Motion: large social media companies make unfair use of users’ personal information Affirmative Team 1st SPEAKER Good morning/afternoon adjudicators, ladies and gentlemen. Today’s motion is large social media companies make unfair use of users’ personal information. To begin with, I will first define the word ‘fairness’. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, fairness is the quality of treating people equally or in a way that is right or reasonable. So equality is a crucial factor for fairness. Our timeline today is that ‘The relationship between social media companies ND their users is largely unequal and non-consensual. Today, I will be talking about the inequality between companies and users, then my 2nd speaker will show you how social media get personal information from users without their consent and my 3rd speaker will make some rebuttal and summaries the case. First of all, users have to sign unequal treaties with social media in order to use their services. Nowadays, social media has become one of our daily necessities. We are all familiar with social media such as Backbone, Twitter and Instating and we post our personal information like photos, date of rite, family members on our account.
All these treaties are largely unequal because the users do not have full control over their privacy. As soon as they sign up on Backbone, they have to cede their rights to the company completely. It is an unequal power dynamics. The opponent might argue the Backbone users “agree’ to cede their rights to Backbone when they click “l Agree”. However, we say such an “agreement” is very unequal and unfair. Since Backbone is a powerful listed company, individual users always have no say in what the company decided on the privacy regulations.
According to an article of Digital Trend, Backbone mandatory made users’ certain information public and made their accounts visible on search engines in last years October by changing its privacy settings again. All these are not what the users agree to when they sign up. But since the users are caught in an unequal treaty, they have to say but to reluctantly accept the unfair treatment. Since the social media treatment of users is against the principles of equality and thus fairness, today’s motion must stand. 2nd SPEAKER Good afternoon adjudicators, ladies and gentlemen.
Today, our opponent still iris to mislead us to believe that social media like Backbone respect the consent of the users. However did you know that Backbone share users’ information with third parties for example advertisement companies for commercial purposes. So I would like to ask everybody a question, do you want your private information like photos, messaging records, home addresses to be sold to other people that you don’t know? Do you want your private information to be passed to a third party? We believe some social media companies do not respect the consent of the users.
First, when you have activated your own Backbone account, its means hat you are giving your own privacy right to them. The meaning of “Privacy” means the right to determine whether, when, how, and to whom, one’s personal or organizational information is to be revealed. However Backbone is using your personal details and selling to a third party. F-casebook is changing their Term of use Policy without the consent of users. Backbone changes policy very frequently, for example Backbone changed its privacy settings by switching the default posting status from “Public” to “Friends only’ for new users.
I didn’t get any notice about this policy, and it was different room the time I agreed to the policy when the first time I apply and created a Backbone account. So as we can see they are using your privacy and personal data when they do not respect the consents of the users. Secondly, many social media applications import information from users’ phones without their consent. In 2012, Twitter admitted that it imported the contact books from users’ phones so as to reach out to more potential users.
However, Backbone should have notice their users that their account will be investigated. For example, When there are detectives or polices outside your door, they will ask for your permission to search your house, instead of sneaking into it right? Therefore, users should have the consent of their account’s personal information will be used. Our opponents have also stated that some users don’t mind to have their personal information to be revealed to the public, but do these people’s opinions represent everyone’s opinions? This is just their very own thoughts and shouldn’t be generalized.
Also, Backbone users can’t delete their account completely as Backbone store their data and share it to third parties usually for commercial purposes. This is extremely unfair to Backbone users and these rights should be protected. Backbone also share their users’ personal information with unknown third parties without their consent. It is unfair to users as they don’t want their information to be searchable or displayed on newsfeed. It is also dangerous as third parties might use this personal information for illegal uses.
On the other hand, Twitter and Linked has stolen user’s contact book without their consent. They claim that it can help them to connect with others more easily. However, this is unfair to users as their right to privacy is not respected. Therefore, today’s motion must stand. Thank you. Negative Team Good afternoon adjudicator, ladies and gentlemen. Today, our dear opponents are telling us that However, our dear opponents, please remember that using social media is not a necessity in life. Without the existence of social media, such as Backbone, Twitter, or even Instating, will we be dead?
Eve may die of hunger without food; we may collapse if we keep on working non-stop; but we CAN live without social media websites. No one forces a user to sign up for social media websites. If you sign up for it, you AGREE to exchange your personal information with the free social media services, like the service from Backbone. Today, our team line is that “Social media companies carry our mutually- consensual exchange with users. My 2nd speaker will be talking about the reason for social media revealing information to 3rd parties and how revealing information is beneficial to the general public while my 3rd speaker will conclude our case.
All this business practice is fair and legitimate because it involved the consent or agreement of the users in the first place. It is like a contract that users voluntarily sign into. Besides, as mentioned above, Backbone will also use our personal information to improve their services, for example Backbone will use our own personal information to show some related advertisements in Backbone. It also benefits us as we may find some related games, or APS for our daily life! Because of the reasons above, it shows that social media companies carry our tautly-consensual exchange with users.
And therefore, today’s motion must fall. Thank you. Good afternoon adjudicators, ladles and gentlemen. Our dear opponents claim that (social media frequently change privacy regulations, thus) social media makes unfair use of users’ personal information. However, users have controls over their personal information and it’s not unfair if you have a choice. Users are allowed to change their privacy settings so that the content users shared such as photos and status can be viewed by the public, friends, close friends or only themselves.
They an even categorize their friends and make their posts only visible to certain groups of friends. This is a consensual process as the users can change their privacy settings upon their wills. It also proves that social media DO care about users’ personal information by adding different functions to allow users to protect themselves. Back to our case, the business model of Backbone is to provide free services in exchange for users’ information. When users registered for their Backbone accounts, they have agreed to ‘give’ their personal information such as age, gender, education etc. Exchange for the free services Backbone provides like news feed and messages, which helps them to Stay connected with their friends. Different people have different valuation over privacy and services. Some people value their privacy more than anything else, so they decided not to join Backbone. But some don’t. That’s why as long as people accept that they want to receive the free-of-charge services Backbone provides, the whole exchange process will be justified, and that Passbooks collects personal information with the consent of the users. Backbone is a listed company.
It provides free services to 1. 32 billion users worldwide, so where do they make money? With the CONSENT of the users, Backbone transfers their personal information such as age and occupation to third parties including advertising companies. This way Of making profit contributes to 92% of the overall revenue of Backbone. The revenue, however, is not wasted. It is used to improve the free services that Backbone provides.