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Social Media

By ashlyn7371 Feb 19, 2013 1480 Words
Social media and the news go hand in hand, many individuals rely on Facebook and twitter to stay informed. A survey in the article, “The State of The News Media” concludes that 70% of Facebook users get their news from friends and family members via Facebook and 13% of users receive their news from news organizations that post their news through social media sites. This survey proves that social media sites are becoming pathways to news. The purpose of this article is to find out exactly how much consumers rely on Social media sites such as, Facebook and twitter for their daily news and information. Social media sites are not replacing news channels and websites, but rather social media is becoming an additional way to stay informed in modern day news. This article also includes that regardless if an individual has a laptop, a desktop or a smart phone the percentages of people who use social media to receive news are the same no matter what type of device they use. An article that offers a similar takes on news and social media today is the article “Twitter isn’t Evil”. The article opens with “If government really doesn’t like your one hundred and forty characters, Twitter can white them out” (Thompson). Thompson reports on events in Syria where tweets were blacked out and censored from the public. Government’s around the World are now taking action to censor the general publics opinions and individuals tweets. The government is preventing citizens of specific countries from receiving their news through social media sites. The article “The State of The News Media” informs its readers through a survey which states, 70% of social media users get their information through posts made by friends and family members. In the article “Twitter isn’t Evil” the government is gaining control over exactly what can and cannot be posted. The social media users that fit into that 70% category are going to be left in the dark once the government censors their news source. These countries that are allowing censorship of social media sites such as twitter are taking away the tie between social media and the news. Nicole Perlroyh and Nik Biton’s article “Mobile Aps Take Data Without Permission”, does not follow along directly with the common theme of society receiving news through social media websites. However this article does include a discussion of Mobile aps and the invasion of privacy. Mobile app usage has taken off in the past five years. Twitter and Facebook are among these mobile applications that have been stealing data without the users permission. If a person is to rely on these applications on their smart phone for their daily news, they should be able to do so without the fear of data on their mobile device being stolen. Mobile news applications are also another way for a smart phone user to receive their daily news. It is apparent that social media plays a big role in receiving news, but should it be available only at the cost of our daily and basic freedoms.

Free speech, privacy and censorship are very large issues concerning social media sites today. Anyone who has ever logged onto a social media site knows to expect a status or a tweet consumed with an individual’s opinion. Their opinion could be on the latest episode of Pretty Little liars, a status about how much they hate the Auburn Tigers, or a tweet about their political opinion. The question isn’t weather or not it happens, because everyone has read that post from that way to opinionated person. The question is should those opinions be censored because a countries government disagrees with it? Some governments think so. The article, “Twitter isn’t Evil” states “The company (Twitter) announced at the end of last week that it would censor tweets on a country-by-country basis”(Thompson). If the Government doesn’t approve of the tweet that you have created, Twitter will be forced to censor your tweet. Nations that do not like their citizens to say or tweet anything that is insulting about the leaders of their country, have welcomed the censorship. Twitter is widely used and is recognized as a form of free speech. Censoring what an individual posts online is an invasion of free speech. “Supreme Court Justices, presidents, prime minsters and dictators for life will decide much of the future of free speech”(Thompson). Free speech through twitter lies in the hands of a countries leader. Limiting our free speech through Twitter could lead to a snowball effect of more and more free speech rights disappearing. In order to censor these tweets the Government will be invading privacy by gaining access to their citizen’s social media accounts. Governments are not the only ones invading an individual’s privacy rights, mobile applications are invading privacy as well. The article “Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission” states, “Last February, Lookout, a mobile security company, found that 11 percent of free applications in the Apple ITunes’s Store had the ability to access users’ contacts”(Perlroth & Bilton). Applications downloaded on mobile devices are invading privacy through gaining access to personal information. Mobile application companies have been blamed for other privacy violations such as using tracking software, recording phone calls and keystrokes and encrypted Internet searches. These mobile applications are not only invading the app users privacy, but also doing so without permission or even a fair warning. “The State of the News Media 2012” concludes, “Facebook users spent an average of 423 minutes each on the site in December” (Mitchell, Rosenstiel, Christian). Facebook users are spending a lot of time online and most smartphone users access Facebook through a mobile application. If a Facebook user is spending such a substantial amount on that application, the application could be invading the app users privacy while scrolling down there news feed. Privacy right violations and the non-existence of free speech rights are seen throughout social media websites, even if the users of these websites vary.

Two main sites, Facebook and Twitter, define social Media. These social media sites are well known thought the United States as well as many other countries. Twitter users and Facebook users are both in search of the same things; connections to friends, a source to stay informed and a way to express their opinion for the world to see. While the purpose behind theses two social media websites are similar, there are also a few differences between the two. “The State Of The News Media 2012” states, “There are some strong demographic differences when you break down those who use Facebook for news and those who use Twitter” (Mitchell, Rosenstiel, Christian). The differences they found were that Twitter users where more likely to be younger than Facebook users. Twitter uses are also more likely to be male, more likely to be more educated and more likely to be less white than Facebook users. Facebook users are more likely to be older and have children living in their household than Twitter users. Facebook and Twitter also function differently. Facebook allows multiple albums of photos to be posted, where as Twitter allows only a single post and a single photo. Twitter updates are limited to one hundred and forty characters long, while Facebook statuses are nearly unlimited in the number of words allotted. The article “Twitter isn’t Evil” states, “In countries where Twitter does business, the company has to follow local laws”(Thompson). Twitter is a global business that reaches millions of people worldwide, however, Twitter, as a company must follow the laws that the country has set forth. Countries guidelines and laws include censoring tweets therefore; Twitter must censor what the country deems in need of censorship. Thus, Twitter is a powerful site where a citizen’s opinion can reach millions within seconds. Facebook is not being forced to be censored, so why is Twitter? Twitter is a global network that reaches many educated people; the leader of a nation understands the danger of an educated opinion reaching another educated individual. Therefore, another difference between these two is that Twitter is more powerful and influential than Facebook The article “Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission” informs, “Within the Twitter app, when users choose to “Find Friends”, the company can store their address books for as long as 18 months”(Peulroyh & Bilton). When users look for friends on Twitter using the contacts stored in their phone, Twitter can collect this data and save it into their system without the users permission. Twitter creators are aware of the number of people that use their social media site daily, and use it to their advantage. Overall Twitter is a more influential site, and used my more educated individuals than Facebook. The purposes of logging on may be similar but the people who participate and why is what makes the difference.

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