Facebook and Ethics
Today Facebook is one of the most common platforms in the world, where billions of users hold communication. It has the largest audience of customers worldwide compared to other social networks. Its role has exceeded the level of the entertainment platform due to its significant influence on the formation of views of many people around the world. Communication and information form the future of humanity; therefore, the ethical activity of this media is crucial. It should take a proactive position to increase the level of ethics of its content, as Facebook affects humankind, creating an interactive space for the formation of its worldview.
Ethical and Legal Duty of Facebook to Rescue a Crime Victim
Users have significantly expanded the scope of Facebook, so the site distributes content that may contain the information relevant to a possible crime (Witnov, 2012). The level of details of data can allow to preventing the offense and rescuing a victim. Facebook has an ethical right to save the sufferer of the crime. Moreover, it is an ethical duty of the platform since it must reflect and convey the values of humanism. In a humane society, each person should contribute to the preservation of human life and increase legality as such a desire improves the future development of the community. Facebook is a powerful tool for the facilitation of the implementation of this obligation.
At the same time, this social network has a legal right but it does not have a legal duty to save a victim of a crime. Legally, the platform is not accountable for the deeds of its users. For such tasks, the state has a diversified structure with targeted directions; for example, the police have a duty to influence the prevention of an offense. Facebook is a social network, so saving a sufferer is outside a legal field; however, it is in the very center of the ethical area. This platform reflects a community where every person has the right to save another one though is not obliged to do this, according to the law. Therefore, the salvation of sufferers of any crime is only the right for Facebook regarding legality. However, it is a seriously important and significant duty from an ethical perspective.
Ways to Be Proactive for Social Platforms
Since social platforms are a component of any society, they must be proactive in matters that benefit the community. Therefore, their proactive position regarding the own content is necessary for the development of ethical values. Such a position could be implemented through client orientation (user orientation), ethnic (geographic) adaptation, and cooperation with law enforcement agencies.
Today, the worlds leading social platforms should not focus solely on profit. Increasing the user orientation will let social media proactively influence the content. For example, Facebook can do this through the classification of content and user surveys regarding classified information types. The compilation of simple but important researches does not require much time or investment. This way may allow understanding every user deeper and satisfy them. Since Facebook is already focused on meeting the needs of customers. This way will provide a chance to increase customer satisfaction, consider their wishes, and take a proactive position regarding the information on the site.
The creation of correspondence centers to ethnic and geographic features includes the investment in hiring new employees to adapt the content, according to the ethical principles in the region, in which it is distributed. This way may give the possibility to consider the majority of differences in the worldview of people in various districts and more subtle ethical perceptions in the particular locality. For example, limiting the specific content inaccurate regions may contribute to a significant increase of ethnic tolerance in general.
Cooperating with law enforcement agencies is a rather controversial way. The leadership of social platforms can introduce a policy the tracking of the published content containing crimes and signaling to law enforcement agencies. However, such a path must be realized very carefully and only for the aforementioned salvation of human lives in order not to violate the foundations of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech as well as privacy and confidentiality of personal information. Implementing any of the proposed ways, Facebook will take a proactive position regarding the published content.
Safeguards to Prevent the Acts of Violence
Today, the fight against violence is an important component of society. Facebook can use its own influence to prevent cruelty from being broadcasted. Firstly, it can apply censorship of content that is distributed using the platform. Thus, the information containing violence can be directly removed from social media. However, it will require considerable resources to track such data, since users are not responsible for the dissemination of any values. The management will have to increase the control over the content significantly. The solution to this problem is to organize and straighten feedback from customers and their encouragement. Facebook can open an additional functionality for those persons that contribute to the fight against violence through their responses. Secondly, the administration can introduce a concept of social rankings. When registering, a user receives a zero score of social ratings. Publishing the content containing violence, the customer loses points of social rating, which temporarily reduces its functionality. In addition, when the propaganda of cruelty is repeated, the individual social rating may decrease significantly, which can block one's ability to use the platform. In this way, the network can be cleaned from the content that broadcasts violent activities. Such actions can certainly affect the pace of growth of users of the social network. However, such measures will safeguard against preventing cruelty. Only an active policy to combat the spread of violence can bring results.
Ethics Officer or Oversight Committee of Facebook
Facebook should pay great attention to ethical issues and attract relevant professionals in compliance with ethical standards. The study of the availability of such specialists has been carried out as a part of the trial dissemination of information. While making the analysis, I tried to collect the data about the relevant workers on Facebook. My research has not yielded results. After that, I decided to use a practical method to check the availability of the personnel responsible for the ethics of information distributed via this social network. Therefore, I created a system of additional accounts on the platform. Five accounts being connected (as friends) began to post some comments and videos of the unethical content. The posts contained ethical violations in the field of racial intolerance, religious insults, propaganda of violence, and gender intolerance. Fake pages supported the publications posted by each other. It should be noted that all the manipulations were made within the framework of the research to check if the platform has an ethical officer or committee. Moreover, such actions had to verify the effectiveness of the current system of ethical standards within the platform. Fake pages did not have real friends, and the content was not distributed between real customers. Currently, these accounts have been deleted. Interestingly, during the experiment, the administration did not take any action towards the information. None of the employees were contacted; thus, the videos and comments were distributed freely. Such a practical study does not give sufficient grounds to assert whether the social network has such workers or not. However, if even it has, their activity is not at a good level. Therefore, the platform should either create or strengthen such roles, as well as make them more proactive. Such employees can participate in social communication, directing it ethically.
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Changes to Encourage Ethical Use of the Platform
The simplest change should be the extensive declaration of the company's attitude to the ethics of information. It can be done by prescribing the program code and then showing this information on the page during its loading. Every user must be acquainted with these data to form the own attitude to the position of the platform. In the case of its application, it should positively affect the reputation of social media. The second and more complex change can be related to the introduction of propaganda of ethical principles of modern society. A good variant of such a method is the use of social advertising before showing a video and evaluation markers regarding the content. It does not mean deleting the questionable content, but including 5-30 seconds of social advertising before each video. Moreover, the platform may mark that this broadcast contains doubtful unethical content. Even the shortest video can have a great effect (Witnov, 2012). Each of these changes will lead to the identification of a proactive position and will emphasize the importance of ethical issues for the platform. Moreover, they can show the importance of the information's impact on the formation of human values.
Nowadays, social platforms have a significant influence on the formation of human values through the transfer of information and the promotion of communication. Therefore, all social networks and Facebook, in particular, should take a proactive position regarding the ethics of their own content, increase the orientation of every user, and increase the promotion of various preventive measures. Preventing violence, social propaganda, and a change in the general policy of the company, as well as the official declaration of ethical direction can become efficient tools for the formation of an ethical worldview of people, thus, benefiting the whole of humanity.