Impact on Memories, Manners, Depression, Fraud, Harassment, etc

It is claimed (Katy Waldman, 2015) that the younger generation have fewer problems with comprehension and recall than older generations when engaged in on-line reading

Also memories are being altered by the digital revolution, ie

"...the savage irony is that the more accurately the Internet remembers everything, the more our memories atrophy. The result is an amnesia about everything except the immediate, the instant, and now and the me..."

Jonathan Freedland as quoted by Andrew Keen, 2015

- Less polite, ie in communicating, people are more direct, aggressive, rude, etc and less tactful, diplomatic, nice, civil, etc to each other on social media

- depression, ie there is even some suggestion of a strong association between use of social media use and depression

"... Every app on your phone is engineered to hook and hold your attention, at the expense of your work, sleep, family and mental health..."

Ian Leslie, 2018

- encourages fraud with many users have inflated their social media followers with automated or fake accounts. This has suggests the false appearance of social influence in order to boost their political activism, business endeavours  or entertainment careers. This is fuelled in part by the growing political and commercial value of being widely followed on social media, ie social media influencers or mini-celebrities who promote brands and products to their followers and customers

Various platforms are starting to weed out these fake accounts and some firms like Unilever are no longer paying influencers. There is a need for

"...less bot activity and more human activity..."

Keith Weed as quoted by Nicholas Confessore et al 2018

- encourages abuse, harassment and hate speech, ie allowing extremists to express their views on social media.

"...A 2013 Pew report found that in the lead up to the US 2012 election, tweets about both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney skewed heavily towards the negative - and that was before the advent of Donald Trump, police shooting protests and other events that dial up the rancour in American politics and society. Surveys confirmed the generally adversarial, vitriolic characters of Twitter discussions. The platform's antagonistic slant is clearly demonstrated by the concept of "ratio". When a tweets ratio of replies to Retweets or Likes is high, Twitter users assume that the Tweet was a bad one, thus offering a tempting chance to tell the user that he or she is wrong or stupid......surveys show that online harassment is pervasive......for women, Twitter is toxic..."

Noah Smith 2018

Some people in the tech industry have a differing view of hate speech; they see it as valuable disagreement. They are more concerned with the concept of "echo chamber", ie where like-minded people are not exposed to differing points of view.

 

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