The incident was reportedly one of several instances of Facebook senior executives countermanding company policy to allow American politicians and celebrities to post whatever they wanted despite pleas from employees to moderate the content, according to the documents.
That rules should apply to everyone in the same way is an axiom of conduct. It is a standard of fairness. We deserve at least this minimum from Facebook
Postscript – I’ve been gone from this site for about a year. I was tired and maintaining a blog while dealing with long term effects from COVID-19 (I had both varieties and the shots) was more than I could handle at the time. I’m back.
The Ethics Sage has a new blog post on the issue of Cyberbullying. I would appreciate it if you would go to his blog and read the entire entry. The two paragraphs below do not do full justice to the depth of his thought.
Are our Schools a Safe Place for Students to Grow and Learn?
Cyberbullying and Random Acts of Violence Threaten American Exceptionalism
Cyberbullying in our schools threatens the safety of our students both in and out of school. It creates an environment where learning is negatively affected and potentially devastates the bullied individual. The result may be embarrassment, withdrawal from social and educational activities, attempted suicide and worse. I am tired of hearing schools defend their inaction when cyberbullying attacks occur after school hours and on weekends by claiming they are not responsible because the attacks did not occur on school grounds or during school time. If one student shot another outside of school would they look the other way? I don’t think so (or at least I hope not).
The extent of the phenomenon is hard to quantify. But one 2010 study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, an organization founded by two criminologists who defined bullying as “willful and repeated harm” inflicted through phones and computers, said one in five middle-school students had been affected. The purpose of this blog is to address what can be done about it. I have blogged before on the behavioral impact of being bullied through the use of social media. Attacks using Facebook, and Instagram, an online photo- and video-sharing service, and other social media threaten to stifle emotional development and growth, two factors so important to becoming a productive member of society.
People should never feel like they are useless or lonely or like they don’t matter. However, when people cyberbully other people, that is exactly how the victims feel. No one should feel that way. Cyberbullying is bullying that happens in cyberspace, hence the name. People can get bullied over text, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Cyberbullying is becoming a bigger situation as time passes and the internet comes into play more and more, and people need to notice and do something about it.
There are many statistics on cyberbullying. 43 percent have been cyberbullied, 70 percent have reported that they have seen it happen, 68 percent of teens agree that is a problem (Eleven). When pictures or posts get put on the internet is impossible to delete it, even if you do delete it it will still be up there (Cyber-bullying). The most common way to be cyberbullied is instant messaging. Most cyberbullies are girls, it is twice as likely for them to be girls. One third of people have been threatened online (Cyberbullying). Most people who have been cyberbullied will not tell anyone about, only one tenth of victims will tell someone. Victims who have been bullied can be two to nine times more likely to commit suicide (Eleven). Many people ask why they do it, but also people ask how it happens.
This guy can take this kind of nonsense and instead of being hurt or offended, he turns it into informative and, in a way, defiant essay. I’m impressed.
And he has a good point, this kind of passion (hatred, rage?) is frightening. As a fellow writer, I find this kind of thing daunting but as a politician it must be far more threatening because not only do these people wield influence power in the party, encountering them personally must be an exciting and memorable experience.
One Look At These Emails, And You’ll See Why Republicans Let Ted Cruz Lead Them Off A Cliff
The people whose letters I’m printing below are literally the people Republicans depend on to re-elect them to Congress. Keeping these people happy is their job — which is why the Republican Party has become so inept and crazy.
Jim Kennedy says I’m a “low information voter” in league with “the black racists”:
Senator Cruz is right on. I am one of those “crazy people” the liberal left does not like, being former Marine, a supporter of Tea Party, college graduate, member of NRA, member of Sons of Confederate Veterans. It is you low information voters and the blackracists that hate us conservatives. Watch out in 2014!
William Neisser found me on Facebook and sent this frank message:
do you really believe the crap coming out of your mouth so 2 million people who think this Obama care isn’t good are wrong and living on another planet wow. life for you must be hard when did it become American to make people eat there vegetables. everyone has something to say but please stop talking your breath stinks like the crap you write come back to reality like the 2 million that are wrong an don’t like Obama’s health care academy for idiots thank you again yours truly screwed middle class living on another planet oh an have a great day
This AP article is one of many I’ve seen lately that talk about how fed up establishment Republlicans are with Cruz and his Tea Party fellow crazies. But look at the establishment Republicans they’re quoting by name! …
One day, I discussed with the class my idea for teaching upper class communication skills to the business students. They asked me to go further with it, so here is the first video in what will be a series discussing the social class skills necessary for business success.
Realize that online networking is similar to real life networking. In real life networking, you make connections one person at a time. The same is true for online networking. Don’t be seduced into thinking that you can create meaningful relationships with a lot of people at once, simply by posting updates about what you do.
A better approach would be to consider the online social networks as tools to provide you more access to more people, from the comfort of your home or office, while realizing that the basic relational skills when making a connection remains comparable to both online and offline. In other words, meet a lot of people, but meet them one by one.
I think the best way to start a business is to look at what you love and think about how you can formulate that into a plan. It’s important to ask questions, always take calculated risks, and develop the ability to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.There are no failures if you learn from the mistakes you made along the way. I think a bit of self-reflection always helps to build the foundation of a company and let it take shape. Passion, Hard Work, Kindness, Generosity and patience are definitely some of the key factors in making something successful.
It is always important to remember that a business is built in a series of blocks or stages. Slowly but surely it all comes together over time.
Netflix now has the right to share your viewing habits – Salon.com
After nearly two years of intense lobbying, Netflix has won the reform it needs to integrate its services with Facebook. Ars Technica first reported that the Senate quietly passed a reform to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) last week, giving video streaming companies the right to share your data for up to two years after asking for your permission once. (Mother Jones notes that “The Senate didn’t even hold a recorded vote: The bill was approved by unanimous consent”).
This is a government subsidy to a business, in this case, a particular business. The act gives away a right to privacy with no return to the consumer.
Is this good business ethics? One of the first tests of ethics is the question, “Is it legal?” The “reform” makes what was previously illegal into a legal act. It’s also intensely profitable. This passes the sole test of Friedman’s code, “Does it enhance shareholder value?” Yes, it makes more money for the company. I would expect the company’s value to be enhanced.
But this is slicing good business ethics pretty thin. It’s legal and profitable. But so are a great many things that we can be ashamed of.
Is it bad business ethics? It takes a public good, privacy, and converts it to private profit. What did consumers gain from allowing Netflix to sell their information to other companies? That easy, they won the right to be specifically targeted in advertising. Their viewing habits can be used to get a handle on their political beliefs, whether they have children, etc.
It might be argued that the consumer has to give permission to access his records. A blanket right has been abolished and replaced with a private opt out clause. One of the things I have learned is that few of my students even though they are computer literate have any concept of how their data can be used against them. Considering that observation and the mass of e-mails we are bombarded with, I find it unlikely an informed decision is going to be made in many cases.
A company has been profited at a cost to the public interest. It is a government subsidy with all that implies. The company could have done better.
From around the Web –
From the web site, 33 Bits of Entropy: (This article highlights another important issue in online privacy. jp)
New lines will need to be drawn defining what is acceptable data-release policy, and in a way that takes into account the actual re-identification risk instead of relying on syntactic crutches such as removing “personally identifiable” information. Perhaps there will need to be a constant process of evaluating and responding to continuing improvements in re-identification algorithms.
Perhaps the ability of third parties to discover information about an individual’s movie rankings is not too disturbing, as movie rankings are not generally considered to be sensitive information. But because these same techniques can lead to the re-identification of data, far greater privacy concerns are implicated.
Today, Netflix presented at the F8 conference to talk about their planned integration with Facebook. You can see what you friends are watching and they can see what you are watching on Facebook. Not only on a granular level, but Facebook will present what it finds to be interesting trends among your friends’ viewing habits. Mark Zukerberg’s example showed that four of his friends just watched movies staring Johnny Depp. Netflix will be integrating with both Facebook’s newly announced Timeline as well as their OpenGraph platform. Facebook will have similar integration with Hulu.
An archaic 1988 law, the Video Privacy Protection Act, currently prevents the sharing of your video watch lists, such as with services like Netflix or Hulu, on social media outlets such as Facebook or Google+. Earlier this month, the US Senate put through an upgrade to the bill to address this issue, to little notice. It was a minor correction to an old set of laws. But when the US House got ahold of it, they put forth some edits, which is where the problem begins.
These changes, as reported by the ACLU, divorces the bill from a larger set of laws, called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. In so doing they eliminated protections which were in place to require a warrant for accessing of cloud-based private electronic communications and other content, such as email, private social network posts, any information stored on cloud based servers. Instead, a subpoena is all that is required, a legal process but one which does not require the due diligence of a warrant, not even requiring an active investigation to acquire.
Wall Street trading debacles raises fears | McClatchy
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, the top Democrat on the panel’s subcommittee that oversees capital markets, said she was very concerned about the volatility triggered by Knight. She supports hearings on the broader effects of the incident and other recent trading troubles.
“Like the problems with the Facebook initial public offering, events like this only further serve to undermine investor confidence in the markets,” Waters said. “Though we don’t yet know exactly what caused the problem with Knight Capital, with a drumbeat of financial market snafus continuing, it’s clear that the industry, with guidance from regulators, needs to strengthen their internal controls.”
Indeed, investors have stuck mostly to the sidelines after suffering crippling stock losses during the financial crisis. Many people have steered clear of sinking money into stocks, worried that big institutional investors and their high-speed tools can manipulate the market.
Knight’s losses reaffirmed Los Angeles retiree Robert Altman’s decision to pull nearly all of his investments out of stocks. Altman said his distaste for the market’s wild swings and technical glitches may confirm industry fears that recent Wall Street technical mishaps could scare off retail investors.
“I’m out of it,” said Altman, 73, who has plowed his savings into municipal bonds. “The little guy has no business in the market anymore.”
Business ethics would seem to dictate that investors’ money should be handled with care. After all, the human beings who invest have interests like long term returns to enable them to live a decent life. But as we can see from the headlines, stock market investment is more a matter of being sheared like a sheep than a fair deal . We’ve had enough scandals to call on the government to act. However, the interests that make money by these methods are well placed, very influential. If you want a safe investment, there are better places to go.
The great Facebook debacle Part 2 #mugs #muppets « simplesimon8
So what’s changed since the demise of Lehmans and the financial crisis of the last few years. Not much by the look of things. Seems that the rich are getting richer, the middle classes are still a great target and the poor, well nobody gives a damn about them anyway!
This mess will be interesting to watch as it plays out. At this point I will go as far as agreeing with Business Insider:
“In one of the biggest IPOs in history, in which a huge amount of stock was sold to small investors, privileged Wall Street insiders once again got top-notch information…and individuals got the shaft.”
Facebook IPO: Retail Investors Lose Out While Wall Street Clients Make Profits
In case a reminder was needed, the fallout from the Facebook IPO illustrates that Wall Street appears to be designed to serve the well-connected at the expense of ordinary people.
Ordinary investors may have lost as much as $630 million collectively from the plunge in Facebook’s stock following its public debut, Bloomberg reports. These are the same people who used hundreds or even thousands of dollars of their prized savings to bet on the stock only to have its value drop to way below its opening price of $38 per share.
Is it moral or ethical to have a rule system which allows the large institutional investors to thrive while penalizing the small investors? Does this encourage responsible investment and make Americans better people?
I think not.
This kind of thing drives people away from investment and it should. That the game is rigged is obvious to the most casual observer. It takes an enormous amount of advertising and badly written text books to get people to buy stock.
Now let’s differentiate here. I heartily approve of investment, that is, buying stock in a company to collect regular dividends and over time have the value of the company go up. That is investment. It carries some risk but it is not the kind of risk carried by those that believe they can buy and sell stock hour by hour, day by day, and make a profit thereby. That is speculation and speculation is inherently risky.
But not all speculators are equal. Let Facebook be a warning to all small investors. Whether you win or lose, investment banks will win.
This is wrong.
It damages faith in the system because the system doesn’t deserve it. If people don’t believe in the basic fairness of society than they will begin to act in ways that are detrimental to that society.
More simply, if playing by the rules doesn’t work, they’ll try something else.
Justice and fairness are for everybody and when they are denied we all suffer.
We should always have in the back of our minds the basic concept of fairness in our dealings. That is how you build a just and fair society.
You punish the wicked and protect the innocent. Is it hard to understand that rule?
This is a lecture, the first of a series about Marcus Aurelius. I’ve read the Meditations a couple of times and I’ve read Epictetus as well. However, a good teacher can put all this in context and that is what is happening here. Unlike many You-Tube teaching videos, the sound is good and the teacher is easy to give your undivided attention to. I enjoyed the lecture. I believe there are three more. Once you are watching this one, the follow ups will be listed on the right hand side of the screen.
I personally find this philosophy compelling but I’m older and more skeptical. So, let’s see where this material takes us.