January 18, 2021
A recent Netflix film called ‘The Social Dilemma’ brought to light a lot of current issues in social media and exposed the dangers when communicating and sharing information online. A key issue brought up was Google’s and Facebook’s algorithms which track their users online activity, noting preferences and interests of its users and then using this information to tailor users results and posts they see, but the scariest part is sharing this information with third parties to create tailored adverts which you would be more likely to participate in.
The film very much exposes the fact that many social media companies are watching your every move online and have access to every message you send and every piece of information you share, which is a scary thought, especially since a lot of social media users don’t realise just how much access these companies have. For example, in Facebook’s terms and conditions they state that once you accept Messenger’s access to your microphone for video and audio calls, the app can record from your phone at random times, without the user knowing. Since Facebook now owns Instagram and WhatsApp too, do these apps have similar terms and conditions?
In 2018 Facebook was involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which was an incident where millions of Facebook users information was acquired by Cambridge Analytica without the consent of these users and was then used mostly in political advertising, which is obviously a serious incident as not only was personal data acquired without users’ consent but it was then used to create political adverts and campaigns which would better attract people as it had been tailored to suit their data and interests.