Most social media sharing isn't real

Most social media sharing isn't real 

Bottom Line: In the wake of the Facebook data broker scandal a lot has been uncovered about what really goes on with our information behind the scenes. A lot more is still to come. But your personal data being shared and sold in ways you'd never envisioned isn't the only revelation. All of the newly refocused attention on the industry revealed that potentially 23 million children under 13 are having their personal information potentially illegally used on YouTube. The largest "Black Lives Matter" page on Facebook being a fake. And speaking of fake...well so is most of what's happening on social platforms right now. 

According to new analysis from the Pew Research Center bots are behind most of what's shared on social media - not people. Consider their findings on Twitter.  

  • 66% of all tweets with links are sent by automated computer programs 

That includes 66% of all news tweeted, 76% of all sports content and even 62% of all celebrity tweets (yes, they hire people and programs to promote themselves commonly). How ironic is this? It's literally anti-social media. Pew found that most bots aren't identifiable, so it's not easy to know if you're interacting with a computer program or a person. The study focused on Twitter rather than Facebook, but related research has shown that much the same is true their too. In fact, Facebook's recent changes in feeds aimed to minimize the impact of linked material that's often send out by bots. Btw, if you're wondering about the political bend of bot content when politics are involved... It's pretty bipartisan 

  • 44% of political content sent by bots is left leaning, 41% is right leaning with the balance being non-partisan 

That also tells you that most of the news related content you'll find on Twitter is partisan. A lot is happening very quickly within social media. It's unclear where this spinning wheel will stop but a more informed consumer of social media is a constructive byproduct of the controversies. 

 

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