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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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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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