DPhil Seminar (Wednesday - Week 2, HT23)

chess king white background victory shadow black 1418482 pxhere com

Nowadays, there is a lot of public scrutiny directed at social media corporations (SMC’s) and the moral, legal and social responsibilities they may possess. The concept of human rights (and their correlative obligations) has also become popular as a way of articulating what SMC’s may owe us and how they may wrong us. In this talk, I want to examine how human rights help us identify the nature of an SMC’s moral obligations. I start by briefly analyzing the concept of human rights and how it can be plausible to say a corporation has human rights obligations. I then ask whether SMC’s (and corporations in general) should have human rights obligations and identify three desiderata for an account of these obligations and their limits. These desiderata draw attention to the fact SMC’s make decisions about our rights in a similar manner to states which distinguishes them from other corporations.

I then analyze a famous proposal of corporate human rights obligations – John Ruggie’s ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework which formed the basis of the UN’s Guiding Principles for Human Rights and Business – and evaluate how and whether it satisfies my desiderata. Overall, I hope to illuminate and explore the idea of corporate human rights obligations for SMC’s.

See the DPhil Seminar website for details.

DPhil Seminar Convenor: Mariona Miyata - Sturm