Google and Facebook Vs Rawls and Lao-Tzu: How Silicon Valley’s Utilitarianism and Confucianism Are Bad for Internet Ethics

AoIR 2020: The 21th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (2020)
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Abstract

The proposed paper presents an argument in favor of a Rawlsian approach to ethics for Internet technology companies (den Hoven & Rooksby, 2008; Hoffman, 2017). Ethics statements from such companies are analyzed and shown to be utilitarian and teleological in nature, and therefore in opposition to Rawls’ theories of justice and fairness. The statements are also shown to have traits in common with Confucian virtue ethics (Ames, 2011; Nylan, 2008).

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