How far business responsibility extends is not a new subject, but one which is going to be long debated. It seems that the providers of social media are in the firing line for not realising the many different consequences of their platforms. And other new technology companies are being blamed for the fall out in their own sectors, following the successful introduction of their services.
Blame of this type presents a difficult communications challenge because it is quite simply uncharted territory for most new organisations.
Back in 1994 I worked on the launch of the UK National Lottery. We as a comms team had to learn to deal with a lot of blame in the first few years that followed. The lottery brought changes to the UK on many levels and whilst some of it we could prepare for, most of it we couldn't.
You can only plan for the things you know as a business you do have an impact on and put in place a quick and efficient means to respond to those issues that may crop up.
Taking the time however to regularly review your business activity, impact and wider influence will ensure you stay informed and are prepared for whatever the world throws your way.
It isn’t the first time Facebook has shied away from the reality that it can influence the lives of the billion and a half people connected to it.