social media

Facebook Is ‘Operating in the Shadows,’ Whistleblower Tells Congress

France 24

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hit back Tuesday at claims the social media giant fuels division, harms children and needs to be regulated, saying the claim the company puts profits over safety is "just not true." "The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical," Zuckerberg wrote in a note to Facebook employees that he then posted on his account, hours after a whistleblower testified before U.S. lawmakers.

The Crisis of Social Media: The Rise of Surveillance and Election Manipulation

Adrian Shahbaz and Allie Funk

In addition to facilitating the dissemination of propaganda and disinformation during election periods, social media platforms have enabled the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data on entire populations. Sophisticated mass surveillance that was once feasible only for the world’s leading intelligence agencies is now affordable for a much broader range of states. Freedom House research indicates that more repressive governments are acquiring social media surveillance tools that employ artificial intelligence to identify perceived threats and silence undesirable expression.

Yes, Limiting Social Media Can Improve Your Health

Rae Ann Varona

Discussions on the link between social media use and mental health are nothing new, but researchers at the University of Pennsylvania for the first time conducted a study based on experimental data that connects the causal relationship between social media use and mental well-being. What they found was that simply limiting social media use could be beneficial when it comes to better mental health, specifically when it comes to depression and loneliness. 

How Social Media Abet the Political Right

Neal Gabler

But in some respects, this may be among the least of the political impacts of social media. Above and beyond Trump’s tweets and his circumvention of traditional media, there is a much more profound but much subtler effect that plays upon certain psychological and social proclivities in America today and that is changing politics generally and has already changed our political leadership. And while this is by no means Trump-specific, it has a very strong affinity for the right wing. 

Love, Deceit, and Catfishing: The Perils of Social Media

Angelo Franco

Even though the film Catfish will never actually be profitable because of two separate lawsuits, the movie became a sleeper hit of sorts, and it has quickly become a “cult classic” in the generation of networking and social media. It spawned a successful TV show currently producing its sixth season on MTV and it gave rise to the term “catfish,” which was originally defined as someone who creates an identity online on a social platform as someone other than themselves. 

Personal Accountability in the Age of Social Media

Michael Odenthal

This is an age of unparalleled transparency. With the steady grind of an always-hungry-for-content 24-hour news cycle, and the unprecedented window into individuals’ personal lives provided by social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Vine and Instagram, so much of what people do or think is documented that, for those who embrace these modes of communication, it would seem nearly impossible for anyone to disown a statement or action expressed through one of these public forums. 

Move Over, Facebook: Welcome to the World of Anonymous Apps

Veronica Mendez

The last year has seen the emergence and popularity of anonymous social networks and apps such as Secret, Whisper and Anomo that promised users anonymity and a diminished digital trace. These anonymous networks seem to be a cultural reaction to the oversaturation of social media and the invasions of privacy on behalf of the corporations and the government. As people become more and more aware of just how permanent and sellable the digital footprint really is, there is a new consciousness growing within the online self. 

Facebook and the Powers of Media Manipulation

Marty Kaplan

The average Facebook user sees only 20 percent of the 1,500 stories per day that could have shown up in their news feed.  The posts you receive are determined by algorithms whose bottom line is Facebook’s bottom line.  The company is constantly adjusting all kinds of dials, quietly looking for the optimal mix to make us spend more of our time and money on Facebook.  Of course the more we’re on Facebook, the more information they have about us to fine-tune their formulas for picking ads to show us.  

10 Years Later: Where is Facebook Headed Next?

Karolina R. Swasey

On February 4th Silicon Valley popped corks to celebrate Facebook’s 10th birthday. What began as a relatively exclusive event for the East Coast elite, very soon hit a central nerve and changed the way 1.23 billion people worldwide communicate, interact, engage, catch up, and bristle. Let’s think about those two numbers for a moment: A company that didn’t even exist 10 years ago, has as many users as India has denizens. 

How Tattoos Became the Favored Art Form

Emma Mincks

One common reason to get a tattoo is to tell one’s story to the world through a visual representation of an important moment, person, or memory. Tattoo artist Ericksen Reed Linn of Heart and Soul states, “Most of my clients are interested in getting a tattoo to mark some milestone in their life.” Tattoos are a form of self-expression, except that they are so much more communal than traditional art. The tattooist and the client experience the creation of the piece simultaneously, and the person getting inked entrusts their personal story, not to mention part of their body, to the artist.  

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