The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Strategic CSR - Facebook

This is the last CSR Newsletter of the Spring semester.
Have a great summer and I will see you in August!
The 5e of Strategic CSR contains a new case-study on the media, in general, and Facebook and related issues, in particular. The article in the url below builds on an earlier Newsletter (Strategic CSR – Facebook) to add an interesting twist:
"Facebook may eventually have more dead users than living ones. If Facebook continues to grow at its current rate, the site could have 4.9 billion deceased members by 2100, according to [new research]. Even if growth had stopped entirely last year, the study finds, Facebook would be looking at about 1.4 billion dead members by 2100. By 2070, in that scenario, the dead would already outnumber the living."
This, of course, raises the interesting question of who owns the data of these people's profiles and pages, filled with their histories, captured in words and photos. The scale of Facebook's success raises the stakes in terms of what to do with these data:
"'Never before in history has such a vast archive of human behavior and culture been assembled in one place.' … 'Controlling this archive will, in a sense, be to control our history.'"
Facebook is aware of this problem and is responding, somewhat:
"As it stands, Facebook users who are alive can choose a 'legacy contact' who gets access to much of the account's data after the original user dies – at which point the account can be 'memorialized.' Others, however, cannot log into it, posing a potential problem if a person dies before designating a legacy contact."
In other words, the issue of real death and virtual life remains a legal and ethical challenge:
"Is it time to appoint social media executors? Should we collect our passwords and include them in our wills? Should our Instagram accounts become part of the historical record?"
Have a great summer.
David Chandler
© Sage Publications, 2017
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Facebook could have 4.9bn dead users by 2100, study finds
By Matthew Cantor
April 24, 2019
The Guardian