Can we trust social media: stocks, shorts, and conspiracy theories

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Mon Feb 22, 2021

The past few weeks or so have been a chaos factory on Wall Street where GameStop sold stocks due to the noise created by the "Wallstreetbets" group in a popular social media platform "Reddit." Investors and several CEOs have raised concerns over unethical trading and raised several questions of credibility over these social platforms. We all know that there are no defined rules for social media functioning and giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter has faced several allegations of misleading information and privacy concerns for the public.

Everyone realizes that social media is the fastest way to reach people, and they are all about creating viral content and buzz. There are no dedicated entities to refine authentic information and validate it. We hear so many frauds and scams over the internet every day. Building trust has been the major concern that every business still strives to develop with its consumers. With no proper validity, people are often misled to believe in something that is not even remotely close to the truth. With the power of editing software, almost anyone could create a piece of content that can reach millions even before it is validated. Think about numerous conspiracy theories during the time of coronavirus that led many people to forgo masks, get infected, and even cause deaths. This is because several social media stars fell into the traps of believing random information and acted upon it to acquire attention.

Finally, the major threat in regards to social media is your privacy. Our data and activities are consistently tracked by these platforms which are then sold to advertisers. Our activities are no longer safe. We have seen prevalent instances of stealing credit card data, malware attacks on computers, money stolen from bank accounts, and fraudulent sales through phony credentials. Unfortunately, these schemes often target the elderly and those less media savvy. There are no limits to what social media companies can do with our data, and we are never informed of the whole picture. We must know nothing is free in this world, and we pay the price to use these platforms for free. 

Today's evolved society has made it near impossible to live without social media. We have started using social media platforms to even collaborate for professional work. But it lies in our hands to make sure we are secured by consistently reviewing what details we are giving to the platform and what consequences it may have. Let us all hope there will come a definitive set of laws every platform and its users must follow that will remove all these discrepancies and make social media an effective tool for growth.

 

 

 

Appears in
2021-Spring-Issue 4
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