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Social Media is "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works"

Former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya

     
6:21 pm on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, has presented to an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business and says he feels "tremendous guilt about to company he helped develop.
He said,
“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,”

...and suggested people take a "hard break."

"Palihapitiya’s remarks follow similar statements of contrition from others who helped build Facebook into the powerful corporation it is today. In November, early investor Sean Parker said he has become a “conscientious objector” to social media, and that Facebook and others had succeeded by “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society



Palihapitiya talks in the article about some disturbing situations which occurred, and they probably would not have occurred had their not been social media as we know it today. Also, he wasn't just singling out FB.

I've observed those around me when visiting a social gathering place, such as cafe, pub, or an event, and people are locked onto their phones, updating their profiles. It's almost as if it is a must-do, constantly.

It is worrying, especially for the younger generation that know no different.
10:51 pm on Dec 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Like almost anything else, social media is a tool that can be used for good or bad. Some people will always find a way to make bad use of something good. (Similarly, some people will always find a way to make something good out of something bad.)

I don't know about "ripping apart society"- that seems a bit extreme. Yes, there are many people who spend all their time on social media. But many of them would probably find other ways to spend all their time if they didn't have social media.
4:16 am on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Skateboards... they're the true architects for the demise of civilized society.
10:21 am on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think an argument can be made that while SM gives the user a superficial feeling of engaging others, it is really a self-centered solitary event that isolates and often replaces real interaction with others.

On the other hand, I also see SM Groups on FB bonding like-minded individuals giving them a stage for expression and sharing of interests.
11:17 am on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have been thinking about this and have reduced by own social media use.

Social media tends to favour the spread of misinformation. It creates echo chambers where people like whatever agrees with their prejudices and preconceived ideas. This encourages extremist views because people's views are not moderated by the need for civil engagement with those who disagree with them.

On top of that the technology allows very sophisticated manipulation, targeting the vulnerable. This talk is excellent in that. It gathers a lot more information than people realise - FB knows your sexual orientation, politics, religion, ethnicity, state of mental health etc. even if you never reveal them because all that can be inferred from algorithms.

[ted.com ]

I found persuading opposition supporters not to vote by showing them targeted posts particularly disturbing.
1:29 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I also found the talk excellent. Chamath says a lot of things that I agree with, not just in this talk but also in some of his investment strategies.

I think it is very telling that key players in FB and other social networks don't actually use their own services. I had heard, just last week, in a podcast with someone else from one these SM's, saying the exact same thing, and more so they were preventing their children from using SM.

People don't realize that probabilities always add to 1. So when you know the probability that a set of thing or persons can be classified in one group, another set in an another group and provided that these sets comprise a sufficiently large portion of the population then one can easily classify the remaining population in a another group as Punknown = 1 - (Pgrp-1 + Pgrp-2). In other words even by actively not participating in SM you can still be classified by SM.
3:25 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Skateboards... they're the true architects for the demise of civilized society.


@keyplyr Let me just correct you here. The problem is scooters. Everything was just fine before scooters.
4:42 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A lot of very good issued being addressed here. I know people who literally live their lives on social media and it's cant be good for them. Many may think of it as a way to remove loneliness, but it probably does exactly the opposite. You are in one location communicating with "friends" you may or may not know out with social media. Humans are social animals and need real interactions with real people.

People always tend to be boastful on social media platforms, highlight the good things and gave very little attention to the bad things. This puts out a very one-sided, and positive impression. This probably doesn't help others who are reading and thinking "my life is not that good", even although in reality the person posting all the upbeat posts will almost certainly have his/her own share of problems.

Social media tends to favour the spread of misinformation.

And I think this is the biggest problem facing social media in general. Anyone can post a lie about someone and people will share it, without even doing a basic amount of research. People will share lies about people they do not even know because someone (who they may not even know) told them it was true.

Everyone has the right to free speech, but everyone should be willing to be held accountable for spreading lies, especially when they are harmful to someone else.

I will provide a real example here, but remove anything identifiable...

"Person X was arrested earlier on for trying to kidnap a child from X. He has been bailed. His address is X"

That message was shared in huge numbers and person X had to be taken into police custody for his own protection. He was never arrested, he never attempted to commit any crime, he did, however, owe someone money and that was their way of getting their own back.

That was an example of how social media can be used for very bad purposes. The same can be used for good causes.

Mack.

[edited by: mack at 5:51 pm (utc) on Dec 12, 2017]

5:16 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't know about "ripping apart society"- that seems a bit extreme.

The example he cites in the article is dreadful, although i'm sure, it's in the minority.

Social media tends to favour the spread of misinformation.

I don't know it's favoured, but it's easier to spread information in general, whether fake or true. People have become particularly lazy and tend to believe what they just read on social media, whether fake or true. If it were face to face misinformation it will still spread, but it'll be far less widely.

That was an example of how social media can be used for very bad purposes.

Understanding that not everything people read is correct, and ought to be checked before believing it to be true.

As for people locked onto social media, it really is an epidemic, imho. I saw someone the other evening spending almost 15 minutes getting a selfie just right to post to social media. In the meantime, the people at the table just seemed to ignore her until she'd finished. I couldn't miss her as she was on the opposite table. I wonder if she took so long was because I was photobombing in the background. ;) lol
5:45 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As for people locked onto social media, it really is an epidemic, imho. I saw someone the other evening spending almost 15 minutes getting a selfie just right to post to social media.


he he...

We see someone spend 15 minutes everyday on a few SM posts that wreak havoc worldwide.

I don't do Mainstream SM personally, but do overhear on Daily bases in the Office, Subway and even when it gets to family time - things like "Did you read that TW or FB post?".

It is getting so bad that some of the ISPs starting to ridicule SM in their commercials when it comes to a dinner time timeout.

Just Saying...
6:59 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Before FB and its ilk, people spent similar amounts of time on earlier incarnations of "social media"- forums/message boards, IRC/other chat rooms, USENET, and list servers. The current explosion came about because people now have much easier and ubiquitous access to "SM"- phones instead of being tied to a desktop, or a dial-up modem, or a dumb terminal in the university's basement computer lab.

Plus, now you can send animated emojis instead of just text characters. (How DID we survive in those dark ages?!?)
7:01 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Facebook has responded to the claims, and it's not entirely an outright denial. That would look bad, wouldn't it!

Chamath has not been at Facebook for over six years. When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world. Facebook was a very different company back then and as we have grown we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too. We take our role very seriously and we are working hard to improve. We’ve done a lot of work and research with outside experts and academics to understand the effects of our service on well-being, and we’re using it to inform our product development. We are also making significant investments more in people, technology, and processes, and — as Mark Zuckerberg said on the last earnings call — we are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made.

[theverge.com...]
7:18 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The problem is scooters. Everything was just fine before scooters
And the digression continues from there.
9:15 pm on Dec 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Does WebmasterWorld count as part of Social Media? My guess is yes.

And it's a perfect example of the good and bad of Social Media.

Top quality, informed opinions and extremely helpful advice. Interspersed with ill-informed opinions and wildly exaggerated claims that the online universe is about to implode at any moment, or already has. With a smattering of posts in between the two.

It's up to the individual to judge the difference. Unfortunately it seems to me that the "sound bite", however trivial, now seems to appeal to far too many.

Amended: typo
8:46 pm on Dec 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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But many of them would probably find other ways to spend all their time if they didn't have social media.


(I see a hanging softball just waiting to be slammed over the fence)

Yes, they might actually do they work they are being paid for.

I know, I know. Where is the management of these people? Sorry, seen a lot lately that makes me think "no wonder robots are taking so many jobs formerly performed by humans".


FarmBoy (Never been on Twitter or Facebook and I consider an iPhone to be a rude box)
6:35 am on Dec 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I get on FB once a month for 30 minutes. That's it. Been a member since day one (or two), and not found much use for it. But I have seen the tenor of FB change over the years and the commentary (what I can stomach) has become rather shrill and discordant (and many of these voices are actually family members and friends!).

As with anything done to excess, there will be negatives, if nothing else, time one cannot ever get back.
 

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