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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Monday, July 11, 2016

Facebook has a new process for discussing ethics. But is it ethical?

Anna Lauren Hoffman
The Guardian
Originally posted Friday 17 June 2016

Here is an excerpt:

Tellingly, Facebook’s descriptions of procedure and process offer little insight into the values and ideals that drive its decision-making. Instead, the authors offer vague, hollow and at times conflicting statements such as noting how its reviewers “consider how the research will improve our society, our community, and Facebook”.

This seemingly innocuous statement raises more ethical questions than it answers. What does Facebook think an “improved” society looks like? Who or what constitutes “our community?” What values inform their ideas of a better society?

Facebook sidesteps this completely by saying that ethical oversight necessarily involves subjectivity and a degree of discretion on the part of reviewers – yet simply noting that subjectivity is unavoidable does not negate the fact that explicit discussion of ethical values is important.

The article is here.