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Final Exam Paper, Summary, Presentation and Responses: Deadline, 2:45 p.m. Friday, December 11

Final Exam Assignments

In lieu of a final exam, your assignment is to write a 5-7-page paper in which you reflect upon the overall question of “The Problem with Facebook and What To Do About It.” The Paper is due at 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11 when the exam period begins. This part of your grade is 15 points or 15% of your grade for the course.

In addition to the paper, please post a 250-word or 1-page summary of your paper in 2 places—on the Final Exam Paper Assignment page as well as on the Final Exam Paper Discussion page. The Discussion page is primarily for other class members to view. You will make a 5-minute oral presentation of your paper; don’t read your summary because you will lose points if you do so. In addition, give a 1-minute response to one-third of the paper presentations—every third paper as well as the final paper. At the beginning of the final exam period, you will be given the order in which you will present as well as the names of the students to whom you will respond. You will be expected to stay in the final exam until all of the presentations have been made. Please do not ask to leave early since it is not fair to the students who have not yet presented. If you leave early, you will not earn class presentation points. The final exam is scheduled from 2:45-5 p.m.


Please do not get all stressed out about writing the paper. Think about it. You do not have to take a final exam. Writing a paper and discussing it is an easy alternative for 25% of the grade, especially since we discussed much of what you will include in the paper in class.


Suggestions for Researching & Writing the Paper

Based on class discussion, I have written some suggestions to writing the paper. Sometimes the best way to get the creative juices flowing is just to take a general topic and to decide on your own what you want to write. The following are just suggestions. In no way do I want to limit your creative thinking and ability to tackle the overall problem/question in your own way.

Researching the Paper

First, do the research. You need to use at least 3 sources of information, which could be the Facebook book, the Congressional hearings and an academic article in a law review or journal. You need to attribute and/or cite your sources in the body of your paper and you need to list your sources in a Reference page at the end of the paper. You need to take careful notes so that you can accurately use in-text cites in the body of your paper as direct quotes or as paraphrased information.


Writing the Paper

1. Go from the general to the specific.


Provide a very brief overview of the federal law that protects most content on Facebook from liability, e.g., what are its provisions, when it was enacted and the fact that it has most recently become controversial.
Provide a very brief overview of Facebook, e. g., how many users it has, how large it and its parent company are, how much money it makes and how it makes its money.

The Problem

State the overall problem. You might want to discuss and cite some key criticisms from the Facebook book and from President Trump and in the Congressional testimony that you heard.
Then, list the problems with Facebook such as its sheer size since it, along with the other social media owned by its parent company, dominates the online market; this creates an anti-trust problem.
Other problems might include content problems such as immunity from (a) libel and privacy suits, (b) false political content in advertising, news or information content that its users post, (c) conspiracy theories, (d) hateful speech, and (e) foreign or domestic terrorism posts advocating violence or posts that discuss a plan by individuals or groups to attack and kill people. In addition, there is the problem of posts initiated by Russian, Chinese, Iranian and North Korean government hackers that undermine our democracy by creating divisiveness and doubt about our institutions.

(It is okay to use any or all of the problems that I have listed as your list. You do not have to attribute the information to me.)

Then, decide what aspect of the problem you want to discuss, by writing a transition something like this: Although there are a myriad of problems with Facebook, this paper will be limited to a discussion of . . .,

Heart of Your Paper

Discuss the particular problem that you have decided to write about.
Explain and reflect on Facebook’s power as it relates to its content as a whole and the particular problem you have decided to write about. What are the implications of Facebook’s power? (Note that you can include the information in #9 either in the body of your paper, in the Conclusion or you can split the information and include part of it in the body of the paper and part of it in the conclusion.)
Discuss the solutions that have been proposed.
What solution do you recommend and why?
Conclusion. Write a short conclusion.


13. Include a References page.

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