Amy Zhao (undergraduate student), Prescott C. Ensign (professor)
Facebook: Ethics vs. Law in Content Moderation
For many years, the online social network service Facebook had been criticized for platforming harmful content, such as incitement of violence, that led to real-world consequences. In 2021, former Product Manager for Facebook’s civic misinformation team and the company’s most significant whistleblower in history shared thousands of pages of confidential internal documents with the Wall Street Journal and claimed “The company’s leadership knows ways to make Facebook and Instagram safer and won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their immense profits before people”. This uncovered the complicated decisions that Facebook would have had to make regarding ethics in its content moderation where its business model relied on user engagement.