The Evil Side of Social Media

The explosive growth of social media and its initial penetration into all aspects of our world has become indisputable. Social media provides the basis for connecting people with people in our physical communities as well as virtually all over the world. Technology mediated communication through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linked In has become an essential component of business, politics, education and just plain fun. The reach and capability of social media applications to support both personal and community based communication is unprecedented in human history. In terms of volume of communication, speed of connection, and the use of distributed expertise and collaboration to solve difficult problems, social media provides numerous platforms that for communication and collaboration. However, there is a dark side to social media. This evil aspect of social media manifests as impersonation, misrepresentation and just plain lying. Perhaps, you might think, evil is too strong a word, but the pernicious forms of viral deceit that have, and will continue to infect virtual meeting spaces in the social media ecosphere.
Here are a few examples:
1 . Phonied up “profiles” that misrepresent previous work experience, job role(s) and responsibilities.
2. Favorable product reviews that are posted by employees from the same company that manufactures or brings to market the product or service being reviewed..
3. Phony citations by made up authors.
4. Assuming the identity of an on line avatar and pretending to be someone or something you are not.
5. Plagiary…finding something interesting somebody else wrote and claiming it as your own.
These are just a few examples.
What do you think? Is the Evil side of social media something worth considering or not?
Is there anything we can do to combat the evil and emphasize the good?

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