The Ethical Implications of Facebook in Education

Facebook’s reach into our society is unique in scale: 1.94 billion monthly active users (March, 2017), and with its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp it accounts for 77 percent of mobile social traffic. As a result, Facebook has come to be regarded as a public utility – this is not the case however. In learning and teaching contexts in particular, whether it is used officially or otherwise, Facebook’s business model raises a number of important questions.

I have assembled a set of online resources intended as an accessible and easy to understand guide enabling people to draw their own conclusions about the appropriateness of Facebook in education; primarily focused on higher education contexts. References to professional literature are included for those who wish to investigate further. Similarly, all online resources are linked directly. Readers may also find the Resources page of interest.

The subject is framed under three main headings: Privacy (relating to personal privacy), Support (considering a holistic approach to student support), and Data (concerning the data profiling practices at Facebook).

The site is available here: