What if Facebook Goes Down? Ethical and Legal Considerations for the Demise of Big Tech Platforms
17 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 27, 2019
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
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