Tech

Social networks, in the eye of the hurricane due to Facebook revelations

These are not good times for social media And, although some with greater responsibility for it than others, the truth is that in general the only thing that is going to happen is that they are going to collect precisely what they have sown over the last few years. It seems incredible, seen over the years, that those apparently innocent services in their beginnings, and that many of us welcomed with open arms, have become what they are now, and pose the plethora of problems that we have been aware of for so long. .

In this regard no one can deny Facebook the gold medal, which since the Cambridge Analytica scandal has not stopped concatenating problems, which have led to its image being, today … well, what it is. Nevertheless, it would be cynical to download all the inks against Facebook, forgetting that there are other social networks that should also perform accounts for some of their activities, and that they also live in a regulatory context that we can resemble that of the Wild West.

This, however, could be close to changing, and the most interesting thing is that European and American administrations and regulators seem to be taking steps in the same direction. Social networks see an ever closer future approaching, in which new and necessary regulations seek to end the most reprehensible techniques and attitudes of the same.

And, on the one hand and as we can read in Phone Arena, European regulators have held several meetings with Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee and responsible for many of the revelations about irregular actions of the company. Meetings that have accelerated the plans of the European Union to establish much stricter regulations regarding how social networks should respond to certain types of content, and the penalties they may face if they do not comply with the new rules.

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services agrees that social networks are currently a kind of “digital wild west” and, although the bill is currently in the draft phase, he has urged institutions to step on the accelerator, with the surprising proposal to have said regulation ready throughout the first half of 2022. It seems like an impossible deadline, but he has emphasized that speed is crucial, so it makes sense to expect all related institutions to do their best to have the new rule ready as soon as possible.

For its part, in the United States and as we can read in Business Insider, legislators from the US House of Representatives have presented a bill so that social networks are forced to offer a version of their services free of algorithms who, at present, choose for us what content we see. Algorithms that pose problems like the ones we recently told you about Facebook, or a little over a year ago about Instagram, also owned by Meta.

The so-called “transparent input algorithm”, would be intended to avoid the techniques currently used by social networks to choose what content they show us. Something that, in theory, has the function of showing us what may interest us the most, but that in reality, and due to the opacity around them, has been arousing multiple suspicions for a long time, and which is surely behind, among other things, the problem of “addiction” to social networks, a problem that is not talked about much, but which is still very present today.

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