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Facebook Case Analysis

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 830
  • Category: Facebook

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Q1: Which of the following two positions do you agree with most: communication on the Internet should be made more anonymous, or communication on the Internet should be made more identifiable? Which of the following two positions do you agree with most: communication on the Internet should be made more anonymous, or communication on the Internet should be made more identifiable?

This is a very tough question because I feel as if I can agree with both positions to some extent. However, the problem with these positions is that they are so vague. Anonymous communication can work in some cases, because it prevents other people on the Internet obtaining information about one and other. Nonetheless, via social networking sites such as Facebook, someone can communicate with another person regardless of whether they know who it is or not, unless the privacy settings are altered to the extreme. The call for anonymous communication is supported by the issues that revolve around identity thefts, privacy and money fraud, but with that being said, that same anonymity empowers individuals to rude, impolite, and uncivil behaviour, as mentioned in the Case.

If I had to choose between the two positions, then I’d towards the position that communication over the Internet should be made more identifiable. First of all, for social networking sites such as the one in study, the essence of its existence is for friends and family to remain in contact by sharing photos, updating their thoughts and browsing through one and other’s content. Therefore, people need to know that the Facebook site they’re on is a legitimate one, and that their friend/sibling etc. have actually set it up themselves. Moreover, “identifiable” is a rather subjective (vague) word and I would like to stress that if communication was made more identifiable, then the identities must be approved, information should be validated and their browsing should be monitored, which truly identifies the individual. Although Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook process of identifying someone through a University network is a brilliant idea, the advancements online nowadays means that that alone will not suffice any more.

Q2: If you were the CEO of Facebook, would you make information about users private by default, or shareable by default? What factors would impact your decision?

The default setting for someone’s Facebook privacy settings should be 100% private. The two main factors that lead me to that opinion are: 1. ethical reasons; 2. the fact that a shareable profile could jeopardize that individual’s experience with the company. With a shareable profile, anybody can access it, regardless of who they are or where they’re from, and if the individual began to receive random messages or friend requests off strangers then he/she wouldn’t be very satisfied one can imagine. Although I disagree with such activities and covered it in the first question, the next matter relates to ethical reasoning that should make a profile completely private by default. Since the information entered to an account is not verified, someone can set up a Facebook account and pretend to be 18 years of age, despite being at the tender age of 12. With his/her information shareable, not only does this mean that he/she will be exposed to inappropriate content that is advertised on the website, but one also has to think about the child pornography, bullying and harassment issues that our society is unfortunately faced with nowadays.

Q3: As a current or potential user of Facebook, are you bothered by your friends’ actions being woven into the way advertising appears on your page? Why or why not?

The example in the Case regarding Sean Lane buying a “14K White Gold 1/5ct Diamond Eternity Flower Ring from overstock.com” is a rare occurrence in my opinion, as I have never come across anything even close to that during my Facebook experience. Nevertheless, of course I would be bothered if I saw a friend purchasing something that I don’t approve, but with my friends list on Facebook, I only accept genuine friends to my profile. And with that being said, none of them would conduct themselves in such activities because in all honesty, one must be pretty rash to purchase something via Facebook. Moreover, if an activity as such appears on my page then I would probably end up removing them as a friend.

Managing Organizational Behavior:

The biggest thing for me to take away from this Case concerns moral and ethical values. Indeed, one can be an entrepreneur and make money by expanding his organization through agreements with advertisements that appear on web site profiles etc. But the challenge that excites me is to do it the right way, to overcome obstacles and to find logical solutions, that satisfies customers as well as my employees. A leader must recognize himself as a role model, who inspires the organization to perform with integrity, compassion, honesty and fairness and these traits are what I will aim to acquire.

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