The three main ethical questions that the use of social networks as a mean of communication are: (1) do social networks protect individual privacy of the users? (2) Do social networks ensure safety for their users? (3) Do the advantages of using social networks outweigh the disadvantages?
The question of whether or not social networks protect individual privacy of the users is a pertinent ethical question because a critical look at many social networks shows that the use of social networks comprise individual privacy of the user. This is because many users of social networks, especially the youth share important private information about themselves with their friends on social networks, without realizing that people with bad motives can use the private information to harm them in one way or another.
The question of whether or not social networks ensure safety for their users is also a critical ethical question. This question is particularly important considering cybercrimes like cyber bullying and cyber stalking.
The third question also is very important because, although there are many advantages of using social networks as a mean of communication, there are also many disadvantages of using social networks as a mean of communication. On utilitarian grounds, therefore, it is important to determine whether or not the advantages of using social networks outweigh the disadvantages.
To begin with, social networks compromise individual privacy, especially among the teenagers who disclose a large amount of their personal information online. As Christofides has rightly argued, although Facebook has played a significant role in telecommunication, it has presented a problem in privacy protection among high school students, thus doing more harm than good (2010). Many teenagers disclose on social networks like Facebook sensitive personal information like relationship status, email address, the list of their friends’ birthdays, as well as other