Document Type


Publication Date



Boston College Law Review



First Page


Last Page



Online intermediaries are omnipresent. Each day across the globe, the corporations running these platforms execute policies and practices that serve their profit model, typically by sustaining user engagement. Sometimes, these seemingly banal business activities enable principal perpetrators to commit crimes. Online intermediaries, however, are almost never held to account for their complicity in the resulting harms. This Article introduces the concept of platformenabled crimes into the legal literature to highlight the ways in which the ordinary business activities of online intermediaries enable the commission of crime. It then focuses on a subset of platform-enabled crimes—those in which a social media company has facilitated international crimes—to understand the accountability gap associated with them. Further, this Article begins the work of addressing the accountability deficit for platform-enabled crimes by adopting a survivorcentered methodology and using the complicity of Facebook (now Meta) in the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar as a case study. It advances a menu of options that survivors, prosecutors, and legislators could pursue in parallel, including amending domestic legislation, strengthening transnational cooperation between international and domestic prosecutors for criminal and civil corporate liability cases, and regulatory action. The Article concludes by acknowledging that no single body of law is equipped to respond to the advent of platform-enabled crimes. By pursuing a plurality of proactive options, however, we can make a vast improvement on the status quo.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.