There’s no denying that social media or participatory media platforms have already augmented into our lives as individuals and business entities. Some users are just infatuated by the being “liked” or “followed” disease while some just really want to keep their moments private or share only part of it to a few selected people.
Wherever the digital disease or trend goes, commercialisation follows and businesses congregate on social media influencers with the highest followings in hopes of tapping into their followers for business leads.
Even the developers for these social media platforms seek to get rich quick by commercialising their platforms or make a quick sale of the whole app to interested parties. Initially, these social media platforms were made specifically for social lifestyle purposes. Now these platforms have dramatically evolved into social-economic lifestyle marketplaces, dragging all users into its digital economy vortex regardless if you are private or public users.
The one thing consistent about digital social media platforms is the way data is digitised in all of it. Hence prospecting developers offer hacks for individuals or businesses to artificially create following numbers or likes. These are done using pre-programmed self-automated algorithms that is commonly referred to as ‘bots’. While the advancement of A.I automation that helps improve efficiency and costs is welcomed, the ethical fallout is enormous.
To counter these illegally sanctioned bots, social media platforms counter these ‘bots’ with their own bots and modifying the platform’s algorithms. This created a major problem with all users around the world as some innocent users are suddenly and automatically shut down by the platform for being accused for using such ‘illegal’ bots. Some users even lost a whole league of followers overnight causing social and mental anguish to many.
With pre-programmed algorithms that monitor and audit our social media contents, the way we share, post or even follow others has impacted everyone. While many still fear of losing their accounts over an unemotional uncomprehending algorithm, the thought of being scrutinised is even more worrisome.
And with new politically-sanctioned government legislature gavelling on data protection and fake news in many countries, algorithms have been tightened even more causing our social media lifestyle or ‘rhythm’ to change significantly. Users become even more cautious about who they let follow or even what they post or share so as to avoid being blacklisted or banned.
Nevertheless, social media platforms still sell users’ data mining algorithms to businesses that want a slice of our social media digital economy. Users now suffer force-fed tracking ‘cookies’ and unconditional surrender of all data privacy for use of these platforms.
While the ethicality of such algorithms becomes the gathering storm for these social media platforms, the only argument algorithms have is that they are unbiased, unemotional, indiscriminate and merely scripts of codes that does not judge individual users.
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Categories: Digital Media