Abstract

On Being Responsible and Being Social Media

Social Media companies and their products operate within an as of now unidentified moral structure. I have categorized responsibility to be attributable to different entities. People are responsible and Businesses can be held responsible. Whereas a standard business has a clear product and function, social media companies are different in that their product is essentially users interacting with a platform. I hypothesize that social media companies exist as a third entity whose morals are different from the first two. This means the way we hold them accountable for their actions is different. I aim to first show what it means to be a moral agent. Second, under what conditions can a moral agent have things attributed to them? Lastly, I will discuss the reactive attitudes we have towards holding things responsible. These questions will be answered by exploring the concept of a business becoming an individual or a collective having the same moral responsibility as an individual. I will also investigate the intersection of a business and its user base and how that affects its agency.

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