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  • Publication
    Fair information technologies : The corporate responsibility of online social networks as public regulators
    (UniPrint Fribourg, 2013)
    From a business ethics perspective, this dissertation studies the role of companies in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector as regulators with respect to access to knowledge, civic engagement online, and civil liberties on online platforms. To this end, it takes into account three cases: (1.) digital divides and the capabilities of corporate citizens to alleviate them; (2.) Twitter and the normative tension between its role as a platform for civic communication and as a commercial service; (3.) Facebook and its role as a privately owned networked virtual state. An analysis of these cases illustrates that private companies in the ICT sector today effectively have become regulators of public spaces online. This dissertation discusses the normative implications of this development with respect to current corporate citizenship and political CSR (corporate social responsibility) theories. These theories have been focusing on the emerging regulatory role of private enterprises in recent years. However, thus far they have not addressed corporate responsibility issues and corporate regulation in the digital environment. The contribution of this dissertation is that it closes that gap. Full text see [$FILE/dis4139.pdf here]