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The Ethics of Quitting Social Media

Simpson, Robert Mark; (2022) The Ethics of Quitting Social Media. In: Veliz, Carissa, (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

There are prima facie ethical reasons and prudential reasons for people to avoid or withdraw from social media platforms. But in response to pushes for people to quit social media, a number of authors have argued that there is something ethically questionable about quitting social media: that it involves—typically, if not necessarily—an objectionable expression of privilege on the part of the quitter. In this paper I contextualise privilege-based objections to quitting social media and explain the underlying principles and assumptions that feed into these objections. I show how they misrepresent the kind of act people are performing in quitting, in part by downplaying its role in promoting reforms in communication systems and technologies. And I suggest that this misrepresentation is related to a more widespread, and ultimately insidious, tendency to think of recently-established technological states of affairs as permanent fixtures of our society.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The Ethics of Quitting Social Media
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198857815.013.34
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198857815.013...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: social media, Facebook, privilege, complicity, social transformation, individualism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10181239
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