Social media is a great way to connect with people across the world and a great way to market new ideas. There are many things that can be learned from social media and a variety of ways to experience new things. For some it’s about sharing their life, for others it’s about trying to get TikTok followers and grow their branding or business. While it is beneficial in many ways, social media should be taken with a pinch of salt, specifically if it is used as a source of news. Many users receive their news information from social media sources rather than traditional sources of information.
This may not seem like a problem as much of what social media reports on is what traditional news reports on. Indeed traditional news is emulating social media’s success and trying to establish their own follower bases on popular sites like Twitter. Though unconfirmed, some media outlets have been said to buy Twitter followers (https://studybreaks.com/tvfilm/buy-twitter-followers/), if true, this shows how much social media has affected traditional media as well.
The primary problem of news on social media comes not from media outlets but from outsider reports or personal posts on events. Many of the sources on social media offer their own set of biases, inaccurate information, and even false information that hasn’t been fact-checked. False and biased information can benefit the sources of information in many ways while harming the information’s readers. Researchers at Indiana University identified three different biases, possessed by society, that make misinformation on social media harmful.
Humans encounter a variety of things throughout their lives and lifestyles that allow them to create biases towards many things. Known as cognitive biases, these biases are formed in order to prevent information overload in a person’s brain. The brain, only capable of processing a finite number of things, develops systems of remembering information.
People form biases based on their circle of acquaintances and the people they routinely hang around. The group of people that surround a person plays major influences on the thoughts that that person has about the world. People are more likely to accept information when it is accepted by the people around them. This could be argued to be the reason behind the satisfaction of getting a high number of likes or followers on social media. When a post is attracting lots of attention and praise, this causes others to look at the post and get in on the action. SocialFollow supplies free Instagram followers, alongside many other similar apps, which therefore help people gain the approval they crave in terms of social media – this is an example of societal bias. Similarly, people tend to reject the information that the people in their surroundings reject. This effect is known as an “echo chamber” and can easily allow groups of people to be manipulated.
Machine biases can play a major role in the information that a person is shown on social media. Through a task known as machine learning, machines are fed algorithms to decipher the things that people like online and to determine what to show those people in the future. Machine learning is something that requires the basic understanding of linear algebra for machine learning, along with other concepts, so it can be applied to practical applications such as this. Social media platforms, eCommerce sites, and search engines utilize machine learning to provide their users with better services. However, machine learning can easily promote biases towards the information that users are already exposing themselves to. Rather than providing a full picture, machine learning can tailor the wrong type of information for a user. It is however still a process that is very useful in this instance, and can also play a major role in other applications.
About The Author
Yuri Vanetik is an Entrepreneur, Private Investor, Coalition Builder, and Philanthropist in Orange County, California. He is the Managing Partner of Vanetik International, LLC, a management consulting firm which offers advisory services and strategic planning to businesses and industries. He is also the Managing Partner of Dominion Asset Management, a technology-driven opportunity real estate fund that invests in undervalued real estate throughout the United States. Yuri Vanetik brings over 20 years of professional experience in a variety of roles, and has been featured in notable publications, including the Wall Street Journal, California Business Journal, Forbes, and Bloomberg Law.