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The Ethics of Opposition Research IV: Content

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Now that the ethics of methods and sources have been addressed, I now turn to considering the ethics of the content of opposition research. The objective is to provide some general guidance about what sort of content is morally acceptable to research and use against political opponents. Since the objective of opposition research is to find damaging or discrediting information about the target, the desired content will always be negative (or perceived as negative). While there is the view that if one has nothing nice to say about someone else, then one should say nothing, the negative nature of the content does not automatically make such research unethical. To support this, consider the obvious analogy to reporters: the fact that they are on the lookout for negative information does not make them unethical. Finding negative things and reporting on them are legitimate parts of their jobs. Likewise for opposition researchers. As such, concerns about the ethics of the content must. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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