have successfully narrowed their stated purpose so that their usefulness is intact. For example, Overlawyered is looking for examples of outrageous behavior by lawyers, and reports them. Despite the fact that the site is run by individuals who support legal reform, they provide accurate information and do not distort the issues. As for the many sites that purport to document “media dishonesty” or “political spin” and yet only manage to detect or object to such conduct when it appears on one side of the political spectrum, these are devoted to advocacy, not ethics; indeed, they are unethical themselves in their misrepresentation. They are not to be trusted, and when Ethics Scoreboard becomes aware of any such tendencies on a site below, it will remove that site.


  • A Minor Consideration: Former child actor Paul Petersen (“The Donna Reed Show”) is the pre-eminent advocate for the welfare of juvenile performers past, present and future, and his non-profit organization “A Minor Consideration” publicizes and battles abuses of children that the public, the media and the law often ignore.

  • Annenberg Political Fact Check: Meticulously documents the misstatements, deceits, misleading ads and lies embraced by both major parties’ presidential and vice-presidential candidates as well as other advocacy groups, including the infamous “527” groups. If there is a partisan slant to its efforts, I can’t detect it, and the service it provides to citizens is incalculable.
  • Beliefnet: (religions, spirituality, prayer, God, angels, politics, meditation…) : Thorough religion and ethics resource.

  • Bob Reno’s BadJocks.com: (Where COPS meets SPORTSCENTER): Entertaining and exhaustive compendium of bad conduct among athletes at all levels of sports
  • The Cheating Culture: Great source of data and news stories on cheating and related cultural issues.
  • Editor and Publisher: You have to subscribe to use the archives, but this useful site’s daily coverage of reporting and journalism issues consistently tracks the Fourth Estate’s ethical dilemmas and misadventures
  • Ethics Resource Center: Detailed and helpful business ethics site, with special focus on leadership, global ethics, and character education.
  • The Ethical Spectacle: Generally left-leaning site, with an assortment of articles and commentary

  • Ethics Daily: This is a Baptist church website with editorials and essays on ethics in world events, U.S. society and popular culture. Definitely ethics with theological overtones; thought-provoking and well-done.

  • Ethics Updates Home Page (moral theory; relativism; pluralism; religion; egoism; utilitarianism; deontology; duty; human rights; anti-theory; gender; race; multiculturalism; virtue; Aristotle; abortion; cloning; euthanasia; punishment; death penalty; ethnicity; sexism; sexual orientation; poverty; welfare; world hunger; animal rights; environmental ethics): Excellent ethics literature resource site
  • Fairness.com: Fairness is a core ethical value, and this thorough, professional and frequently updated site features news stories, surveys, discussions and more related to public and private fairness.
  • Institute for Global Ethics: Commentary ,articles, research and resources on ethics

  • Josephson Institute of Ethics: Basic ethics resource site with special emphasis on business and character education.
  • Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University: Well organized and provocative news and commentary site

  • Overlawyered: Anti-lawyer orientation, but well researched with helpful observations on professional ethics

  • Philo Sophos:A rarity, this site actually discusses philosophical principles and issues in clear and readable prose. Provocative and wide ranging articles and resources.
  • Planet Feedback
    At a time when more and more companies appear to be promising services thay can’t or won’t deliver, this excellent site not only allows consumers to share their unsatisfactory (and satisfactory) experiences but also provides a forum for prodding offending companies to honor their obligations.
  • Poynter Online: The best journalism ethics page on the web. Superb.
  • Procedural Ethics: (Chronological Site Index) : For those who are philosophically inclined, and system oriented, an excellent survey of ethical analytical systems

  • Reason: Libertarian magazine website, featuring frequent commentary on ethics issue across disciplines, always well written and lively.
  • Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly | PBS: Useful and varied ethics stories and resources from the PBS series
  • Slate Magazine: On-line news and culture magazine that covers ethics-related issues frequently and perceptively

  • Students For Academic Freedom: Conservative-leaning site devoted to the elimination of ideological bullying and intellectual repression on college campuses

  • Zero Intelligence: This is a thorough, passionate, and well-written site that documents "zero tolerance" policy injustices by school officials around the nation.


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