December 8, 2021

How social media platforms manipulate you?

By Sakka Portongkum

What happens if some share your private information? Imagine that someone knows which restaurant you went to and whom do you hang out with last night.

What happens to data/analysis right now? Have you ever watch the show on Netflix called “The Social Dilemma” by Jeff Orlowski. They are talking about the significant impact of media on our privacy. How big social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram manipulate users by using their algorithms. That makes people encourage addiction to their social media platforms.

Is this okay to allow their algorithms to use our private data? The design technique of the algorithms wants to make users spent more time on the screen. It seems like we are lab rats, and someone just watches us and make benefits from us by watching what we are doing.

Facebook conducted a concept called the massive-scale contagion experiments. They use psychological experiments on users and manipulating their news to affect users emotionally. They can affect real-world behavior and emotions without ever triggering the user’s awareness. For example, Facebook ruined American democracy in the 2016 election. They used the narrative, data, and news events that play the role of misinformation. That was why Trump could win the 2016 presidential election.

Have you ever asked yourself what the most social media platforms that you are addicted to? And How often do you check that social media platforms while eating dinner?
They use algorithms based on your data and predict what will perfectly addict you and manipulate you. Moreover, they allow advertising by using colors and text to figure out the perfect manipulation of your mind. That means the information that we receive every day is set up by the algorithms. The algorithm is actually trying to find a few rabbit holes that are ever powerful. Trying to find which rabbit hole is the closest to your interest. When you start watching the cat video, it will recommend other cat videos repeatedly on your screen. Their job is to keep our time spent on social media platforms as much as they can.

This is unethical. The algorithms of social media platforms use our private data to manipulate our lives by misinformation and playing with our emotions. There is not protection of users for access user’s data. The fake news is problematic that we see the effect of the result. Social media platforms are not only changing our life, but it goes farther than that. They manipulate ours.

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9 thoughts on “How social media platforms manipulate you?

  1. Really loved reading your post! I have watched the Social dilemma documentary and I agree with you that it is super unethical how social media platforms are manipulating our lives. I am curious how this will shape future laws and conversations about ethics.

  2. Great content here, Sakka! I have heard great things about “The Social Dilemma” but have not seen it yet. I will be watching it ASAP.

  3. I totally recommend that everyone sees “The Social Dilemma.” And I agree that it is important for us to consider the complications of social media or the unethical dangers of sharing our private lives online. I wish that we had a greater choice of whether or not to allow the algorithm to take over our accounts!

  4. I have also seen the documentary that you mentioned and I was so paranoid for so long after. It really is shocking how much control our online presence has on us as a society. You made many insightful comments about data manipulation. However, it is our responsibility to understand when our phones are becoming a problem and limit ourselves. I would have loved to hear maybe one or two ways you can disconnect from this addiction.

  5. There’s a documentary called the Great Hack that covers how the 2016 election was hacked. It was primarly due to a data analysis company and Facebook. It’s crazy how much a social media platform which is meant for sharing posts, pictures and stuff is being used to manipulate people and societies.

  6. The Social Dilemma is an amazing film. It stuck with me for weeks. It’s crazy to think about how subconscious media, advertising and algorithms have gotten. Scary to think where it could be in another decade.

  7. Algorithms are such an interesting thing because it personalizes your timeline. Although I appreciate an app with a solid algorithm, I never thought much into it on how the internet is using my personal data. It’s scary to think about social media manipulating my info.

  8. I loved watching the documentary mentioned in this blog on Netflix. It was a great explanation on how we are manipulated in our daily life. Great blog post!

  9. Sakka,

    It’s unbelievable to me how much access these social media companies have our private data. The industry is transcending humanity and was built to curate an image. In result, they want users to engage more. These companies then profit off of our attention. They also don’t care about your self worth or relationships. The biggest takeaway from the Netflix documentary was that social media companies want to take, not give. This is the exact reason I have stayed away from social media. I highly recommend watching the social dilemma. Great post!

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