Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are the new evil. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are the new evil.


Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter are responsible for harmful content on their platforms. According to Britain’s broadcaster Nicky Morgan, Britain’s outgoing digital minister. Britain proposed new online safety laws last year that it would be the toughest in the world.


Governments globally are wrestling over how to better control on social media platforms often blamed encouraging abuse, the spread of online pornography and for influencing or manipulating voters.
Under the proposals to be announced, social media platforms will have to remove illegal content quickly and minimize the risk of it appearing at all.
There has been growing concern about the role of the internet in the distribution of material relating to terrorism, child abuse, self-harm, and suicide. The debate has been sharpened in recent months by the case of the British teenager who killed herself partly because of self-harm images viewed on social media.

                                 
The scope of the recommendation is broad as well as social media platforms such as Facebook and search engines such as Google they take in online messaging services and file hosting sites.
The Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg issues a public call for the international equation of the web on four fronts: political advertising, data portability, privacy, and harmful content. “I’ve come to believe that we shouldn’t make so many important decisions about speech on our own. “ – Zuckerberg wrote.



Research links excessive Facebook or Instagram use to depression and loneliness

Presently, something like 40% of the world’s population up to three billion people are using Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, or another social media app or website. Most people spend an average of two hours or more a day on these platforms: sharing photos, commenting in those of others, tweeting their opinion, or simply checking in what the people in their networks are doing.

The use of social media has been shown to correlate with loneliness with heavy users being twice as likely to report social isolation. On the other hand, even if these users aren’t physically and emotionally separated from the important people in their lives, they may still feel that way: more time spent on the most commonly used social networks correlates to higher feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Studies have also shown that higher social media use is associated with higher anxiety. It’s possible that higher social media use is caused by loneliness and anxiety, and not the other way around.


Security, terrorism and social media

Social media is changing the speed of how the public learns about terrorist attacks, and the way they react, the first information to the public about incidents is now likely to come through social media channels such as Twitter rather than through traditional news outlets.
Due to the convenience, affordability, and broad reach of social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, terrorist groups and individuals have increasingly used social media to further their goals recruit members, and spread their message. Attempts have been made by various governments and agencies to thwart the use of social media by terrorist organizations.
In a study by Gabriel Weimann from the University of Haifa, Weimann found that nearly 90% of organized terrorist activities on the internet takes place via social media. According to Weimann, terror groups use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and internet forums to spread their messages, recruit members and gather intelligence.


Terror groups take to social media because social media tools are cheap and accessible, facilitate quick, broad dissemination of messages, and allow for unfettered communication with an audience without the filter or "selectivity" of mainstream news outlets. Also, social media platforms allow terror groups to engage with their networks. Whereas previously terror groups would release messages via intermediaries, social media platforms allow terror groups to release messages directly to their intended audience and converse with their audience in real-time: Weimann also mentions in "Theatre of Terror", that terrorists use the media to promote the theatrical like nature of the premeditated terror. 


Spreading untrue information
The cry of “Fake News” has become commonplace and consumer confidence in even traditional media outlets has been significantly eroded. Unfortunately, false, misleading, or confusing online content can harm your brand’s reputation, upset even loyal customers and can dissuade people from even considering the purchase of your products or services.
Unclear or unreliable health information
Online rumors can get started about the safety of certain foods, products, ingredients or treatments that have little basis in fact. Unfortunately, social media users may continue to spread this misinformation, which may cause readers to avoid purchasing, or even considering the information or services referred to in these posts.
Political Lines in the Sand
In 2018, owners of restaurants and other businesses found themselves in the crossfire of intense political loyalties when they appeared to take sides. Either on the left or the right. Even if any company doesn’t take a side politically, the mere appearance of favoring one party over another can cause political fallout with boycotts and fake reviews.
Online bullying
Many people think of cyberbullying as being a problem for young people. Unfortunately, adults may also bully each other online, and sometimes their targets are co-workers. Typical types of bullying include aggressive and unpleasant emails, private messages and public comments, putting unflattering or manipulated photos of the bullying target online. Employees who are victims of bullying often report experiencing extreme stress. Which may eventually affect their performance.


A recent report points to teenagers’ use of social media as a potential cause of mental distress

A report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, notes there has been an increase in teenagers in Ontario, Canada reporting “moderate to serious mental distress”.
The report links the growth in these cases to the rise of social media and smartphones, which had become commonplace by 2011.
In 2017, for example, the number of teens reporting mental health concerns after sing smartphones and social media increased to 39%, up from 24% in 2013. A similar increase was seen in teens using health services. In the years between 2007 and 2014, there was a substantial increase in children and teens hospitalized for mental health issues, with a 110% increase in hospitalization for self-harm.
In the United States, suicidal thoughts or attempts by children and teens has nearly doubled from 2008 to 2015, with the highest increase among teen girls. In the past two decades, a substantial pattern of growth emerged among self-reported symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts among high schoolers.



In India, where the internet – and fake news – are still relatively new phenomenon a false report of rampant child abduction and organ harvesting circulated widely via, WhatsApp, leading to mob violence and over three dozen fatal lynchings in 2017 and 2018.
Nearly 100 Indian women politicians faced abuse, including rape and death threats in social media during the election in 2019, researchers are raising concerns over rising online violence against women globally.
A study by Amnesty International India said 95 female politicians received nearly 1 million hateful mentions on Twitter between March and May in 2019, one in five of which was sexist or misogynistic.
Digital rights experts said gender-based online violence was increasing which was intimidating women and deterring them from putting themselves forward for public office.

The state of democracy around the world

New provisions about to release in India after Britain
 According to the country’s controversial new rules for social media companies and messaging apps 400 million social media users to set to lose Anonymity in India. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok will have to reveal users' identities.
The requirement comes as government around the world are trying to hold social media companies more accountable for the content that circulates on their platform, whether its fake news, child porn, racist invective or terrorism-related content. India’s new guidelines go further than most other countries’ by requiring blanket cooperation with government inquiries, no warrant or judicial order required.
India proposed these guidelines in Dec. 2018 and asked for public comment. The Internet and Mobile Association of India, a trade group that counts Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google among its members, responded that the requirements "would be a violation of the right to privacy recognized by the Supreme Court."
But the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is expected to publish the new rules later this month without major changes, according to a government official familiar with the matter.



The provisions in the earlier draft had required platforms such as Google's YouTube or ByteDance Inc.'s TikTok, Facebook or its Instagram and WhatsApp apps, to help the government trace the origins of a post within 72 hours of a request. The companies would also have to preserve their records for at least 180 days to aid government investigators, establish a brick-and-mortar operation within India and appoint both a grievance officer to deal with user complaints and a government liaison. The Ministry is still finalizing the language and content.
The rules cover all social media and messaging apps with more than 5 million users. India, with 1.3 billion people, has about 500 million internet users. It isn't clear whether the identities of foreign users would be subject to the Indian government's inquiries.
Law enforcement agencies around the world have been frustrated by tech companies that have refused to identify users, unlock devices or generally cooperate with government investigations, particularly in cases relating to terrorism.


At the same time, tech companies and civil rights groups say the new rules are an invitation to abuse and censorship, as well as a burdensome requirement on new and growing companies.
The guidelines could lead to "automated censorship" and "increased surveillance." In order to be able to trace the originator of the content, platforms would basically be required to survey their users, undermine encryption, and harm the fundamental right to privacy of Indian users
Companies such as Mozilla or Wikipedia wouldn't fall under the new rules, the government official said. Browsers, operating systems, and online repositories of knowledge, software development platforms, are all exempt. Only social media platforms and messaging apps will be covered.


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