The Human Rights Responsibilities of Media and Social Media Businesses
Stephanie Farrior (ed), Human Rights and Non-State Actors (Edward Elgar), Forthcoming
23 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2018 Last revised: 1 Apr 2018
Date Written: March 22, 2018
This paper addresses the human rights responsibilities of media and social media companies under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Countervailing rights of freedom of expression make it difficult to apply the UNGPs to the core businesses of these related industries.
With regard to social media, its human rights impacts, including from the accrual of potential political power and manipulative capacity arising from its reach and its data collection, are perhaps unprecedented, and are only belatedly being appreciated. It is premature to conclude that the current business model of social media companies is simply incompatible with human rights - but it may be a conclusion that is eventually reached.
Keywords: Media, Social Media, Human Rights, Freedom of Expression, Business and Human Rights, Facebook, Privacy, Democracy
JEL Classification: K33, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation