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A Legal or Ethical Obligation of Facebook to Assist a Crime Victim

This work aims to answer whether Facebook has a legal or ethical obligation to assist a crime victim. In this paper, I will recommend three ways that platforms like Facebook may be more proactive and carefully evaluate the types of content that appear in media. The research will be conducted to know whether or not Facebook might be sued for breach of privacy if personal information is shared with advertising agencies. Two adjustments that Facebook should make to foster ethical use of their platform are proposed. Suggestions for adjustments that Facebook should do to entice people to use their platform are made.

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Inaction can be a crime only if the law imposes an affirmative obligation to act. Unless there is a “special relationship” between the possible rescuer and the person in danger, a person is under no legal obligation to save another person. Due to the many cases of increased criminal activity broadcasted on social media online, the questions about whether Facebook or any other platforms are in charge of protecting victims from being harmed or abused. Even though I do not think that Facebook must care about crime victims in terms of law, I feel that it has a moral obligation. Social media sites are not in the business of fighting crime. The law stipulates that those responsible for rescuing a victim from a crime must have received emergency and law enforcement training.

By assisting in the monitoring and controlling of the outcome of life-threatening situations, Facebook exhibits its ethical and moral community standards. Facebook believes in helping everyone. Thus, they encourage its users to report any potentially life-threatening information they see on Facebook Live. (Newcomb, 2017) Facebook is a significant player in the social media world. They understand that the Facebook family exists to assist others in becoming more productive and to assist others in achieving greater levels of prosperity. The advocacy of self-injury and suicide on Facebook is not encouraged. There is a partnership with various groups to serve the Facebook community when therapy is required through stressful life events. The organization also prohibits the dissemination of information that encourages and promotes self-mutilation and eating disorders. (Newcomb, 2017) When comments are made on posts that betray a person’s identity because of these vulnerabilities, Facebook will remove them.

There is no doubt that social media platforms should thoroughly check the content they are posting on their sites to prevent violent behavior. So, there are some suggestions made to solve this problem. One method is to appoint a group to review all content. If such a team exists, there is a good chance that these live postings will never see the light of day. Facebook can be more meticulous and thorough in reviewing content that appears on its platforms. To begin, they can enforce policies by ensuring that individuals follow a code of conduct.

A time delay on all live broadcasts is a second way social media may be more proactive. With that time in place, social media platforms will have adequate time to erase the broadcast and deactivate the user’s account. The third method for social media networks is to be more proactive in implementing filters that can filter out violence, sexual misconduct, violent photos, and other infractions. Messages and postings are encrypted to prevent other users from accessing them unless they have permission (Newcomb, 2017).

People who utilize online social networking sites like Facebook have a right to privacy to a degree. They feel that only their friends will be able to see the information or status updates they post. Users can manage who can see or access their information using security settings. However, there have been instances where Facebook has shared users’ information with third parties without their knowledge or consent, raising concerns about its privacy policies. To put it another way, sharing all of your personal information and status updates on social media is not entirely secure. That is why there is such a perpetual state of privacy ambiguity.

Nonetheless, following a slew of Facebook privacy gaffes, the company made some changes, as users’ privacy is paramount when using social media. Facebook has reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to provide users with prominent notice before disclosing their data. While they may continue to share information with vendors or service providers, they must abide by solid confidentiality obligations following the Data Policy and the agreements we enter into with them.

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In addition, there are some changes that Facebook should bring into its platform to use without violating the ethical rules. The first step is for Facebook to impose sanity checks more strictly on sharing news stories. It has been one of the significant issues for social media platforms in recent years, with the spread of fake news rampant on the forum. (Newcomb, 2017) Second, Facebook needs to be transparent about its plan to exploit user data to attract more advertisers to its platform. The conditions of use for such alternatives are frequently cloaked in legalese, rendering them incomprehensible to most Facebook users. If the terms were more clearly stated in language that everyone could understand, it would alleviate many of the concerns individuals have recently expressed.

Facebook is one of the most widely used social networking sites for socializing, presenting new enterprises, and meeting other internet users. It has become an excellent example of how social media has altered our way of life. Regardless of how far internet technology has progressed, it has undoubtedly created many ethical difficulties and raised many worries about social networking etiquette. As a result, platforms like Facebook should have a moral obligation to assist crime victims as soon as possible after gathering information from its members.


Newcomb, A. (2017). Cleveland Shooting Highlights Facebook’s Responsibility in Policing Depraved Videos. NBC News. Web.

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