Ethical, Legal, Professional and Social Issues in Facebook

Published: 2021-09-15 15:30:10
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Technology improvements have made the healthier life for people in almost all over the world. The use of social media sites that people usually adapt for are increasing day to day especially Facebook. It is said that everyone is depending on social media to carried their daily routine. People can link and connect with other people all over the world through the use of social networking. Though, there are still issues about it, such as Privacy, free speech, data leakage, identity theft, spamming, integrity risk, advertising and marketing practices, hacking, snooping, reputation lost, Ruining of the Professional Life, copyright issues, fight continues against fake profiles and phishing bots. (raza, 2017)
The ethical issues are growing including violation of privacy, misrepresentation, bullying and integrity risk by the rising of face book technology. When the data subject is getting the facility of relatively unrestricted social communications that data subject is becoming more vulnerable to deception and scams too. Different people are facing few ethical issues when they are using face book technology. Those most important ethical issues are data scrapping, integrity risk, cyberbullying.Data scraping is one of the ethical issue in privacy violation. In this case some Facebook apps are tracking people’s activities online and gathering personal data and conversations. Usually, those kind research companies are the gatherers, also they do sell the gathered data to other companies. These data details are using to design targeted ad campaigns for their products. While Gatherers might argue ethically that people are knowingly sharing personal details on face book, so it’s for free to everyone’s use, that’s why gatherers no need to ask for the data subject’s approval. This case raises an ethics as well as an online privacy issue. (BullGuard, 2018).
For this case: Once in press meeting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told that Facebook is shutting down a feature that let people search for users by user’s personal information. That feature was useful for face book users who need to find out other face book users, years ago that they could use that feature to identify individuals and collect data off their profiles.
Zuckerberg said, that “someone has probably accessed your public information in this way at some point during the last several years”. (The Associated Press, 2018)
According to Zuckerberg statement scrapers had been at it long enough. And they are still raising privacy issues ethically with their actions.
Data scrapping is against BCS Codes of conduct ethics. BCS Codes of conduct ethics said Public Interest. (BCS, The Chartered Institute, 2018) .Therefore, public health, safety and have regard to protection of the environment are important according to the BCS codes ethic. According to the data scrapers unethical act, face book users are facing the problems like health problem and safety problem. For example, some scrapers may create fake profiles with collected personal information’s and use that fake profiles for social abuses how posting the vulgar posts. Therefore, actual user’s reputation will have lost, so the user was mortified and mentally upset because it was not that user’s actions and not something that user wanted everyone else to see. This case makes health issue to actual user. Therefore, data scrapping come under the ethical issue.
Most of the face book users don’t know about privacy setting. Users are knowingly sharing personal details on public, so other people can able to see sharing details of face book user’s. Therefore, data scrappers scrapping face book user’s personal information’s. Users can able to change their privacy setting, who can see their personal details, and sharing details. Best practice is users should be changing these setting so that only users can see their data. (CNBC, 2018)
Integrity risk is next main ethical issue in Facebook. When compared to traditional media forms social media is having a lot of unique features. These features create ethical issues for business in Facebook when employees use face book towards of company and use for their personal representation too. When an employee uses social media in an irresponsible way either on behalf of the company or through their personal social media account, it can undermine the company’s commitment to ethical practice and express it to integrity risk.
For the example is the case of Nestle. In March 2011, Nestle company’s Facebook fan page posted offensive comments in response to negative remarks by the public when who was managing insides of company’s Facebook fan page. The employee’s breach the company’s business principle of company’s integrity. This case also could damage or risk Nestle company’s reputation” and provoked a consumer backlash. (Fox, 2010)
In this integrity risk case BCS codes of conduct had breached. BCS codes of conduct said “Duty to the Profession”. (BCS, The Chartered Institute, 2018). As an employee of Nestle company, the employee must act at all times to uphold the reputation of Nestle company. Nestle company employee’s behavior make disrepute to the company through the Facebook fan page.
The employee breaches loyalty, this is the one of the business ethical principle. (josephsononbusinessethics.com, 2018). According to this principle employee should be believer to the Nestle company, but according by employee’s behavior employee lost trust of Nestle company.
Next thing is that employee breaches reputation and morale. According to this another ethical principle employee should protect and build the company’s good reputation, but in that case employee’s behaviors made disrepute of Nestle company.
This paragraph consist how can solve this integrity problem with recommendation and solution. First thing is organization should monitor the employees and their activities because they may make the issues through the face book. If it is a negative comment on face book the company which is including that problem can make a good strategy by the posting a video or comment from management with an explanation.
Cyber bullying is one of the ethical issue on Facebook nowadays. The behaviors of everyone are ethical for themselves. Cyber bullying and ethics have a lot to do with each other. The ethical issue with cyber bullying are being humiliated, harassed, and threatened. This can be leads to suicide of victims. (Landeros, 2013). For example, someone posting edited embarrassing photos about people who annoy them on face book groups. Those pictures live forever furthermore it can be shared and spread like wildfire to humiliating the victims. Therefore, the victim feels like humiliate and the victim maybe going to suicide.
In real case, the Australian girl was affected by Facebook bully. She is Michelle. It used a real and real name of Michelle. Michelle was reported the fake page to Facebook, then it was removed few days later. But another fake profile was created by another one. In that fake profile bully was sent friend requests other Facebook users, which were also accepted by real Michelle’s friends. In that fake profile, bully started to talk about the kinky sex she was into. Then finally fake Michelle is bully, posted that she was having a party, and that she was prepared for “anything” with giving the real Michelle’s address. (BOWER, 2015).
Cyberbullying is against the ethical principle because one of the ethical principle said respect of autonomy. But through the cyberbullying attacks, bully does not give respect others and bully’s behaviors not human dignity. Second thing said beneficence. That means everyone should be doing good all with their actions, it is also their obligations. But cyber bully is not doing good all because their behaviors are making negative affects to others like humiliating, harassing, and threatening. 3rd principle said non-maleficence. It means we cannot harm the people. In cyberbullying cyberbully making harm attacks others, therefore cyberbullying against non-maleficence ethical principle. (web.mnstate.edu, 2012)
According to BCS code of conduct cyberbullying is against public interest. Already talked about what is public interest in data scrapping issue, so this paragraph does not contain what is public interest. The straight thing is Cyberbullying make the harm and health issue to public. It affects the public health by creating fake profile and unwanted posting on Facebook is creating the depression and mentally issues to real owner of that face book profile.
Most of the people don’t awareness about how to prevent cyberbullying. There are some ways to prevent bully attack. Facebook offers some options if you are under bullying, harassment attacking. People can able to unfriend, block and report the person who are bullying the people. (facebook, n.d.). The best practices of preventing the bullying attacks are, first thing is don’t retaliate; most bullies are expecting the reaction of victims so don’t give them one, second thing is reach out the problem to someone who you are trusting like close friend, well-wishers.
The legal issues are arising in face book activities such as privacy, unauthorized activities, defamation and intellectual property issues. Data mining is making privacy issues in face book. Some of face book applications are leaking the information of those who are using that app to the third parties without announcing the users. For examples, the Farm Ville and Family Tree face book apps have been found to leaked information’s apps.
Data mining is illegal act of face books act, how Data Protection Act,1998 Principle said, processed in accordance with the rights data Subjects, including the rights to, be informed when data is first processed or disclosed to a 3rd party and prevent processing for Direct Marketing. So, the apps are not giving any clue the users about leaking identifying information’s to 3rd parties like advertising and internet tracking companies. Thus user’s online privacy and safety are being risk.
And also General data protection regulations (GDRP) 8th principle said “Personal data cannot be transferred to countries outside the E. U. unless the country has similar legislation to the D.P.A”. (Hall, 2010). Therefore, datamining or data leakage is breaking those principles. Thus, datamining is illegal activity.
Users should have awareness about the privacy issues when using face book. Those apps are creating by independent software developers and apps are showing up frequently, so users can not identify which ones are the leakers. No solutions for this act but the strong recommendations are, first users should the terms and condition of face book apps then, users should change their passwords after accepting an app, to invalidate those access tokens.
Cyber bullying also come under the legal issue. Mostly teenagers are affected by the cyberbullying attack in face book. Already, Cyberbullying has talked in ethical issues, so here is not talking too much about cyber bullying. In real case, the Australian girl Michelle was affected by Facebook bully. This example also talked in above ethical issue. Michelle was abused by created fake profile of her real fake profile name and picture.
This case is breaking the eight data principle. The eight data principle said “Personal data must be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully” (Hall, 2010). This means that data processor should be told about data which is being collected about data subject and should be asked for data subject’s permission to collect it. Here, data processor (bully) did not ask permission from data subject (Michelle). Therefore, this cyberbullying come under an illegal issue.
This cyberbullying come under the legal and ethical issue, so already recommendations and solution have provided in ethical part.
Hacking is another illegal action in face book. Facebook Hacking come under the legal issue by unauthorized access to computer material of 1990 computer misuse act (cps, n.d.). For example, the real case is cyber cell of Pune city police has arrested a youth from Rajasthan who allegedly hacked the Facebook (FB) accounts of girls and used them to send obscene messages. (Express News Service, 2017). According to the 1990 computer misuse act no one can access the computer material without data subject authorization otherwise they are breaking the law.
Also, the eight data principles “said Appropriate security measures must be taken against unauthorized access” according to this principle hacking is a legal issue.
There are some ways to prevent from face book hacking, first thing is data subject should keep the privacy setting to only me, second thing is creating the strong password with capital letters, symbols, numbers and etc.
Professional issues are also coming in face book technology. Face book is giving lot of fun and uses, but it has more serious consequences than those things by the different department professionals and professionals also face the problems. Such as hacking, integrity issues.
Hacking is a one of the professional issue in Facebook by the IT professionals. BCS code of conduct said public interest. It means IT professional should care about the public safety. In this case IT professional breaks the BCS code of conduct. Therefore, it is a professional issue. Also, it is against Computer Misuse Act (1990) it includes unauthorized access of computer material and unauthorized modifications of computer material. Hackers access and modify the computer material of data subjects without permission.
People cannot stop the hacking but can reduce the hackers attack in face book.
Next issue is Integrity risk by the professionals by using the Facebook. When an employee uses social media in an irresponsible way either on behalf of the company or through their personal face book account, it can undermine the company’s reputation. For the example is the case of Nestle. In March 2011, Nestle company’s Facebook fan page posted offensive comments in response to negative remarks by the public when who was managing insides of company’s Facebook fan page. This case could damage or risk Nestle company’s reputation” and provoked a consumer backlash. (Fox, 2010).
BCS code of conduct said “Duty to relevant authority” for the professionals. (BCS, The Chartered Institute, 2018). This case totally against BCS code of conducts, because in example employees should keep the reputation of nestle company according to BCS code of conducts but they disrepute the Nestle company through the Facebook fan page. So, integrity risk is a profession issue in Facebook.
Totally can’t stop this problem but can be reducing this issue. Organization should be monitoring the employees and their activities because they may make the issues through the face book. If it is a negative comment on face book about the company, company can solve that problem by making a good strategy by the posting a video or comment from management with an explanation. This can be a best practice for reducing problem of organization on Facebook.
Face book technology is growing, and most of people get their benefit through the face book technology. However, Face book technology has also affected the society in the negative way. Such as cyber bullying attacks, hacking, addiction, fraud and scam, reputation lost, health issue. (Ahmad, 2016). The main social issues with face book are cyber bullying attacks, hacking, reputation lost.
Mostly children are becoming the victim of cyber bullying attack in Facebook. In face book, anyone can create fake profile and do anything to others, anyone can use this way is easy to become bully. Through this fake profile, anyone can send threats, terrorization messages and rumors to the people to create embarrassment and make confusion in the society. So cyber bulling com under the social issue. Cyber bulling attacking has already talked in ethical, legal issues chapter with an examples and theories.
Hacking is another social issue in face book. In face book personal data and even face book also can hack and share the data by the hackers. It will make financial losses to data subject’s life like identity theft. This is another issue to make financial losses to people by hacking their personal accounts. Hackers were hacking Facebook accounts to posting and sharing the harmful information that was affecting the individual’s personal lives in past. Hacking has already talked in ethical, legal issues chapter with an examples, theories and proper recommendations.
Addiction is another social issue in face book. Addiction is a new type disorder in human life by using Facebook continuously. Mostly teenagers are addicted in face book. Now everyone, post and sharing their photos and daily activities.

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