Extra Negative Impacts of Social Media

Artificial intelligence-powered voice assistance (negative impacts of social media)

Should we show the respect, we afford to fellow human beings, to these machines?

There is some research showing that these gadgets could be teaching children to be rude and demanding and

"...dividing line between digital person and real human beings might not be clear for children..."

Child Wise as quoted by Edward Baig 2019

"...what makes things more complicated is that digital assistants have an aura of authority..."

Pamela Rutledge as quoted by Edward Baig 2019


Social media has allowed the demonisation of expertise (Fern Riddell 2018), ie people like economists, medical practitioners, scientists, historians, community leaders, etc who were previously respected are now being challenged by ignorance and arrogance that can be found in abundance on social media.

There is a disturbing trend to normalise fake news, eg President Trump

Concentration of information/power

Initially it was hoped that social media would result in the decentralising of information and power. However there has been a concentration of these via big tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc

Privacy breach

This involves collection of data by digital platforms from customers and then sharing it with a third-party without the customer's permission. Great advances in technology's ability to acquire, refine and reuse personal information is making this a bigger problem.

Digital manipulation (deep fakes)

Digital manipulation can have major repercussions, ie

"...fraudulent clicks of business leaders can tank companies. False audio of central bankers can swing markets. small businesses and individuals can face crippling reputation for financial risk..."

Siddharth Venkataralakrishnan 2020

"...deepfake......an algorithm in charge, the results can be much more convincing. The technology that powers deep fakes, known as generative adversarial networks..."

Siddharth Venkataralakrishnan 2020

This involves a synthesiser that creates content and the detector or discriminator compares it with images of the real thing.

Extremist views

Under the ostensible defence of freedom of speech, social media is allowing the spread of extremist views around racism, xenophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, etc.


"...The rise of popularism......has approximate causes and broader ones that are sustaining its ferocity, and what I call the weaponisation of paranoia. The approximate cause was the unequal recovery from the global financial crisis, which left people feeling left out. This is understandable; it is outrageous that there was such inequality in the way things were put back together......there were structural reasons......automation, robotics, the success of renewable energy sources that work economically but aren't labour-intense. There were people who were pleased to encourage populous militancy - to mobilise people's grievances against completely innocent parties - like migrants....."

Sir Simon Schama as quoted by Nicole Abadee, 2019


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