On 17 March 2018, the world felt naked thanks to social media giant Facebook. It was confirmed that 87 million users’ personal information had been shared through an app developed by British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
Should my child’s photos be displayed on Facebook—even if I were to amp up my privacy settings? Before Elliott, my son, was born, I was adamant that all online footprints of him would be non-existent, or at most, kept to a minimum. I knew anything I posted on the internet featuring Elliott would stay there forever, and I didn’t want him living with images he never had the opportunity to approve.
American President Joe Biden was obviously upset with Meta when, in mid 2021, he accused it of “killing people” for its seeming tolerance of so much Covid-19 misinformation. He backed down a little by clarifying that he wasn’t blaming Facebook itself, but the “bad information” they allowed on the site. Other have argued we live in a post-truth world.
In an interview published by Inc.com, 24-year-old Romanian Ovidiu Dobrota, from Oradea, Romania, boasted that his fake news site Ending The Fed had a substantial impact in supporting Donald Trump in the presidential elections. According to a Buzzfeed analysis, his boasting is well-founded.
The generation born with the tablet and the smartphone in its arms, but which ends up being exploited by big data cultivators and controlled by radicalization and polarization, can become the generation that implements anti-democratic movements.
What is left of me after I shut down my computer, turn off my phone, or wipe away my makeup? What about after I quit my job, after I move, after I lose my health, after I get older? What if no one knew me—would I still be someone?
“Influencers pay double.” With this message, Joe Nichhi, the owner of a small ice cream business, tried to deter self-proclaimed celebrities who would ask him to give them free ice cream in exchange for “exposure” on their social media platforms. But he succeeded more than that. Nicchi has become an international symbol of disgust with “insta-begging.”
Social interactions and the tools that facilitate them are changing the world in ways that even now, after all this time, we cannot anticipate.
An argument with people who seem deaf to opposing views, instigating conflict, tribe against tribe, is probably a common experience for social media users. Some believe that it is so common that it should be the subject of a new field of research‒erisology, named after Eris, the goddess of discord in Greek mythology.
Facebook is dead! Long live Metaverse! So proclaimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to thousands of followers who tuned in to a livestream last Friday announcing the company’s rebrand.
After I published the analysis regarding the mirage of cryptocurrencies, I received an irresistible invitation: an IT consultant offered to give me a demonstration, in front of the laptop, of the connection between cryptocurrencies and the black market. The exercise turned into a three-hour discussion on cybersecurity and ended with unexpected conclusions about identity theft for political purposes.
Big tech companies are slowly gaining more control over our lives, leading some to call them “Digital Lords”. But how do they stack up against the actual Lord?
The American Economic Review recently published the results of the largest randomized study ever conducted to measure the impact on the quality of life that deactivation ones Facebook account might have.