What if Facebook Goes Down? Ethical and Legal Considerations for the Demise of Big Tech Platforms

17 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019

See all articles by Carl Ohman

Carl Ohman

University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute, Students

Nikita Aggarwal

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute; University of Oxford, Faculty of Law; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: November 27, 2019

Abstract

Facebook has, in large parts of the world, become the de facto online platform for communication and social interaction. Yet, recent events relating to the misuse of users’ data, the growing regulatory push-back it is receiving in response, and changing social media trends, expose the relative fragility of its pre-eminent status, making the future demise of Facebook’s main platform if not plausible, then at least less implausible. In this article, we argue that the demise of a major online social network, such as Facebook’s main platform, would give rise to several legal and ethical concerns, in particular relating to the treatment of user data, that are not adequately addressed by existing governance frameworks. We map out the main contours of these concerns, and make preliminary recommendations for addressing them, with a view to setting an agenda for future research and policy-making with respect to the demise of Big Tech platforms.

Keywords: Facebook, Social Media, Data Protection, Privacy, Information Ethics, Insolvency

Suggested Citation

Öhman, Carl and Aggarwal, Nikita, What if Facebook Goes Down? Ethical and Legal Considerations for the Demise of Big Tech Platforms (November 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3494144 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3494144

Carl Öhman (Contact Author)

University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute, Students ( email )

1 St. Giles
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Nikita Aggarwal

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

University of Oxford, Faculty of Law ( email )

St Cross Building
St Cross Rd
Oxford
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

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