Let’s talk about our next case, the Facebook Risk Assessment.
Here’s the scenario –
You are employed by a new member of the Facebook Oversight Board. While the board is limited to reviewing specific content (CNBC Oversight Board (Links to an external site.)) or (The Conversation 6 Questions about the Facebook Oversight Board (Links to an external site.)), your employer has asked you to prepare a risk assessment of Facebook’s entire business in order to better understand the current environment.
Your employer is concerned about the limitations of her appointment and potential impact on Facebook operations. She has asked you to develop a risk assessment of the top three risk issues at Facebook, provide a short background, current impacts, potential solutions and your proposed solution.
To complete this assignment, you are going to demonstrate the five steps of ethical decision making.
Step 1: You need to find three ethical issues regarding the recently released and reported Facebook Papers. As mentioned in the agenda, you need to read the Wired article “15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook (https://www.wired.com/story/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-15-months-of-fresh-hell/.)” AND the Verge article “Eight Things We Learned From the Facebook Papers (https://www.theverge.com/22740969/facebook-files-papers-frances-haugen-whistleblower-civic-integrity).” You will then choose articles for this assignment from this list from Protocol that links to all coverage of the Facebook Papers (Links to an external site.).
The risk assessment requires you to identify three different issues at Facebook. You will complete one page per issue. On each page, you will identify the issue, provide high level background, develop options for remediating the risk, and then choose one of those options to implement.
Issues: “But Professor Coonce, how do I find ethical issues at Facebook?” Consider all of the different ethical issues covered this semester – corporate governance (board of directors, government regulators), treatment of employees, treatment of suppliers, treatment of customers, product based issues and lack of leadership…I know the Facebook Papers articles (Links to an external site.) reflect many of these issues.
And here is a short list that pops into my head –
tracking non-facebook users,
Discuss on the employee treatment of moderators,
the business culture of facebook,
how newsfeed algorithms work,
how Facebook is/was used in other countries (Ukraine, Myanmar, Philippines, India, etc.),
data sharing with 3rd party apps,
tracking users when they are off Facebook,
fact checking of content, or
political advertising strategies…and this is my list from prior to the release of the Facebook Papers!
For this assignment, you will choose three articles to review from this list (https://www.protocol.com/facebook-papers.). Each article contains at least one if not many ethical issues for you to focus on for the assignment.
Step 2: Background
Tell me a little background on the issue. I do not need an essay. I want you to demonstrate you understand the issue.
Also, you need to understand the following about Facebook:
Board of Directors,
Mark Zuckerberg’s Ownership Power,
Revenue Totals, and
You don’t need go deep on these topics, but you must understand the basic power dynamics of the business in order to develop a strong remediation strategy.
Step 3: Current and Potential Impacts
Tell me why this issue is a problem. What are the impacts? Describe the impacts the issue is causing.
Think why does this matter? Who cares about this? Why do they care? Remember our lessons on stakeholders.
Tell me what you think!
Step 4: Remediation Options
How can you fix this issue? Give me three options that you believe may help remediate or lessen the risk. Can you eliminate the risk? Can you throw more benefits or money at the issue? Can you make it stop completely and if so, how? Reviewing our course video titled Ethical Decision Making might be helpful when developing alternative remediation options.
That being said, you must be thoughtful about what you propose.
Remember why businesses exist – while the business may have a higher purpose stated (i.e., Facebook mission – to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Editor’s note: ahem. ok, then.), most businesses are required to make money, employ humans and deliver the services they promise in order to exist.
Step 5: Suggested Remediation Strategy
In step 4, you developed three remediation options. Choose the best option. The best option is the one you believe will help mitigate the risk and remediate the issue while allowing the business to continue.
HINT: If one of your remediation options is to kill a major part of the revenue stream of Facebook, I would not suggest you use this as your final option.
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- Employ effective research skills to identify key sources of information to determine what behavioral methods have been successful for students whose learning needs are similar to those in your data analysis and how progress was monitored.
- What are some of the limitations of this evidence?
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your ethical obligation to tell the consumer?