Media & Ethics Case Study Law: Facebook And Social Media Networks

The summary of the case study:

The case study is about the Facebook and social media networks. FaceBooking was developed by Mark Zuckerberg who was by then nineteen years and was studying computer science in Harvard. In the year 2004 he was able to start away of college student to interact and socialize with each other online. From then the social networking through Facebook became the order of the day and spread like the world fire as many young people embraced it to share their experiences and socialize with those close to them. To many it was an achievement but the companies like yahoo and Google did not take it lightly and precisely yahoo promised Zuckerberg billions of money for it. He turned down the offer and he even allowed those interested to create applications straight within Facebook interface.

 In the contemporary world Facebook generates a lot of cash annually and it heavily relies with advertising and market research; Beacon is the advertising system designed by the Facebook for purchasing and other data. Facebook has helped the YouTube founders, and the entrepreneurs such as Firefox to find a way forward. Despite its achievement Facebook has undergone a lot of pressures of late and especially with the complaints of the connect system which leaks out the personal data.

 Facebook defends this privacy issues by claiming that they have set regulations to change their privacy policy and the publication of its user data. Nevertheless, there are still many agencies from different nations who investigate the Facebook with variety of reasons which made Facebook to redefine privacy by 2009. Nonetheless, some technologists still wonder if the privacy policy is still yielding long-term fruits; however, by putting its records right in the year 2010 it got itself a number 1 internet site which has many users and visitors and it has introduced applications where millions of people can access it through mobile phones.

Despite the progress Facebook privacy crises were augmented by 2010 and hit the BBC and New York Times headlines. Facebook responded the privacy claims by providing simplified versions of its privacy controls; this was to ensure that the Facebook users are informed of the amount of personal information accessible by the public. This is very essential for users are able to share with friends, and everyone else that they willingly choose to share their information with. Other people who would like to access the information have to ask for permission.

Ethical issues/dilemmas addressed in the case.

There is only one specific ethical issue that is being discussed in this case and it involves privacy. It is true that most Facebook users have connection to a large network of friends. The big question is if it is ethical for everyone to access the information of the Facebook users. Anything that is not meant for public is regarded as private and most Facebook users share their personal information with their friends not knowing that their information is accessible to many more viewers unless they use the private controls. This ethical issue of perusing other people information on Facebook without their consent has raised so much concern but the Facebook has redefined its privacy policy and its enabling the users to use the private control in order to limit the viewers and to ensure the information is only accessed by those they prefer (Robinson,2012).

Ethical model analysis:

Ethical dilemmas are necessary for they help people to familiarize with the ethical issues in their domain and the challenges that they pose. While FaceBooking privacy issues have been found to be a big challenge Rule-based or Utilitarian Ethical Theory will be a good model to be applied to the case in order to address the dilemma. This theory looks beyond self-interest to consider impartially the interests of all persons affected by actions. Facebook have privacy problems where personal information is accessible to every person who visits the site. This poses a threat to the stakeholders who are the Facebook users and the action has consequences. Therefore, the Facebook has taken this challenge and put into place the privacy control which will help the stakeholders to limit the number of their viewers(Crane & Matten, 2010).

This model can be applicable for it is concerned with making decisions that maximizes the net benefits and minimizes the overall harms for all the Facebook users. therefore, the stakeholder who are the Facebook users find it hard when their personal information is accessed by everyone, this has its consequences for it causes harm and hurt to the Facebook users. It is a benefit to Facebook for they continue to generate income; however, by applying utilitarian ethical theory they can be able to follow the ultimate rule which is the greatest good for the greatest number. By so doing, they will be able to solve the ethical dilemma (Crane & Matten, 2010).

 I think they have already done this by introducing the privacy control, nevertheless, it is not all Facebook users who are able to apply this privacy control and so they continue to be affected by the action of their personal information being accessed. So if they apply this theory they will be able to offer the greatest good to the greatest number by either finding a way to guide them to set their privacy control or change to another method of solving this ethical dilemma.


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