In the modern era, our lives are more public than ever. We all post a lot of our lives on the internet for all to see, and even much of what we don’t intend the world to see can still be released.
Do you ever notice that searching for things on Google or other search engines change the ads that you see online? That is a result of these websites tracking what you do and what you’re interested in in order to improve their ad-based revenue. It’s a logical system if a bit manipulative.
For instance, I’ll look up a Star Wars quote and then have a banner ad for a Star Wars t-shirt that I have a significantly higher chance of buying as opposed another ad I might see at random. But what happens when this system is taken one step further?
Very recently, Facebook was reported by the New York Times to have been working with Cambridge Analytica, an analytics company that works for the Trump Campaign during his campaign for president. The problem is that this is a huge breach in privacy and the democratic system. We, as members of the voting public of this nation are entitled to a fair vote, swayed only by our own desires and legitimate political stances. But that’s not the case here.
Consider the above example about advertising. The same thing can be applied to politics in a broader sense. If a politician sees that the majority of the country holds a specific view on the Mexican border or Islamic terrorism, then that politician can simply change his policies to match what the people want, not because they believe in it or even intend to act on it, just that it will result in their victory.
This controversy lit a flame in the American public, as #deletefacebook spread across the internet and Facebook stock plummets. The true issue is that deleting Facebook is not a true solution. As long as social media is present on the web, this type of practice will occur more and more as politicians modernize and become more connected to ways of the current. The only real solution is to watch what you put online period, and don’t allow yourself to be swayed by what the internet thinks you believe.