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  • Writer's pictureRCS Ottawa

"The Social Dilemma"

Social media, by design nurtures addiction in order to maximize advertising profit. Social media platforms use "notifications" and "likes" to trigger dopamine responses in the brain. This can lead to problematic use of social media, and research has linked excessive social media use to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Social media companies collect vast amounts of personal data from users, which can be used for targeted advertising and other purposes. By profiling and tracking our interests, social media is able to curate the content it funnels us in order to keep us online and sell more targeted advertising. But in controlling what information is "fed" to us, social media has been used to manipulate people's views, emotions, and behavior.

The unintended consequences have been: information overload; shortened attention spans; no-name influencers; fake news; bot content being perceived as the "voice of the majority"; "deep fakes" of our voices and images creating an alternate reality; and polarization - leading to a "Breakdown of Democracy".


This has raised concerns about data privacy and security, especially in light of several high-profile data breaches and scandals ability to manipulate people's views, emotions, and behavior and spread conspiracy theories and disinformation.

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