Do You Have a Moral Duty to Leave Facebook?

from NYTs

I joined Facebook in 2008, and for the most part, I have benefited from being on it. Lately, however, I have wondered whether I should delete my Facebook account. As a philosopher with a special interest in ethics, I am using “should” in the moral sense. That is, in light of recent events implicating Facebook in objectionable behavior, is there a duty to leave it?

In moral philosophy, it is common to draw a distinction between duties to oneself and duties to others. From a self-regarding perspective, there are numerous reasons one might have a duty to leave Facebook. For one thing, Facebook can be time-consuming and addictive, to no fruitful end. In addition, as researchers have demonstrated, Facebook use can worsen depression and anxiety. Someone who finds himself mindlessly and compulsively scrolling through Facebook, or who is constantly comparing himself unfavorably with his Facebook friends, might therefore have a duty of self-care to get off Facebook.

From the perspective of one’s duties to others, the possibility of a duty to leave Facebook arises once one recognizes that Facebook has played a significant role in undermining democratic values around the world. For example, Facebook has been used to spread white supremacist propaganda and anti-Semitic messages in and outside the United States. The United Nations has blamed Facebook for the dissemination of hate speech against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar that resulted in their ethnic cleansing.

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24 Responses to Do You Have a Moral Duty to Leave Facebook?

  1. Joseph Capouch December 7, 2018 at 6:26 pm #

    The question posed in the title of the article “Do You Have a Moral Duty to Leave Facebook?” is in interesting one, without a doubt. I previously have never thought of deleting my account on Facebook some sort of moral or ethical obligation. I have considered doing so, simply because of things like the fact that I don’t use the platform very much anymore, and because I am concerned about how much data they are gathering on me, or how the data on my account is being used or exposed, but none of that is a “duty”. I do think the author made a legitimate case for having that point of view though, however.
    In this article, the topic was raised as to how Facebook has been responsible for undermining democratic values in the world. This is through the allowance of people to spread racism, hate speech, fake news, propaganda, or other harmful posts on the platform. I have never had the point of view that this is Facebook’s fault, as it is ultimately the person spreading that information or coming up with it who is the problem. Although it would seem that the company does not do a good enough job of controlling or regulating that, and for that they are to blame, they shouldn’t be blamed for the existence of it to begin with. But with the way the author paired that argument with the way having an active account encourages others to have an account, and how this gives Facebook its huge audience, I was able to see more logic in the argument. Not to mention allowing the platform to have such an enormous group of people is what also allows the people who do post malicious information harder to find, and punish.
    Overall, I believe that deleting your Facebook account could be a moral thing to do. However, the platform does still have its benefits. It allows me to have a way of contacting distant relatives or friends who I have not seen in a long time, and who I otherwise would have no idea how to contact. This is the largest reason why I do not intend to delete my account. As far as some of the concerns as to why I would want to delete it, I am aware the Facebook already has data on me, and would continue to have that information even if I deleted my account, so I don’t believe that deleting it would help me there, which further discourages me from deleting. Even though I acknowledge the negatives of Facebook as a platform, I do not believe I have a moral duty to leave it.

  2. Paul Lee December 7, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

    The past couple of years, Facebook has been going through some very rough patches as fake news was spread around during the 2017 election. A political data firm Cambridge Analytica used Facebook user’s sensitive information, so they could be specifically targeted with a personalized political advertisement. Facebook has been criticized extensively especially the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. They can easily be hacked and user’s sensitive information that no one should know about can easily be hacked into or made knowledge of.

    Besides Facebook and user information being stolen or used for the wrong purposes, I believe what is scary is that any normal human being with access to the internet, can use Facebook to literally search anyone in the world. Understanding that the person being searched has a Facebook account. That person’s photo, where they worked, family members, their email or number can be viewed upon by the whole world. I also came to learn that users have to check from time to time when Facebook changes their privacy and safety terms for their users, that their privacy is on in the setting. I had no clue that users had to do this and I know many of my peers have not been on Facebook in more than 3 years. They rarely touch their account and do not think any of it, I am one of those people until I read this article and many concerned parties about Facebook.
    I understand that many blame Facebook for these issues and should get their act up. They should change the management and the structure of Facebook but, in the end, Facebook did not want to cause these issues and are sorry for it. I still do believe they need to change how they are structured but, as the author said, I do not think Facebook crossed the moral red line. They did not intentionally sell or gave the sensitive user data information to Cambridge Analytica. With the full knowledge of what Cambridge would do with that type of information.
    Facebook is in a difficult situation that is not entirely their fault. Nonetheless, I do believe, again, that Facebook needs to be proactive in solving their issues before it affects its user population. There are about a billion users around the world using Facebook, all types of sensitive information and linked stuff is on there. It does not seem that Facebook is taking this matter seriously or that the structure of the company will take time to fix. Either way, Facebook now will continuously face issues that will be immoral and larger than the last if it continues down this road of not actively fixing their entire application.

  3. Michael Zera December 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm #

    In the article, “Do you have a moral duty to leave Facebook” presents many valid points as to why an individual should leave this social media application. Previously, I have never thought about leaving Facebook until Professor Shannon brought up Facebook during a class period. Apparently, millions of Facebook users recently have gotten hacked, which is why Professor Shannon explained to fix your Facebook settings, so it does not have your real-world information. However, once I started reading the article, I realized that the author was clearly biased to many of his presenting points in the article. The article presents many negative social benefits such as Facebook is extremely addictive and causes depression and anxiety. I did not like how the author presented this article as he laid it out oddly. Yes, Facebook and most social media sites are technically addictive, but have so many benefits to it. Applications such as twitter and Instagram provide many of my current news information in the world. Same with Facebook, most people I know that use Facebook now and mostly adults over 30, and even students who use it use Facebook primarily for news, family and friends. Also, Facebook brought up a point of Facebook using its democratic views in a negative manner. In this case, this is not Facebook’s fault as many other social media sites have critical individuals speaking their voice, as many do in today’s society. I do feel that young individuals in society needs to control and limit their use of these applications as limiting this will help prevent addiction. Furthermore, Facebook needs to do a better job of controlling and regulating there application because as of late, there has been many instance of taking user’s information. If Facebook does a better job at this, I do not see a problem with Facebook continuing to do what they have been doing for over a decade now.

  4. Dominique Pina December 7, 2018 at 8:55 pm #

    Deleting Facebook is a decision I am sure many people in the past few years have contemplated. This could be for many reasons, but since Facebook has been making news headlines from being involved with all of these data scandals, it would only make sense that a lack of trust be the main reason. We as users can no longer trust what they say, because everytime they tell us something, it is revealed that they are hiding even more information. My personal reason for debating deleting is because of that sense of responsibility. We as customers need to hold companies accountable when they do something wrong. Just complaining about it, brings little motivation for them to truly change when everyone is still using their service. If millions of people stopped using Facebook and moved toward other platforms, they would have to either give the customers what they want or risk losing the whole company. They are comfortable dodging the media’s pitchfork if it means that the users will still stay. Although, in the special case of Facebook, the law is involved. Because of their possible influence in the past election and other issues, they are being investigated. So, do we also need to boycott their website if the law and public eye is forcing them to change their rules? Well that depends whether you believe in the justice of the American legal system and whether you trust Facebook with whatever you are willing to post on there. If your answer is no to any or both of these questions, then I recommend deleting your profile, because as much as Facebook has helped bring people together, there are multiple platforms and ways to do that now, that may not involve as much of a security risk.

  5. Laurie Gallic December 9, 2018 at 1:09 am #

    As a person who used Facebook for about two months, this article is pretty interesting to read. The reasons being that A) I did not know that a lot of these events happened on Facebook and B) I feel that kids my age just missed the cusp of Facebook in its glory days so really understanding its impact is harder for me than for most. Growing up I always remembered my older brothers and my parents using Facebook and MySpace however, my generation really knew Snapchat and Instagram more. Regardless, this article carries a really interesting view on the “moral red line” and whether Facebook has crossed it or not. Again, I haven’t used Facebook or really experienced it at all but I don’t know if I could say that they crossed the red line because as the article hinted to, Facebook is essentially the vessel people use to get their information across. How we interpret that information, whether we decide to react, share, investigate further, is really up to each individual person and their own morals and values. And although they could prevent and should prevent these things from happening I think a lot of the weight lies on the person behind the screen pressing like or dislike or share or whatever it may be. Social media, in particular Facebook has made people more stupid. We stopped questioning things, we’ve closed our minds off to what we don’t want to read or see and we continuously act as if the world needs to agree/see everything from our point of view. Most of these issues have been over-emphasized on social media everywhere. When people begin to realize that they have as much power to interpret-analyze-understand something in themselves, far more than the Facebook algorithm can, we will stop being taken advantage of, regardless of who’s doing it. Obviously, Facebook should be ridiculed for their action, I am not justifying them however, people will continue to use Facebook regardless. I personally do not think they crossed the “moral red line” and perhaps, if they did, we were right there with them. Regardless, I personally think it is time to move on from Facebook. However, there will always be people who disagree or agree and instead share an article on Facebook talking about how we should stop using Facebook.

  6. Lillie Moran January 25, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

    In light of our country’s growing concern with digital privacy, companies such as Facebook are put in the spotlight. In this particular article, digital privacy is not looked at through the scope of factual evidence, but more in a sense of moral evidence.

    The article itself argues that we have a certain moral duty to protect ourselves, and others in the question of digital privacy; however, I think this argument is too complex. When joining Facebook, along with many other social media websites, there is a section of “terms and conditions” that one has to voluntarily sign before joining. In these terms and conditions, it outlines that certain companies have a right to use some of your personal data (such as your birthday) in order to help find posts and other people to connect with. By singing the terms and conditions, one willingly gives up certain “rights” they have to their information. To some, this seems as an issue that has just now been appearing in society; however, we have essentially been doing the same thing for many years, but not necessarily from a technological standpoint. For example, when going through security at an airport, you willingly agree not to carry objects, such as scissors, because they can cause harm to yourself and others. In this way, if you were to carry scissors through security, you have lost the right to do so because of the implication of harm. The examples of singing up for Facebook and entering into airport security can simply be summarized by this- when walking into certain situations with the knowledge that you can or cannot do something, you lose certain rights that you would have anywhere else. Because of this, I do not think people have a “moral” obligation to leave Facebook.

    On the other hand, there is the growing problem of “fake news” that seems to cloud over Facebook posts. In recent years since the election of Donald Trump, this issue has surpassed leaps and boundaries, and has divided our country even further, but whose fault is it? In my opinion, Facebook has not taken any sort of stance on the political spectrum. The content posted on Facebook is not the employees of Facebook commenting on politics, it is the people signed up for Facebook. Since we have the right of freedom of speech, Facebook has no right to take down any post that a person has made, regardless of the falsity of the post. It is not Facebook’s moral obligation to hunt down every bit of fake news- it is the person’s obligation. This has been a problem for many years and has even been presented on other social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter, so why is it Facebook’s problem? It is as simply put as this- Facebook is the giant scapegoat. As humans, we are naturally programmed to put blame on someone else rather than ourselves- Facebook is just the new target. It is not Facebook’s problem if you are offended with another’s post. In this way, there is no moral obligation to leave Facebook because it seems as though they promote fake news because the fake news comes from humans themselves.

    There is no telling that this war over digital privacy will end sooner rather than later. With growing technology and the growing demand for social media over a new generation, social media sites, such as Facebook, will always be under careful watch. In my personal opinion, we do not have a “moral” obligation to leave Facebook. It is not Facebook’s fault in the topic of digital privacy, and the spread of fake news- it is humans themselves. Our society needs to fix themselves before blaming companies.

  7. Keegan Sullivan January 25, 2019 at 2:26 pm #

    If someone walked up to me and asked, “Do you have a moral duty to leave Facebook?” I think my simple response would be “no.” A duty is an obligation, something that is required of me and I do not see leaving Facebook as something that must be done. As stated in the article, there are two types of duties: duties to oneself and duties to others. First comes the duty to oneself. Facebook, for me, has been a huge connection platform for college. In my 3 years of university, I have bought numerous books, joined various clubs, and even found 3 of my roommates who I am very close with today. Buying books from fellow students off of Facebook could probably be done on a separate meeting place but Facebook is simple because there are groups such as “Seton Hall Class of 2020” where we all share something in common; the classes we take. Therefore it is easy for us to recycle our books to fellow students and we can make some of our money back. I do not consider myself to be a socially awkward person so I never expected to have to meet my roommates on a website. But I also never expected to attend school in New Jersey. Facebook made it easy for me to adapt to Seton Hall by giving me a comfortable place to call home. I met my sophomore year roommate (I transferred to SHU as a sophomore) on a Facebook page for kids who did not know where they were living in the upcoming semester. I messaged him because he said he liked sports, was a management major, and liked to have fun. Those were all things we had in common that I could have never known while sitting in my house in Ohio without the help of Facebook.
    Now comes the social aspect of social media. The article brings up the point of people using Facebook to promote hate speech. While the United Nations blames social media for a major ethical issue, I don’t see the platform as the problem more than the users. And if I were to leave Facebook, the hate speech would continue. Personally, I do not see the hate, but I am fully aware that it is present. The article claims that If I were to leave the platform, there would be a domino effect that would lead to Facebook losing many customers. However, I do not agree with this. If one of my friends were to stop using Facebook, I am not sure I would even notice. Now of course I can only speak for myself but Facebook seems to be much less prevalent compared to the likes of Instagram and Twitter. I believe Instagram and Twitter have become the more influential platforms but they are not the ones at question today. So while this article does make some valid arguments, I am not convinced I have a moral duty to leave Facebook.

  8. Dylan Flego January 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm #

    When I first signed up for Facebook roughly 7 years ago, I joined the social media site with the intention of staying in touch with friends and family in a more convenient way. At the time, Facebook had been rapidly growing and pulling in a large number of users to their platform every single day. I did not need to worry about having my own personal information or data redistributed elsewhere, and most other users on Facebook did not harvest this concern at the time, either. However, as several years passed, I utilized Facebook much less frequently, even before hearing about the media’s infamous reports of Facebook granting other companies access to its users’ data. I personally did not gain much use from it, and therefore, ended up deleting my account without much hesitation. In fact, it was quite a simple process, and the decision to stop using Facebook has overall been a beneficial one to me.

    Nowadays, Facebook still has an unfathomably large number of users, many of them having been on the site for quite a few years, too. On the other hand, this raises the following questions: while Facebook does indeed have many registered users, which of those users are actually active with their consistent usage of the platform? Furthermore, which users are not even real people, but rather bots created to take advantage of Facebook’s interface? Or perhaps, are these bots developed to gather information on other users? These questions become glaring concerns when factoring in the recent coverage of Facebook’s limited worry for distributing its users’ data.

    What’s even more confusing is the userbase itself. If Facebook is undergoing all of these problems, and the millions of people who make use of Facebook daily are hearing about how users’ information is being used for the company’s own means, then why do they still continue to log on to the site? It is honestly a bit baffling to say the least, especially if these people are those who are legitimately have concerns for Facebook’s real intentions. I believe that if one is truly worried about their privacy, they should resort to refraining from using Facebook constantly.

  9. Luke Tyler January 25, 2019 at 4:13 pm #

    Growing up in the age of social media, my life has been predisposed to an everyday dose of social media. While, I typically view social media as a harmless source of entertainment and community, Dr. Liao suggests differently in his article. Liao’s article discusses the moral issues that come with being a user on Facebook. One of these issues come from the spread of hate speech and propaganda that can gain the attention of users that believe in similar ideologies. Many might think that these online posts and comments have no real-world effect, but in the recent news that statement has not held up. It was the Facebook platform that had ultimately caused the “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar that came from the “dissemination of hate speech against Rohingya Muslims.” At first when reading that sentence in the article, I immediately felt in denial and was disconnected to these claims that Liao presented. To me it seemed impossible that something so innocent as Facebook could contribute to bigotry and deaths. But, the more I read into the article I realized that Liao was describing the exact reaction I had. When I first imagine Facebook, I picture how my mom is obsessed with talking with her co-workers on the social media site and all she posts is family photos. Her online interaction is so innocent that I can’t imagine any connection to hate speech or racism, but that’s exactly what Liao talks about. Even if a user doesn’t engage in nefarious activity, their presence online can still enable others who do participate in these negative causes. Also Liao brings up another example, one that action has a direct effect on me and my data. The information from Facebook profiles like mine were “harvested” and sold to third parties like Cambridge Analytica which ended up swaying the election. And even though I might never use my Facebook account, my information is still used for Facebook to test different algorithms. Those little incidences is what ultimately scares me when it comes to social media because it has completely shifted my perspective. I not only have a role in the advancement of platforms like Facebook, but I am attributing to these world issues. That leads me to my conclusion about my social presence online. Having an account is not just a responsibility, but it’s a duty to be careful of how important you may be in advancing an ideology. Even though I don’t use Facebook all that much maybe it would be better if I just ended up deactivating the account and stepping back from the site.

  10. Tro'vonta Burgess January 25, 2019 at 4:56 pm #

    As Facebook is one of the prime uses of social media as over 2.01 billion people actively use it on a daily basis. The evolution of Facebook has become fascinating as it started as a way of meeting friends, connecting with family and networking but has become a place of business. Users today use Facebook for advertising, marketing, consulting, job affiliation and so many other things where they actually make money from. Whereas when this platform first became popular lots of these options weren’t available or promoted. However, in this article, the point of using it for negative publicity for certain campaigns, advertisements and ways of spreading false information is not right for personal gain. This is an ethical issue that many are worried about when it is used for this reason and it’s not right for Facebook to endorse or allow such negligence to take place on their site as millions use it daily. It is also troubling to hear the harmful effects of any social media platform can cause based on a person’s motives and state of mind.

    Although this article focused specifically on Facebook, they are not the only company that is tracking user’s information for data analysis to target certain individuals with specific information. This is something that other companies like Target, Walmart, Amazon, and many others are using to better their companies and daily sales. The only downfall is assuring that the algorithms created are working to accurately single out a certain group or demographic, where the information provided is sent to the right audience. Therefore, this information recorded benefits the business and yes should be used wisely for the purpose of bettering the company. Also, the Facebook audience has changed from having a younger audience to now focusing and catering to more of an older age demographic. Meaning that Facebooks needs to be more proactive in addressing issues that affect the primary individuals who use their platform most. While Facebook is not the one to blame entirely, they are responsible for the content on their site and its relevancy to how it reflects on society. There is definitely room for improvement in many areas within their company as a whole and should strive to do better when it comes to addressing issues users are having with there platform. Overall, holding Facebook accountable for their actions is right but individuals shouldn’t leave unless they feel morally obligated to do so.

  11. Abdulrafay Amir January 25, 2019 at 5:09 pm #

    Facebook to me is a liability for people in our generation today. I myself never even wanted to make a Facebook profile, but as my parents insisted, “your family in Pakistan needs to be able to keep up with you.” That led me to creating my Facebook profile and making posts here and there to keep my family satisfied however, I did find Facebook to be a real mess when I would occasionally scroll through the website. I understand that many people get addicted to social media and Facebook is not the only one because there is Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat to an extent. However, the harm Facebook can cause is far greater than the rest and that could attribute to the younger generation being on those apps but that is besides the point. There are many positive messages and great communities on Facebook but there is a vast majority of negativity present on that website. The fact that people going through Facebook promotes “depression” goes to show that people get enveloped within the things that people talk about every day.
    Facebook is littered with posts that are considered as spam or constant flows of fake news that I myself can’t stand to see. There are all these ads and people promoting things that just aren’t something I prefer to see when I’m scrolling through social media. It appears people are always making the most effort to impress people by posting on social media by going above and beyond. Especially on Facebook, I have noticed the obsession of people telling details about their lives as they show where they are everyday, who they are with, the things they eat, etc. Overall, it really seems that Facebook has become a “barren wasteland” for people who just go on the platform to argue or hate on other people by spreading negative news and hateful comments. It is clear that not everyone will realize or will ever recognize that Facebook is so harmful but it is still our job to let them know the harm they are causing themselves.

  12. Brian L Hilyard January 25, 2019 at 5:18 pm #

    To answer the title directly: maybe. If the question was “Should you Leave Facebook?” the answer would be a definite yes. However, the added consideration of a moral duty blurs the lines as morals are partially subjective and differ across cultures and possibly every single individual.

    Even the author expresses uncertainty. The sub-heading of the article and examples given later clearly reveals the author believes Facebook has given the ability for people to perform unethical activities with incredibly undesirable consequences. Then the very last sentence contains his decision to stay on Facebook until it becomes clear a line is crossed. The company has given no indication of changing their behavior, which is reflected in Facebook’s stock price failing to recover from its 42% drop in 2018. I would ask him why he should wait for it to happen. Other platforms exist that are similar to Facebook and have not been embroiled in controversy such as Google+. Granted they are not as streamlined and user friendly (as far as user interface is concerned) as Facebook, the mass migration of users may finally give Facebook the conviction to take actions that would ensure protection from mass data mining without their users’ knowledge.

    As somebody who has not used Facebook since 2014, I do not see the appeal for it to begin with. I use Twitter, which is a perfect substitution as far as I can tell. If I was a regular Facebook user, I would have been aggravated enough by now to want to send message and abandoned the platform as the Cambridge Analytica controversy was unfolding. However, despite wanting to send a message of my dissatisfaction with the company, I doubt anything short of a mass migration away from social media sites also owned by Facebook, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, will force their hand. Once Facebook shifts from a platform that anything can be posted to a site where only certain information that is deemed truthful and accurate can be posted, Facebook is then able to be held liable for any misinformation that is posted on the entire site. Whether or not Facebook will ever make that change is solely dependent if their lost revenue outweighs the potential fine and/or penalties they may be subject to for any slander or libel found on their platform. Although this does not change the fact that leaving Facebook hinders others’ ability to do harm through the site.

    So, your answer may depend on what you wish to have happen. If you feel that merely being used for data mining is an unethical action on your part, then leave, but if you deem the actions (or inactions) of Facebook to be the immoral force to be stopped, it might be the case that they will continue ignoring the problem indefinitely, thus making any action you take negligible.

  13. David Torres January 25, 2019 at 5:43 pm #

    It is no doubt that Facebook was once the giant of the social media industry. Having billions of people be able to stay connected by sharing, liking, and posting pictures was something of imagination to past generations. Facebook has made that happen. It was booming with millennials a few years back, but now not so much. Although there still is booming activity on the social media platform, it has an older crowd.
    I personally have not created a Facebook up until about 2014. I was forced to make a Facebook account because it was a mandatory requirement to have access to all the latest practice dates, schedules, and games for my high school soccer team. I would have never made a Facebook account if it wasn’t for that reason. However, to delete your Facebook account entirely is a different story. Let me tell you why deleting your Facebook account is bad for you.
    Many people can benefit from Facebook nowadays. Facebook now has several useful features that are game breaking to entrepreneurs that want to advertise their businesses online. With Facebook having an older crowd in the recent years, your marketing advertisement efforts will have a higher success rate. This is because of the older crowd that Facebook has is more likely to have a career, or a steady income. Another reason why deleting your Facebook account is not a good idea is because of the data analytics feature. This feature allows you to see exactly how many clicks, visits and sales you are having each and every day. There are so many other reasons as to why deleting Facebook can leave you with feelings of regret. It won’t hurt to refrain from clicking that delete button.

  14. Daibelis Acevedo January 25, 2019 at 6:07 pm #

    After reading this article by philosopher Dr. Liao, I completely agree with the idea of everyone taking a stand and leaving Facebook. Although Facebook is a way to communicate with many people from around the world, keep up to date with everyone’s lives and see how everyone is doing, it still has a very negative impact on the rest of the world. The section that stood out to me the most from this article was the studies proving that Facebook has shown to “worsen depressions and anxiety” (Liao). I think the Facebook community as a whole has been affecting many young people all around because of the posts that are being shared over and over again. It is a terrible place to spend time on and I don’t think many people have realized it yet.
    Facebook does become addicting when someone spends most of their time scrolling through the timelines and forgetting about the rest of the world. The book that is linked to this article from Rachel L. Frost and Debra J. Rickwood is where the studies came from and I would love to take time to read this book and learn more about the terrible emotional outcomes that come from Facebook. Reading further into the article I learned a lot about what is being posted on Facebook. I am not a regular Facebook user, so I am not quite familiar with the things people have been seeing. I do have a Facebook account and it is only for work-related updates. My job asked me to create an account because they post about staff meetings, announcements or events, so I use it strictly for work. It was interesting to learn more about what people are experiencing on Facebook nowadays and how it is affecting the Democratic political party. I also liked how they broke up the reasoning into three sections, explaining each and every way the Facebook community can be affecting everyone, not just those who post one meaningless picture. The analogy that was given of the experimental/control group was a really great way to help readers understand the point of what the article is trying to present.
    The importance of recognizing that a re-post and/or retweet is some type of endorsement towards the person or content is important. Sharing posts that are negative, or hurtful toward the Democratic party, even if it is a reaction opposing what is being posted is wrong. As described in the above article, any type of reaction or re-post is giving more notice and fame to the post. It is better to ignore it or simply get off of Facebook than to give any more attention to it. I think it is extremely important for everyone to understand this idea because people think that by sharing something, they are going to stop what is happening or create change, they are wrong. It is only bringing more attention to the wrong things. I strongly agree that if this Facebook situation continues in this direction, action must be taken, and changes must be made. It is only going to work with teamwork, and it is only going to work if it is a collective thought between everyone on the Facebook community.

  15. Demetri Allen January 25, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

    The 21st century has become defined by social media. This, however, is a double-edged sword. On one end it is a great way to stay connected with people but on the other end it has completely consumed our society. Facebook was one of the first big pioneers of social media, and allowed you to chat with friends, upload pictures and video, and play games. While Facebook may have started out as a simple website to catch up with old friends and post pictures of your pets it has now become integral to some businesses. Now Facebook is being use promote, advertise, and market products and companies. They do this in the form of the advertisements littered throughout your Facebook feed so while you scroll past a video of your best friend’s daughter walking for the first time, you’ll be hit with an ad for some soda company. Dr. Liao’s divulges why Facebooks influence is a bad thing. Liao explains how Facebook collects data about its user to tailor the type of advertisement that they come across. So, when you talk about how much you love Samsung products of you feed Facebook make sure you get more Samsung ads in hopes that pushes you to buy more of your products. While companies rave at this idea the darker side of things is something more concerning. Laio talks about how companies such as Cambridge Analytica used that personal data to influence the 2016 election. This event led to Facebooks founder and CEO Mark Zucker standing before the US congress in 2018 to prove Facebook itself had no direct correlation to Cambridge Analytica actions. With as much time people spend on social media websites like Facebook have made it too easy for companies to control what users are seeing. This leads to many false articles and fake news flooding the internet and with the declining rate of people that actually watch the news on tv the sphere of influence is much bigger. Laio’s question as to if not leaving Facebook is apart of the problem is a statement on social media as a whole and how easy it is to be exploited on the internet. More and more people are spending more time online without realizing how problematic its becoming.

  16. rayzan alarashi January 27, 2019 at 11:17 pm #

    In the recent years of Facebook’s existence, there have been several controversies that have arisen that would make one question, should I delete my Facebook? Despite such controversies I do not believe that anyone is morally obligated to delete their Facebook unless it is for their own personal benefit. For example, if one finds themselves aimlessly scrolling through Facebook wasting time or are even being harmed by the app in a sense that seeing others doing better lowers their own self-esteem, then yes, they should delete Facebook. It is true that Facebook is no longer the app it once was due to the constant advertisements, fake news, and provocative articles that are constantly being shown to all, but this does not mean that by owning a Facebook you are supporting such things. This also means that deleting your Facebook will not eliminate such things from existing. By deleting your Facebook, you will not be doing any duty to others because you will simply be forgotten among the billions of users. Rather than deleting your Facebook in protest of its controversies, it would seemingly make more sense to bring attention to the matter in hopes of inspiring change rather than just vanishing off the app. If certain individuals are using Facebook to spread hate or fake news, then how is leaving the app good for others sake? I am sure that Facebook is fully aware of the problem occurring on its platform and are doing what they can to ensure that those issues are being handled accordingly but saying that by deleting ones account will encourage quicker results is an overstatement. Ultimately it is not up to Facebook entirely to fix what’s happening on its app as it is us, the users, that control what is shared, posted, and viewed. Also, the decision of deleting your Facebook should be up to whether the app is useful to you anymore, not based on anything to do with morals.

  17. Deep Patel January 31, 2019 at 10:00 am #

    Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms that is out there. I have been on Facebook for over five years. I believe currently Facebook is more used by the elder people such as parents and grandparents. As the younger generations uses Snap chat, Twitter, and Instagram more often. I remember when Facebook came out and it was a great way to connect with friends and family, share pictures, and write or comment about your thoughts. However, people are going to misuse Facebook in unmoral ways than it was intended for use. This company has been in the news for the wrong reasons as they have been accused of spreading white supremacist, making up news that not accurate, and spreading hate to people that is uncalled for. Unfortunately, there are people like that and since Facebook is open to everyone it is going to happen. I have seen the bad is Facebook but I have also seen how Facebook has been beneficial to society.
    In the case of the Cambridge Analytica, I believe Facebook should get blamed for this story and they need to change something to make sure this does not happen again. I believe they need to change the way people can post their thoughts on the site but also make sure their privacy information is 100% private. They should have a strict policy where if the users use Facebook in a negative way they should get banned and never be allowed back to prevent issues like this. Obviously, Facebook was used in the wrong way here but that is just what’s going to happen when people use social media. People use it in a negative way and the blame will go to the company. I definitely believe they need to change the way they function and avoid allowing there users to use Facebook in a negative way. However, I definitely did not think it crossed the moral red like as they did not intentionally give out user data information to Cambridge Analytica. Therefore, Facebook needs to be more aware of these types of data breechings in order to prevent them from happening again and keeping their users safe.
    Facebook is so well known and people are always going to try to bring it down. They do not know that Facebook has also been very positive to people. They have helped raise money to give to families affected by natural disasters and health issues. Facebook is not all bad there are many goods with Facebook. It is unfortunate that people violate Facebook because I believe that it is a great way for people to share ideas, thoughts, pictures, and connect with the community to make an impact in society. I will not leave Facebook, I get valuable information from it and it keeps me updated on news and stories from the outside world.

  18. Aidan Nathaniel Clee January 31, 2019 at 3:29 pm #

    I do not think that it is morally wrong to be on Facebook if you are using it for the right reasons. If I’m going to make that claim though then the “red lines” like referenced in the article would need to be made clear. I believe that the first topic they talked about which was the mental effect of Facebook could be helped by the company itself helping regulate. I’ve done extensive research on the mental effects of social media such as Facebook on people and what I’ve read basically concludes that there’s always a negative effect on the mind as all humans look for ways to separate themselves from others and put themselves on top so they see the perfect lives of others on Facebook and expect to compare themselves to that picture of others lives and nobody has the perfect life so it causes one to be self-conscious and think they aren’t good enough. In this way I think for selfcare reasons some people who struggle with being self-conscious and having some mental issues already shouldn’t be on Facebook as they are only hurting themselves by being on there. It also wouldn’t help to have people on the app that judge and cyberbully others as it is known it happens and people commit suicide over the harassment, they can be taking on Facebook so people that go and harass others should be taken off the site by Facebook if they want to maintain a good community. Mentally social media can be a lot and those that go on and harass people make it much worse so yes there shouldn’t be those on Facebook. It wouldn’t be morally wrong still though because there are people that go on and just post pictures to be happy and talk and update their friends so there is no mental problems with group chatting your friends and keep each other in the loop on each other’s lives. The red line is where people create an environment of negativity. To address the articles talks on hate speech, politics, and taking data you would have to put that on the responsibility of Facebook. It is there responsibility to not be promoting bad messages on their site because then yes everyone should avoid Facebook for crossing the line and not regulating their site which has great influence on the minds of others. I also believe that the data Facebook receives shouldn’t be given out so that people can be targeted by personalized ads. People need to go on here and see real news and develop their own opinion, by not regulating this then Facebook is crossing the line and condoning the use of their data to trick others.
    Overall my point is that it is not morally wrong to be on Facebook. We just have the responsibility of being civilized and keeping the positive environment and Facebook has the responsibility of maintaining this atmosphere and not letting their data be used to trick others with fake news.

  19. Domenico Cirielli February 1, 2019 at 8:51 pm #

    The New York Times article mentioned in this post posed a question that is simple in language, but complex in nature. Do we, as a society, have a “moral duty” to leave Facebook? Facebook, as many are likely aware of, has come into controversy in the recent past regarding the collection of personal information and allowing outside companies to use that information to their gains. To me, the issue is not whether continued usage of social media platforms like Facebook allows for the continuance of such behavior by these companies, but rather how our usage is affecting us. When one agrees to the terms of usage, on really anything these days, you’re signing off for that respective company to be able to use your information, whether that be to better your digital experience or produce more effective advertising that caters to your wants and needs. So, it’s not like this is a solely a Facebook problem. The real problem is how Facebook, and really any social media platform for that matter, is affecting us psychologically. I agree with the NYT article in the sense that we have a moral duty – not to stop supporting Facebook before it crosses “a moral red line” – but to save ourselves from the issues that arise from being on social media that directly affect our well-being as humans.

    It is known that social media usage is addictive. In fact, according to an article on Forbes, “all social media is addictive by design…maximizing engagement is in their business model.” This is more alarming than the distribution of data to other companies to help better one’s online platform experience. The fact that companies resort to tactics that “trigger psychological responses in people” is highly alarming, especially during a time where mental health is an issue of great importance and to which so much attention has been given to. While I understand that digital platforms have many uses that are beneficial to helping humans connect with each other or to facilitate a digital workplace, it needs to be understood that these platforms promote behavior that is in fact detrimental to one’s health. For one, it drives human to seek even more validation than they do in real life. As individuals, we want to know that other people condone our behavior or share our thoughts, and the constant need for that to be reinforced through social media is clear. This is very dangerous and can lead to real mental issues as the feeling of rejection can easily arise when we don’t receive such validation. Another detrimental aspect of social media is the desire to never be left out of the social picture. FOMO, fear of missing out, was first introduced in 2000 by a marketing strategist Dan Herman, who suggest that one of the biggest drivers of social media usage comes from the fear that if individuals are not connected to social media platforms, they will miss out on things going on around them. From a personal perspective, it is not fun to see your friends hanging out without you and that leads to feelings of less self-worth and even sometimes depression. It is important to realize that life online is not the only life we have – there’s a whole world around us waiting to be interacted with.

    To reinforce, we do not have a moral duty to leave Facebook out of fear of how it will use our personal information or leverage our usage to give it’s company financial advantages. Rather, we should be looking out for ourselves, and realizing whether or not our continued usage of platforms like Facebook is affecting our health in a way that is detrimental. Like any other dangerous substance or thing on this planet, Facebook, and social media as a whole, needs to be monitored and regulated. If this regulation never comes into play, we need to recognize that it is our duty to regulate our own behavior to ensure our well-being, both physically and psychologically.

  20. Keara Prystash February 5, 2019 at 11:14 pm #

    While Facebook has its benefits lately in light of recent events implying face books objectionable behavior, is there a duty to leave it?
    I without a doubt have almost left Facebook numerous times. These instances occurred simply because I was constantly comparing myself to others, felt watched, and felt it was a waste of time or simply not trendy enough. Never though, did I stop and think about the impacts ethically and morally Facebook may have. I knew to an extent that Facebook has heavily been targeted by the government for collecting data about its users; which I think is disturbing and wrong and which as caused me to almost delete my page numerous times but, I never realized how much posts can affect ideas and hate to be spread.
    In the article the author discusses how morally we all have duties to others. As the posts and links shared on that site that may imply or describe hateful, racist, anti-semitic and un-democratic ideals are the sites fault. While I do believe Facebook could better monitor these posts, they only exist because of a hateful user. I also think that being angry Facebook doesn’t regulate enough only further makes the “Big-Brother” mentality of it’s users activity, and tracking of data to become normalized which it should not be. The platform allows for ideas to be spread but ultimately those creating and sharing those ideas are the ones to blame and sometimes hard to track down. In the end however, I see a problem with certain users/people that use the site and not necessarily the site itself as it predominately connects family, friends, shares news, and sometimes even helps find pets homes. The pro’s that Facebook has do not technically out weight the cons but, the negative side of data collecting is being done on other sites as well which is getting hard to escape these days and for that reason I don’t feel a moral duty to leave the site for good at the moment.

  21. Tyler Graham February 6, 2019 at 3:13 pm #

    The question posed by the article is something that I’m sure goes through the heads of many avid Facebook users. Early in my teen years I was in the same bandwagon as everyone else; giving Facebook all of my data to make money off of so I could have a cool profile. I’ve since lost access to that account, and it remains stuck in 2013 where I left it, like a time capsule. There are many things there that I wish I could remove, since they no longer represent who I am. Since then I’ve gone through the effort to make a second account, but purely to keep in touch with family. Family members often tell me to add them on Facebook, and I feel that helps keep everyone trapped there; because they feel like they have to join or stay. It’s no doubt that Facebook is seen by many as a “villain”, They sell data, are used to spread fake news, and have been involved in many controversies. I’ve seen the effects of Facebook too. My mother, an avid user, often compares her life to that of her Facebook friends in a negative way. I firmly hold that she would live a better life if she deactivated her account. That isn’t to say Facebook isn’t useful, but for too many people it becomes their lifeblood. Seeing people put their entire life on Facebook concerns me. Moreover, an alarming amount of people with not the best ideas (to say the least) are using Facebook as a larger platform to spread hate and disinformation. As for morality though? In my opinion, if you already have an account with your data on it, there is no point in deactivating since they definitely still keep your info (basically making money off of you while you don’t even get to use their service). However, I would argue that if you have not signed up for Facebook, you should refrain from doing so, so as not to fuel the machine further. Were entering a world where technology is advancing too fast for the law to catch up – it will be interesting to see how these next years with Facebook play out.

  22. Allya Jaquez February 7, 2019 at 9:11 pm #

    I honestly believe that only you have the power to stop using social media, not any one else. To many people facebook and other social media sites are very time consuming and create problems that should have never even started. But Facebook has been known for putting out many posts about politics and that is when a lot of going back and forth happen between facebook users and lead to serious problems. I know for a fact that most Facebook users either once or twice have thought about possibly deleting their account because it has been effecting them in a bad way. Even I was one of those individuals a few years ago but then a few new social media apps were created and I distanced myself completely from Facebook. Those who work for Facebook have access to everything you include on that site which I think is very scary because a lot of individuals put there number, hometown and even where they work. After a while I felt as though negative things could start happening to you if random people found out exactly where you live and show up without notice. Now, Facebook is seen as a social media site where people put out false information about everything and everyone. I feel as though a lot of people are currently deactivating their accounts or just not joining at all because of all the negative things that are done on it. In a few years, I personally do not see as many people sticking to Facebook.

  23. Joe Cangelosi February 20, 2019 at 9:18 pm #

    No one has a moral obligation to do anything for anyone that is not themselves. People have to make their own decisions on what they want and not influence others in a negative way. It is up to each individual to come to there own conclusion about product or service without having someone telling them what to do, especially if the people who are telling you what to do have had a negative experience. This is the case with the recent events involving Facebook. Facebook has been criticized recently with reports of election meddling and hate speech. Each of these problems have nothing to do with Facebook itself. These issues have everything to do with how an individual interprets this information. False information passed through Facebook can always be checked, It is not social medias fault that people do not take the time to check if information is accurate. Hate speech on social media is not as big of a problem as many people make it to be. I think that people can misinterpret many things that are said as hate speech when the intention was never to negatively attack anyone. I do believe that people do set out to hurt people on social media but I think that whoever hate speech is directed towards can always handle it in a better manner than thinking they are always the victim. Overall I believe that social media was a good idea but was used inappropriately, and that is why we have seen so much negativity online recently.

  24. DawnJ February 21, 2019 at 11:57 pm #

    Like others have stated here, each person’s moral obligation is to themselves, not to anyone else.

    The last few years of news regarding facebook’s practices of sharing information it should not have shared, as well as the privacy breaches and what seems to be ongoing scandals have been eye opening for a lot of people. I have not used facebook in 6 years, and I think since I no longer use facebook I probably do not feel as betrayed as those who do use it. However, I do have a moral compass that keeps me listening to the current events and it bothers me to know how many people have been betrayed in one form or another. It is also disturbing to know that hatred and other destructive activities spread across facebook and the company never really put remedies in place – nothing effective at least. Investing in ways to make the platform a morally healthy place is a smart and worthwhile investment.

    I believe the start of facebook was an innocent and genius idea. But it seems the company grew too big too fast and it became a challenge to manage. Greed likely also played a part and got in the way of purpose. So now we have this social media giant that we don’t know what to do with. Where is facebook headed? While some people continue without second thought, others are reconsidering whether to interact with it any longer. Its sad that such a great thing ended up being used for bad purposes as well, but it is facebook’s responsibility to fix.

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