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Patel1 Tanvi Patel Mrs.Bonora Comp. Found.

/ 1B 3/30/11 Ethical Quandary for Social Sites The New York Times Article Ethical Quandary for Social Sites debates the issue of social media and their growing part in the revolutions. More importantly, it talks about the issues the sites and their companies are facing, on what rules they should enforce and in what cases it is unethical to enforce their rules. The article speaks of one case, the case of Hossam elHamalawy and Flickr. In this case, the issue was that Mr. el-Hamalawy uploaded pictures of vile and traitorous police officers of Egypt who had committed crimes. The goal was to get anyone who knew of these people to report it so those people could be stopped from doing wrong. The problem was that Flickr has a rule that all uploaders must upload pictures they took themselves. Due to the pictures not being his own work, Hossams account was deactivated. This caused two problems; firstly, it stopped more people from helping find these people. Then, this also made it known that Mr. el-Hamalawy was the uploader of those pictures. This took away his sleep because he was terrified that those ex-police officers were going to find him and kill him. So the question is, did Flickr do the right thing? This article also talks about another case in which a member on Youtube uploaded a video of police officers torturing a civilian. This video was marked inappropriate by many people and so it was removed. Later it was reevaluated and then allowed again; due to protests. So was what Youtube right? Finally this article also talks about another case. This has to do with the IsraeliPalestinian conflict and Facebook. There is a page on Facebook called the Third Palestinian

Patel2 Intifada. This page calls for Palestinians to take part in an uprising on Palestinian Terrritory. This page has 240,000 members and this number has scared Israeli officials and so they have asked Facebooks chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to remove the page. Well this put Facebook into a hard predicament. Do they stay neutral and let the page stay because it speaks of no violence; or do they remove the page, becoming non neutral? So Facebook decides to allow the page to stay, but have now made Israel an enemy. So is what Facebook did right? This article is called Ethical Quandary for Social Sites and that title definitely applies. Every disagreement or problem in this world has two sides and so did this one. The difference? The two sides in this argument are both very heavy. On one side you have ethics and on another you have company policy. These three companies from the article each chose a different way to resolve the issue and that is the interesting thing. Flickr chose to support their policy and to stay neutral in the issue but along the way they may have been ethically wrong. On the other hand Youtube, ultimately, chose to side with ethics and show people the horrible situations in Egypt. Along the way, they went against their policy and may have lost their neutral position. The Facebook case was a little more complicated. Their decision can be seen as ethical from the Palestinians side and unethical from the Israelis side. But they chose company policy and through that road they made an enemy of Israel. In my opinion, this is a very big issue relating to our society. Now more than ever social media has become extremely important in politics because of all of the revolutions all over the world. People want change and they want it now. Their biggest asset is social media and if this fails them then they will also lose their means to communicate with the outside world. Socials media needs to take a stand on this very prevalent issue and hopefully it will help the world. Taking it case by case is making things extremely confusing and causing more problems that it is solving. People need social media, and they need social media to cooperate with the users.