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Facebook Inc. (Facebook) was first launched by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 (Carlson, 2010, para 1), which was only a means to connect people in their school to exchange information (Carlson, 2010, para 17). Now it is serving “over 2.32 million monthly active users” (Zephoria, 2019, para 3) worldwide and there are “1.15 million daily active users”(Zephoria, 2019, para 3). In this paper there will be an analysis of Facebook as a company followed by recommendations to strengthen the company.
One of Facebook’s strength is the number of users.
This is contributing positively to Facebook with economic forces because it illustrates the trust that it has built to gain those users. Through globalization, many of the nations around the world are becoming more interdependent. This can be said when individuals and businesses rely on digital technology to communicate with people close or far. It is also portrayed with an upward slope on the number of internet users around the world, shown in Appendix A. The description states that “Facebook is the most popular online network” (Statista, 2019).
These facts indicate its strong brand awareness and vast numbers of users for the service to connect one another. Facebook also has its strength in socio-cultural forces which is online shopping. As there is an increase demand for online shopping, the number of shoppers are expected to grow to 4, 475.7 million eCommerce users by 2023 as seen on Appendix B, which is a great opportunity for Facebook. This number also encourages Facebook that the already established platform is going to be its strength in the coming years.
Allowing a person who wants to sell to find those who want to buy use its service is a great advantage. Facebook will be doing the job of a barter and helping users save time by establish double coincidence of wants to be found easier and more convenient for both buyer and sellers. Though these strength for Facebook are positive, there are some that are working negatively.
Some of Facebook’s weakness is the political forces. As stated above, Facebook helps globally stay connected, especially for organizations. Organizations can simply make a page about their business on Facebook to reach relevant viewers automatically, using calculated algorithm to reach those relevant users, which is a positive aspect . Facebook operates widely around the world, however, it is banned in eight countries as seen in Appendix C, China and North Korea are examples where Facebook is banned (McCarthy, 2019). These countries have banned Facebook because of the opportunity for their people to have connection outside of their country. Though Facebook’s strongest weapon is its ability to connect many people, this has come out as a restricting force politically. Also technologically, especially in the banned countries, have replaced Facebook with a different service. Such as social networking platforms like Snapchat and Twitter, and dating platforms like Tinder and Bumble has the same intention of connecting people. This can be a great threat arising for Facebook. Overall, Facebook has its strength in the great number of users due to increasing number of people using internet services. As stated by Felix Richter, “mobile phones have become indispensable tool of communication not only in the developed world, but also in the developing countries” (2016. Para 1). As the mobile use grows Facebook will increase their opportunities to grow a platform to make things more convenient.
Facebook with its great number of users this can be both opportunities and threats. When making decisions not only does those who operate the platform matter but also to the users who enjoy the content on the this platform. Some of these people are influencers in a government or key person that can change the world. When these kind of people are involved, decisions to restrict the content becomes difficult. Especially when there is no clear indication to the public users about the process to make these decisions.
Reading the case study, the concept of “Managing control and Operation” (Jones, George, & Haddad, 2016, p 416) is the primary issue in this case. As a company, Facebook needs and has to have the ultimate power to make decisions as a company. However, Facebook seems to allow those who are using this platform online, the customers, to have that kind of power by getting influenced to keep content that violates their policies. Though users have agreed to the policies and are using it because they agreed, there are users that seem to go and challenge the policies because they feel that their right as a human being is being violated. And whether that goes against the freedom of speech and expression, Facebook should not be weakened to act according to their policies. When it comes to Facebook taking action and banning a user like Infowars as indicated in the case, Zuckerberg had been cautious making his decisions regarding banning Infowars. Using the concept in this course this is because Facebook does not have “organizational control” (Jones et al., 2016, p.419, para. 1) over the whole service. As it is stated taking control “does not mean just reacting to events after they have occured· [i]t also means anticipating events and problems that might occur” (Jones et al., 2016, p.419, para. 3). This is the control that Facebook is lacking. This can be observed in this case as well because in the article it stated that Alex Jones, the choleric founder of Infowars, is “famous for his spittle-flecked rants and far-fetched conspiracies” (Roose, 2018, para 2). If it had seen this type of action previously and on their “Hate Speech Policy” (Facebook, 2019), states ideas as to what might happen when these policies are violated, but does not specify exactly what will happen or what kind of process is to be taken after the report. This is the cause to these kinds of problems. When there is no clear standards established as part one of Organizational Control (Jones et al., 2016, p.420, para 1), which could make users question the reasons why one incident might have been taken more seriously when compared to a similar case.
For example, Twitter Inc. (Twitter), as also stated in the article, tends to be a platform for people to express their strong feelings. It’s policy specifies the reasons behind not tolerating hateful comments by including research data; they also indicate what kind of specific actions will be taken from the time these type of hateful actions are reported. This policy also indicates how it will determine its actions to correct the user to follow its policy and indicating the worst case scenario (Twitter, 2019).
Another example is Youtube which is another platform, under Google Inc. (Google), which is used to express users’ are allowed to share their thoughts through a different media. Youtube also has a clear indication about their process for the content including any hateful speech. They have clearly defined the expectations, the process, and the consequences following for any reported content (YouTube, 2019). Studying different online platforms, it is evident that Facebook is lacking their organizational control by first indicating clear expectations. These examples illustrate the importance of clearly indicating the expectations.
Recommendations for Facebook are to, one, revisiting their policies. Especially the Hate Speech Policy to have more details on the process and how the actions taken to correct the content will happen. The other option is for Facebook to take stronger actions by not tolerating any kind of hateful content posted on its service provided. It could cause negative feedback from the users at the beginning but as time passes, both users and Facebook will know the boundaries and will be able to respect that.
Potential solution that is beneficial for both Facebook and the users are to take that control of the service by first looking at the policies. They will revise the hate speech policy so that it is more clear in the consequences and the process it takes to get to the consequences. Getting feedback from the users and workers who looks over these reports would be ideal to revise the policy for the better. This way it can help decrease the complaint about freedom of speech being violated because people will understand the process clearly. Ways this can be measure that the issue is getting resolved is users are able to refer to the policy to refrain from using the service in the hateful way which would reduce the amount of reports being submitted.
In conclusion, for Facebook to retain its power as an organization who would not be complained about freedom of speech and expression being violated, it should establish a clear policy stating its steps and consequences for the actions taken by users on their provided platform. This way Facebook will follow its guidelines and will not have any miscommunication between the users.
Overall in this course, I felt that I was able to learn ideas such as SWOT analysis or PESTI that will allow me to take a different perspective of different companies and the way it is operated. When I first heard management I had thought that the class will be about how companies manage their internal resources and how that would affect the customers. However, through learning and reading this course material I have learned that it is just more than that, I have learned that it is not always internal affecting external but also external affecting internal. This is also the same when with the organizational structure. From learning the different kinds of structure and how one company can have many of different structures within the company when it is multinational I was amazed in the ways companies can organize. I was very assured to see the richness of communication media chart and how the face-to-face communication which I had felt is the most informative method of communication was also represented on the chart (Jones et al., 2016, p.420, Figure 6.5).
As a child I remember the type of conversations and discussions held in class was something I remember my parents and relatives talking about during holidays and family reunions. I was amazed at myself that from next time and on when I attend special occasions I will be able to participate in their conversation with more rich in ideas and analysis was exciting for me. Also, this course had information that I would like to retain for future reference when I, one day, become someone who would manage or be in a position to lead a group to remember the important aspects of communications and leading.
I have already taken Introduction class to Human Resource prior to taking this course, When I completed Human Resource class I felt that the position I was in at my previous workplace was a Human Resources Representative, however after attending Management Principles and Practices, I felt that I might have had been both roles. The more I learn about business the more I learn how uneducated I was with the business world and how I am starting to understand it better.
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