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Category Archives: Social Media

The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World

“A plurality of experts say digital life will continue to expand people’s boundaries and opportunities in the coming decade and that the world to come will produce more help than harm in people’s lives. Still, nearly a third think that digital life will be mostly harmful to people’s health, mental fitness and happiness. Most say there are solutions.”

“When the Pew Research Center asks American internet users for their bottom-line judgment about the role of digital technology in their own lives, the vast majority feel it is a good thing. Yet, over the past 18 months a drumbeat of concerns about the personal and societal impacts of technology has been growing – and it crescendoed last week in the congressional grilling of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about his company’s power and impact on American life. More broadly the concerns are highlighted by headlines about the “Heavy Toll of ‘Always On’ Technology,” the emergence of a “techlash” driven by people’s disillusionment with the online environment, and worries over digital dystopia. There has also been commentary and research about the effects digital technology usage can have on people’s well-being, their level of stress, their likelihood of committing suicide, their ability to perform well at work and in social settings, their capability to focus in an era of information overload, their capacity to modulate their level of connectivity, and their overall happiness. In light of these mounting concerns, Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center queried technology experts, scholars and health specialists on this question: Over the next decade, how will changes in digital life impact people’s overall well-being physically and mentally?…”

A dozen tech experts opine on what went wrong with Facebook and the answer is?

The Internet Apologizes…Even those who designed our digital world are aghast at what they created. A breakdown of what went wrong — from the architects who built it. By Noah Kulwin, New York Magazine. “Something has gone wrong with the internet. Even Mark Zuckerberg knows it. Testifying before Congress, the Facebook CEO ticked off a… Continue Reading

The premise that AI will save Facebook is – false

Quartz: “…Facebook’s challenge is finding all these permutations of hate speech, bullying, threats, and terrorism, in order to train its AI to look out for similar examples. The problem gets messier because not everyone can agree what makes a post harmful or abusive. Facebook faced this problem in 2016 when the social media platform was… Continue Reading

CRS – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along?

CRS INSIGHT – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along? April 4, 2018 (IN10879). “In March 2018, media reported that voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica had exceeded Facebook’s data use policies by collecting data on millions of Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica did this by working with a researcher to gain access to the… Continue Reading

Facebook, This Is Not What “Complete User Control” Looks Like

EFF: “If you watched even a bit of Mark Zuckerberg’s ten hours of congressional testimony over the past two days, then you probably heard him proudly explain how users have “complete control” via “inline” privacy controls over everything they share on the platform. Zuckerberg’s language here misses the critical distinction between the information a person… Continue Reading

The Verge – 7 takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the House

These members of Congress did their homework: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his second of two appearances before Congress on Wednesday, enduring a five-hour session of questions from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In contrast to their amiably confused counterparts in the Senate, members of the House committee demonstrated a generally better… Continue Reading

The Personality Traits That Put You At Risk For Smartphone Addiction

Washington Post: “When the Trump-affiliated firm Cambridge Analytica obtained data on tens of millions of Facebook users, it used the “Big 5” or “Five Factor Model” personality test to target them with ads designed to influence their votes in the 2016 election. The test scores people on five traits — openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and… Continue Reading

Zuckerberg denies knowledge of Facebook shadow profiles

TechCrunch: “The fact that Facebook probably has a profile of you whether you’re a Facebook user or not might come as a surprise to some users, though today even the company’s chief executive denied knowledge of the practice — or at least the term used to describe it. In the [April 11, 2018] hearing with… Continue Reading

5 facts about Americans and Facebook

“Facebook is in the national spotlight this week as its co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, testifies before Congress. Zuckerberg is expected to face questions from lawmakers over the company’s recent disclosure that data on up to 87 million of its users may have been improperly shared with a political consulting firm during the 2016… Continue Reading

Matt Taibbi – Can We Be Saved From Facebook?

Rolling Stone: “The social media giant has swallowed up the free press, become an unstoppable private spying operation and undermined democracy. Is it too late to stop it? “We shouldn’t be asking Facebook to fix the problem. We should be fixing Facebook. It’s our collective misfortune that this perhaps silliest-in-history supercorporation – a tossed-off hookup… Continue Reading

Facebook data from 87M plus users may be be stored in Russia and Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress

Begin with The New York Times – Zuckerberg Gets a Crash Course in Charm. Will Congress Care? Then proceed to Mark Zuckerberg’s written testimony posted prior to his appearance before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce – April 11, 2018: “We face a number of important issues around privacy, safety, and democracy, and you… Continue Reading

Estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by bots

Pew: “The role of so-called social media “bots” – automated accounts capable of posting content or interacting with other users with no direct human involvement – has been the subject of much scrutiny and attention in recent years. These accounts can play a valuable part in the social media ecosystem by answering questions about a… Continue Reading