Should Social Media Sites Be Regulated

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In the past several years, I have witnessed Information Technology (IT) be used to further develop the convenience of using social media (SM). However, it has also led me to delete all SM accounts with the exception of youtube. IT has definitely supported the development of facebook and other social media sites in ways that are just as skeptical as it is beneficial. A good chunk of users across the globe use the convenience of SM for many reasons such as connecting with friends/family members, keeping up with current events, meeting new people, entertainment etc usually with innocence not understanding the risks that may come along with displaying private information online. The purpose of this research paper is to identify ways that IT have had a positive impact on the development of SM sites and more so identify the negative impact this has had on general users. Overall the negative impacts outweigh the positive. This paper will shed light on why that is and why SM should be regulated.

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“Social media users’ concerns about their privacy have spiked in recent years. Incidents of data breaches have alarmed many users and forced them to rethink their relationships to social media and the security of their personal information”. As the use of SM has been rising over the years, it is without a doubt skepticism from users have also been rising along with its growth. By its true definition, knowledge management (KM) is the efficient handling of information and resources within a commercial organization. As stated by Seiner “the intentions of sharing knowledge are good, KM involves a discipline of spreading knowledge of individuals and groups across the organization in ways that directly impact performance”. As time goes on organizations have gone to extremes through their use of information technology or knowledge management in an attempt to positively impact performance as stated above. However working on the development of performance has also led to an increase of privacy violation or improper sharing of data. SM CEO’s will do whatever it takes to lure as many people as they could to use and be engaged in their sites. Many will overlook this risk without doing anything to make a change due to many reasons particularly because they are not educated and made aware of how much their lives can change if malicious software attacks do occur. If the integrity within a network is not regulated, there will be an increase of identity theft through security breaches, data mining, phishing, malware sharing, botnet attacks etc. Additionally, if not addressed or if general users are not made aware of safety measures to take, hackers will continue to exploit their vulnerability and continue to add to the increase of data breaches and identity theft.

“In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, commenting on the rise of SNSs, said that users have become more comfortable sharing their private information online, including challenging the “social norm” of privacy, which in his eyes, had become obsolete. It has become almost inevitable for people to operate within SM networks with a feeling of safety for their information while doing so. That said, it has also become a norm for SM networks to violate user agreements at the benefit of enhancing their website. It is not a coincidence that the ads we run across on social media are of our liking and interest. There is a sense of acknowledgement from the public with the understanding that data sharing does occur and there isn't much that anybody can do about it. According to Newman 2021, “WhatsApp shares a lot of intel with facebook, including account information like your phone number, logs of how long and how often you use whatsApp, information about how you interact with others, device identifiers, and other device details like IP address, operating system, browser details, battery health information, app version, mobile network, language and time zone.” It is valid for one to argue that there are benefits of sharing information/data between two SM sites, however their reasoning should not overshadow the private security of SM users.

Research findings prove there is a lack of understanding and uncertainty from the general public as to how they could keep themselves protected while using SM networks. A course of action to take will be to first find a way to regulate and monitor the use of personal data. If the use of SM marketing is regulated and thoroughly looked over, it'll lead to privacy agreement violators being held accountable for misuse of personal data or improper marketing. The general public should be made aware of the risks just as they are made aware of the benefits of engaging in SM use. The government should be involved and implement strict laws to protect SM users.

In Summary, Information technology has supported the development of Facebook and Other social media sites. One could even argue information technology has a much bigger impact on the development of SM sites with very little risks. However there is a great risk in one's will to upload personal information online. User agreements are not always held to a high standard of integrity, and data breaches and other malicious attacks can be prevented or reduced with less data sharing within SM sites. Finally, regulating SM sites is a big step that could be taken to protect the safety of its users.

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