Facebook Big Brother Likes Us Case Analysis

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Facebook and Privacy: Big Brother “Likes” Us Case Analysis


Facebook was founded by Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes on Feb 4, 2004 known as Thefacebook.
In the beginning, Facebook was “closed”, limited to college students to share information using their “.edu” email address, until it was opened for the high school students, then opened for the public users, moved beyond the narrow focus and became a social network that could link friends with other friends on the internet. By 2008, Facebook reaches 100 million active users overtaking “MySpace” to become the internet’s largest social network. Facebook introduced a lot of features such as the “Like” button, news feed,
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FTC claimed Facebook made public 800 million users information that was meant for privacy.
Facebook was accused of using photos, videos, and information after users “delete” Total of eight claims by the FTC Zuckerberg’s responded involving Facebook saying, “made a bunch of mistakes”

Social Advertising Feature: Beacon
Beacon - external company that takes information on purchases that users made and advertises it to other users on Facebook. With beacon, you don't have a choice but to see the ads. New York State challenged this because of its privacy laws written over 100 years ago Zuckerberg's response to people who don't appreciate the ads....Facebook is a business supported by advertisements.

Questions for Thought
1. Why is Facebook so successful?

• User friendly and easy to use.
• Source of information and sharing.
• No competition.
• Regular upgrades with new
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Being publicly traded company leads earning much more money than other social media network, worth a lot with fewer employees, a stronger management team and a clear target market in display advertising. However, by time Facebook will be challenging to maintain engaging users and not alienate them as Facebook users will face significant pressure to grow quarter over quarter that may degrade the user experience if the way to achieve that is to blast more useless ads to. So, it’s important for Facebook to maintain the alignment between the needs of their shareholders and their customers (Users) because of the accountability earned, making big mistakes will not be affordable in future.

3. It appears that FB operates with an "oops, I did it again" philosophy. Will this philosophy continue to work once the company is publicly traded?

No, not with this philosophy, as Facebook can no longer hide behind it and stepping over the line on privacy issues and then apologize and “correct” it after the company has been caught. Such mistakes will come with a much higher financial price tag and increased scrutiny by government regulators. Adding, that Facebook manages realize that it can quickly alienate its users violating their privacy rights.

4. Comment on each of the ethical issues mentioned in this case. Rank them

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