Facebook: Fake News, Free Speech and an Internet Platform's Responsibility

by: Andrew Hoffman

Publication Date: April 12, 2019
Length: 20 pages
Product ID#: 8-890-047

Core Disciplines: Ethics, Information - Technology & Management, Social Impact, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

Partner Collection:

Available Documents

Click on any button below to view the available document.

Don't see the document you need? Don't See the Document You Need?
Make sure you are registered and/or logged in to our site to view product documents. Once registered & approved, faculty, staff, & course aggregators will have access to full inspection copies and teaching notes for any of our materials.


Need to make copies?

If you need to make copies, you MUST purchase the corresponding number of permissions, and you must own a single copy of the product.

Electronic Downloads are available immediately after purchase. "Quantity" reflects the number of copies you intend to use. Unauthorized distribution of these files is prohibited pursuant to term of use of this website.

Teaching Note

This product has a teaching note available. Available only to Registered Educators. Please login to view it.


This case describes the role of Facebook in society and its degree of responsibility to protect the privacy of user data and address the real-world impacts of misinformation and fake news across its site. Facebook’s idealistic goal of giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together has seemingly backfired as nefarious actors have exploited user data and the site’s infrastructure to advance political and economic goals. Facebook’s leadership has been slow to recognize and acknowledge the influence the site has had on world events, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and the Myanmar genocide against the Rohingya minority group. Facebook has also been slow to stem the spread of fake news, and addressing user data privacy is at odds with the company’s reliance on targeted advertising as its primary source of revenue.

This case offers students the opportunity to discuss the changing social and business environment in the era of the Internet, especially issues related to privacy and free speech.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Define the role of social media and internet-based companies in managing misinformation and fake news.
  • Identify the responsibility of social media and internet-based companies regarding personal user data and information management.
  • Discuss the role of social media companies in protecting freedom of speech.
  • Evaluate the implications of social media on social, environmental, and economic sustainability.
  • Discuss the role of regulation in a rapidly evolving industry.