The Impact of Digital Content: Opportunities and Risks of Creating and Sharing Information Online

ANALYSIS OF THE OFFICIAL REPORT PUBLISHED BY WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM



Social media has always been the basis for creating and sharing online content.These tools are very recent,but the idea was born around the 70s, when the first means of publishing public messages were invented. But today social media are not limited only to this and technological advancement has allowed more and more to expandthe network of possible activities. These technologies have allowed people to be able to communicate, even over greatdistances, in real time, offeringa quick way to organizeeven remote events or work groups. But what are the effects on society?


As alreadyspecified, the use of social media now does not only concern communication, but above all, the creationof even sensitive content, also becoming tools that allow us to manage and exploit our finances (shopping, banking) and social and legal transactions. Furthermore, identity management also remains an issue. Many social sitesallow users to use a fake name or registermultiple times with different credentials. Some of these mediahave tried to solve it by making the use of the real name mandatory, but the discussion remainsopen. Another problem is the largeamount of data produced by the use of socialnetworks. Starting with entering the personal data required to register on an app, the posts or thoughtsthat a person shares, often they do not pay attention to the data they make public and to the use of all in the future (such as the flashlight app, that collectsand resells location and contactdata from mobile phones). They can also have a major impact on businesses in every sector. The possibility of being able to share thoughts,opinions and experiences with the whole world in real time, can cause a change in the ideas of others who are influenced or simply becomeaware of a fact they were not aware of. In the businessfield, this happenswith reviews. If it is positive, then the brand will benefit from free advertising, but instead it is negative,even a single experience can ruin a brand's reputation.


The risk of online abuse has also found its way into this digitaladvance. Every post we publish, every status, photo, video is monitored and, if useful or viral, reposted by other users.

Sometimes ethical or privacy policiesare not enough and stillleave some space uncovered where people can stalk, bully or threatenothers. But of course the users also have their responsibilities. A large flow of false news is in fact often reported.This happens due to the speed with which news circulates and the ease with which it is written.


Few people are truly interested in verifying the source of information, often forgetting that they, the users themselves, are now also those who publish, withouthaving adequate expertise. Summing up the three main risks and problems are data ownership, data use and online behaviour.



Read the Official Report here: https://www3.weforum.org/docs/GAC16/Social_Media_Impact_Digital.pdf



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