Instructor: Aleksi Aaltonen, Section 002

The Downside to Social Media


After the recent tragedies that have happened throughout the world, people have come to blame social media and technology for the lack of security and surveillance of these platforms. Social media has become a place for people to express themselves, which means that while people are innocently talking about their own life and use it as entertainment, others are using it as a place to spew their hate and find likeminded individuals like them. Social media tech companies are now trying to find a way on how to limit what certain people say without destroying the very fundamentals of their company.

With the AI and machine learning of these companies not being able to pick out the troubling tweets and posts, they have to find a new way on how to keep a hold of them. The solution to this problem may just be developing better tools and adding to what they already have. With social media platforms having billions of customers worldwide, there has to be some way to monitor what is happening throughout the platform. This shows how the risks with technology can be a big problem to solve, with the solution not being invented yet, and there needs to be innovation to do this.

source: https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/29/tech/social-media-hate-speech/index.html

4 Responses to The Downside to Social Media

  • One facet that must be considered is the line between troubling tweets and freedom of speech. Developing the perfect system to weed out negativity can be dependent upon a few engineers. I wonder where the line will be drawn to preserve the company, but eliminate negativity. It is uneasy grounds to trek upon.

  • This is called “Trolling”. There are a number of individuals out there in the world who do this deliberately, going through the internet and posting hate filled messages. Some people are just generally sad and want others to feel the same way that they do. I find this all very interesting. Social media can be a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I find some awesome posts scrolling through social media and other days I find myself disappointed that I wasted time doing it.

  • I agree with this post that there needs to be a solution brought about to control posts. However, as Craig has said above, this needs to be done while keeping in mind the freedom of speech which is such an integral part of being an American. Social media gives people with hate in their minds a platform to speak, but unlike in the real world there is no real entity to police it. This burden is on the companies who run the social media for now, but in the future I can see some sort of government entity stepping in and mandating it. They will no doubt use the help of AI technologies in their effort to find and mitigate these posts.

  • I feel like this is a very sensitive topic because how much can you truly monitor/censor everything that is being put out on social media before it violates people’s freedom of speech? Especially in today’s world, where it seems as if almost everyone is offended by everything, how can these companies decide what is “good” or “bad”? Most social media allows you to report a post if you find it hateful or offensive, so maybe developing more features like that might be a good way to monitor the material that is being posted. Like Terry mentioned, I feel like once companies start monitoring this information then I do not think it’ll be too long before the government gets involved as well and then I can definitely see our freedom of speech becoming an issue, considering that social media platforms are used heavily to share/express political beliefs. It just seems like a terrible idea to have the government play any part in censoring platforms that allows people to express their opinions.

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