Analysis of social network exploitation
The 21st century has been characterized by a significant development in technology. Due to innovations and inventiveness, humans have come up with modern tools that are geared towards making life better as compared to the ancient times. In almost all fields, technology has replaced the old methods through which things were done. Day in day out, there is always an invention that is made. The technology seems to be getting better and better as days pass. Whatever was the best technology a decade ago has been replaced by other technologies that are superior, both in nature and application. Technology seems to be taking shape in almost all fields. Whether in communication, transport, education and other fields, new products are being produced on a daily basis, with the aim being simplifying the manner in which human beings carry out things. There seems to be no end to the development of new technology, since after each day, a new product is developed that is better than what was produced the day before. Technology is, in most cases, associated with making the human life simple (Qualman et al. 56). However, sometimes it may turn out to have negative effects, to the detriment of humanity and human beings.
Nowhere has the technology in communication been embraced like in corporations. The quick nature through which information is spread through social networks such as twitter and face book has seen a major change in the manner that companies and corporations make their communications. When compared to the ancient times, the innovation of the networks plays a crucial role in uniting members of the same corporation. Past mechanisms of communications included memos and letters. These were inefficient in that the message took a lot of time to be delivered and there was no guarantee that it could be received. However, the introduction of the social media makes it easy for managers and employees to communicate in a matter of seconds, regardless of the geographical position one is.
There is a new trend that has seen corporate embracing the social media to make communications to their employees. Whereas twitter and face book were initially used at a personal level, corporations have embraced this technology and have invested to ensure their communications are channeled through this mechanism. The recent past has seen more and more corporations applying this technology as compared to the analogy methods. However, amid all this hype related to the use of social media and networks to make the communications, there are several challenges that emerge. Nowhere have these challenges found the perfect platform than in the corporate sector. There are serious concerns that are related to these forms of communication as pertains to the corporations and in some times, problems that need to be amicably solved have emerged. Some of these concerns include that over the asymmetry of privacy loss, the construction and privatization of an ever-richer data profile of users, and the general exploitation of users enabled by terms of service agreements that enforce separation and which return the labor of individual users as an alien force against them. These problems have put the corporations in dire problems without their knowledge or their intention to be bound. All this is due to the ignorance that they have towards the terms and conditions of using the networks.
In most cases, the employers have used the social media to access private information about the employees. This, in the real sense is unethical and leads to lack of privacy. Employers, for instance, can access the face book timeline of their employees and monitor the kind of content they post. This also happens in twitter. It would be very wrong for the corporations to hold the employees responsible for such posts since they interfere with an individual’s privacy. Censoring the information they can fear also causes fear among the employees and as such, this may lead to the infringement of the right to expression. Such information can also be gathered to stage competition against other corporations that engage in similar goods and services.
The most common challenge that is experienced on a daily basis due to the social media is that of losing privacy. Through the social media, it becomes very easy for people to share private and personal information. Sharing of information is, in itself, not a bad thing, so as to say. However, problems tend to arise when the information shared is excessive. Through such an activity, a person, or rather a company stands a chance to expose even the information they would deem to be private and confidential to the public. The easiness through which information is accessed in the social media, it sometimes becomes difficult to control or prevent people from having an access to the information. Whereas the information could be important and essential to the employees, there is a probability that it could fall to people with ill intentions to the corporations. This would, in essence, put the corporation in an awkward position as they would have to look for mechanisms to counter the possible effects (Ramzan et al 89). This problem has caused panic among many corporations among discovering that the information they shared has been used against them effectively.
Corporations have created their own websites and pages in the social media such as face book and twitter. Strictly speaking, they do this with a good intention so as to ensure that the public can get the correct information about the corporation. The challenge that arises is when the competitors, for instance, plot to uses the information against the corporation. Face book provides a platform to share views and give comments on a specific issue that has been posted online. Competitors, for instance, could decide to impersonate themselves and give vulgar comments in the corporation’s page. In essence, this will not go well with the advocates of the corporations and could see it being negatively affected
The biggest threat that the social media presents is that of the accounts being hacked. In the modern times, hacking has become as simple as getting the username of the account. When this happens, two things may result. First, the owner of the account may lose access to the account. Losing access is destructive in that one cannot control whatever is taking place or is being posted in their accounts. Destructive information may be posted which may have the result of annoying and turning away the possible clients to the corporation. Second, the hackers could decide not to bar the owner from having access to the account. As such, they would have the log in details to use it in different ways to destroy the corporations. By having the account’s details, they would have a perfect opportunity to learn of the communications that the corporation makes. By this, they would have an access to some information that the corporations would not otherwise disclose to other people. This hinders the privacy and may result to some difficulties in the running and management of the corporation.
Social media also has other challenges such as the general exploitation of users enabled by terms of service agreements that enforce separation and which return the labor of individual users as an alien force against them. In most cases, the users of the social media networks do not go through the terms and conditions of service. As such, they may not be aware of the effects that may be brought up by some clauses that they are not aware of. As much as the users may be blamed of ignorance, the fact is that few users make that extra effort to go through the terms and conditions.
In conclusion, as much as technology has been embraced because of its positive impacts, people should take caution not to be caught off guard. Privacy is the key challenge that is users of the social media face. People ought to be careful on what they post or else it would be misinterpreted and put them in problems.
Qualman, Erik. Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2009. Print.
Ramzan, Naeem. Social Media Retrieval. London: Springer, 2013. Print.