The Persistence of Ignorance
9 Social Media, Disinformation and Ignorance 147
9 Social Media, Disinformation and Ignorance n July 29, 2010, news services reported that personal information including contacts of more than 100 million Facebook users had been collected and made publicly available (msnbc.com, 2010). Users had the ability to either reveal or conceal that information while it was on the Facebook system but the public spread of the information on the open Internet meant that users lost the ability to control those details and they no longer had a choice to protect their privacy. The incident, downplayed by the operators of the Facebook system, revealed something of the increasingly important role of social networks in everyday life and the many possibilities and pitfalls of involvement in these networks. The various social networking platforms have garnered the expected media buzz and prompted the usual knee jerk moral panic that characterizes each new technology or substantial revision of communications media. Yet, beyond the usual skepticism and xenophobia about “new” communications technolo- gies, neo–Luddites and technorati along with the general public are faced with several emerging issues related to social networks and their user communities. From privacy and intellectual property concerns to violence and even deaths associated with online social networks, modern society is faced with an evolving set of technologies that not only redefine virtual relationships but also impact real lives. Fuelled by the fact that organizers of pro-democracy protests in North Africa and the Middle East used Facebook as one tool (among several others) to mobilize, the hype persists with...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.