Facebook's Social Experiment Creates New Jobs



Posted in News on 09.09.14

Facebook's Social Experiment Creates New Jobs

As we found out earlier this year, Facebook performed what is being called the “emotional contagion” experiment which tested how news feeds and articles affect a person’s perceived (via status posts) mood and emotional level. The outcry that followed was quite intense, and only exacerbated by the public’s reaction to the new Facebook messaging app and its so called ‘unwarranted’ permission requests. An action’s morality and its legality can often be in conflict, and the ethical debate will most likely never come to a complete consensus, but the legality debate is quite clear. Within the Terms of Service (ToS) of Facebook, it provisions the right to use its data “for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, and service improvement”. And, of course, therein lies the problem: the average Facebook user has never read the ToS they agreed to. The average user finds that the ToS or EULA (End User License Agreement) that must be agreed to when using any service or software is just too long or complex to read. In addition, the average user has an incredibly shallow comprehension of magnitude of operations required to produce the blue and white interface they cling to. The software engineering, mathematical groundwork, and physical technological components required for Facebook to exist is truly a feat of the ages. Thusly, the terms of service that must be agreed upon before use of Facebook are equally complex and lengthy. It is beyond reason to expect that all the legality of a product from a megalith corporation can be accurately conveyed with a conciseness that brings it to a single page while maintaining conversational language. As consumers we must accept some personal liability for our actions. We cannot choose to agree to a ToS we did not read, then throw up our arms in outrage to the very things we gave agreement to. As the old saying goes, “you can do it fast, or you can do it right”, and nowadays, people only want to do things the fast way.

Now let’s jump focus for a minute, and talk about what this means for Facebook, and the corporate world as a whole. With the rapid expansion of the tech industry, with data governance and personal agreements with users of software and services, the process of disputing claims against a company grows equally complex. Companies must have explicitly detailed mandates for use and deletion of data, and the high level computer engineers to manage and use the systems. If a case was brought against Facebook based upon their actions concerning the news feed, they would need to quickly produce the proof that the data was used within the limits of the terms of service, and anything else based upon the charges. You can imagine that for a company with users dealing in the billions, that kind of data provision is a monumental internal operation. To make it possible, Facebook must keep teams of people trained specifically in Information GovernanceComputer Forensics, and Litigation Support Specialists, to wade through the court process. Facebook is not alone in this aspect: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, and virtually every major tech company keep teams upon teams of people for when they need to go to court either as defendants or plaintiffs. This is the world of eDiscovery and litigation support. These teams are a relatively new cog in the machine of mega-corporations, but they are as integral as a piece could be, and are rapidly expanding their role. As more and more products hit the shelves, more and more patents are submitted, more and more services are offered, we will see more and more court cases and legal tribulations to make sure that everyone is playing ball in the eyes of the law. The need for specialists devoted to understanding every minute detail of law concerning the new era technology that is rapidly adapting and expanding grows ever more as users demand to live without understanding of the technology they so heavily rely on. Just like Newton’s third law, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” for every uninformed user, there must be an informed professional to carry the weight.

This is where LTS comes in. Professional litigation support analysts and information governance specialists don’t go around door-to-door at law firms and tech companies asking if they have openings, and they’re not exactly checking the local paper’s classifieds section either. When large corporations and top law firms need people to fill a gap, and fill it fast, they come to LTS. Here at LTS, we provide professional recruiters, trained and knowledgeable in the industry. We look beyond job title and salary to find people who are truly the best fit. Performing permanent placements, providing temporary contractors and contract-to-hire resources, your specific needs are within our expertise. From entry level positions to the most senior officers, we find the best in legal technology talent.

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