In general, we are thinking of discussing:
- Addiction problems, other mental health issues
- Influence on politics (aka polarization, radicalization)
- Influence on society as a whole (socialization, the popularity of emotionally charged content, etc.)
- Companies/government responsibility
- Banning/deleting misinformation, harmful content, radical groups, and how it is related to freedom of speech
- Limited access to social media to teenagers (China’s case)
- How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day - watch the first 13 minutes.
- How Social Media Algorithms Are Increasing Political Polarisation
- Social media copies gambling methods ‘to create psychological cravings’
Post to Moodle a response to at least one of the following questions. You are encouraged to also read and respond to your classmates postings, and to make additional posts adding your own thoughts or raising your own questions for discussion. Your posts will help shape the discussion that we have during the class period.
Are companies responsible for the user’s addiction? Do you believe that there should be some sort of regulation put in place against companies that manage, maintain and deploy media platforms used by the public? If so what would some of those regulations be and why?
When talking about social media algorithms it is often said that companies “sell” user attention at the expense of keeping them inside a filtered bubble that prevents them from exploring other content. How would you say this contributes to the mentality of young people we socialize with today?
Should companies delete posts, ban users who spread extreme/harmful/false information? If yes, what type of information should be banned in your opinion? If not, should algorithms have any either form of regulation? How does the freedom of speech come into play and where can we draw a line?
Have you fallen victim to these algorithms? What psychological or mental effects have you experienced? What apps do you use?