Stakeholder Analysis Paper: Mini-Case Analysis #1

 BA 3102 Fall 2017

Stakeholder Analysis Paper #1 (10%)

Facebook, Inc.

Facebook collects a lot of data on its users, which has caused controversy in the past regarding how it uses it. Even with all the data it collects directly, it still wants more information about its users. So it buys it!

“Facebook Privacy: Social Network Buys Data From Third-Party Brokers to Fill in User Profiles” (International Business Times, 2016)

http://www.ibtimes.com/facebook-privacy-social-network-buys-data-third-party-brokers-fill-user-profiles-2466651

In 2014, Facebook actually experimented on users without their consent. After that came to light, Facebook announced it would set up its own version of a research review board, modeled on Institutional Review Boards found at universities to oversee any research that involves human subjects. Not all are convinced.

“Facebook’s Research Ethics Board Needs to Stay Far Away From Facebook” (Wired.com, 2016)

https://www.wired.com/2016/06/facebooks-research-ethics-board-needs-stay-far-away-facebook/

“Facebook has a new process for discussing ethics. But is it ethical?” (The Guardian, 2016)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/17/facebook-ethics-but-is-it-ethical

More recently, Facebook has admitted to using ethnicity as a sorting tool for marketing advertisements. This may be illegal under fair housing laws and federal discrimination laws, but even if it is not, it has a whole bunch of people pretty mad about it.

“Update: Is Facebook Enabling Advertisers to Discriminate by Race?” (Fortune, 2016)

http://fortune.com/2016/10/28/facebook-ad-propublica-race/

Of course, it also faces a similar dilemma to that faced by Apple last year with the FBI: increasing government requests regarding users’ private information from countries all over the world!

“Facebook admits it gave personal details of over 6,000 users to the British government” (International Business Times, 2016)

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/facebook-admits-it-gave-personal-details-over-6000-users-british-government-1598689

And despite publicly declaring that it would increase its employee diversity with regards to race and gender, Facebook didn’t.

“Facebook’s Hiring Process Hinders its Effort to Create a Diverse Workforce” (Bloomberg, 2017).

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-09/facebook-s-hiring-process-hinders-its-effort-to-create-a-diverse-workforce

All in all, 2016 was a rough year for Facebook.

“2016: The Year Facebook became the Bad Guy” (The Guardian, 2016)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/12/facebook-2016-problems-fake-news-censorship

And now, the European Commission has its eye on Facebook’s practices …

“WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google face tough new privacy rules under EC directive” (The Guardian, 2017)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/10/whatsapp-facebook-google-privacy-rules-ec-european-directive

“Google, Facebook face tighter EU grip with new privacy law” (Bloomberg Technology, 2017)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-10/google-facebook-face-tighter-eu-grip-with-new-privacy-law-ixrikusj

Yet, despite these ethical issues and more plaguing Facebook, the company is undeniably successful financially – it is projected to make over $10 billion in 2017.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/01/10/facebook-inc-profits-will-likely-exceed-10-billion-in-2017.html

CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces ethical dilemmas on several levels. He needs a plan to deal with these ethical issues going forward. Your task is to write him a memorandum (memo format) addressing the following questions: 

1) Who are Facebook’s stakeholders and what are their stakes?

2) What attributes do these various stakeholders hold? Describe and prioritize these stakeholders for Facebook – be sure to explain and justify your prioritization.

3) What economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities does Facebook have to these various stakeholders?

4) What actions should Facebook take with each stakeholder? Propose a plan to Mr. Zuckerberg, linking your recommendations to your previous analysis. Your recommended plan should address how Facebook should make business decisions about the ethical problems mentioned and those likely to arise in the future.

You do not need to use all of the above-cited articles in your paper; they are there mainly to help you fully understand the dilemmas confronting Facebook. Don’t forget to use your course content – if you could have written this paper on the first day of our class the same way, you aren’t incorporating enough course concepts/content! The rubric for this paper is attached to the syllabus for your reference.

Please cite any references you use as you use them throughout your paper (through footnotes or parentheses) and write a References section at the end. Use any citation style that would allow me to locate the source itself – if you are not sure how to cite something, just use your best judgment.

Other than using memorandum format, any other formatting choices are your own – double spaced/single spaced, font, margins, etc. Feel free to use tables or figures if they help you make your points. There is no length requirement as length itself is irrelevant; just be sure to check the prompt and the rubric to make sure that you have fully completed the assignment.

When you’re done, submit to Canvas and please bring me a hard copy to class after you’ve submitted.