Social Networks: Digital Voyeurism
The first changes were made in Tuenti and Facebook. In the former, the experiment was not so successful because all the changes I made on my profile were not posted on my friends’ main boards. For this reason, I decided to try again with Facebook. As a result, I have been receiving tons of comments throughout the past weeks; private messages, SMS, etc. With just a simple change I have caused an interesting reaction among my pals.
The information written on the walls and profiles of social networks has reached a high level of credibility, and many organizations benefit from it by filtering candidates in their HR departments. Some judges use them to exonerate citizens from a suspected crime, others use them to find their significant other or new friends; others to claim unfair actions… In my case, my friends didn’t believe the information I gave them face-to-face when it contradicted what was written on my profile!
It is true that today’s social networks are trying hard to counter the security breaches created by social engineering attacks, as is the case of Poken. Poken is a social network in which the only way to add friends is by physically hitting hand-shaped devices, in order to exchange personal data that’s later downloaded to the computer for validation. But what about the authenticity of the messages that can be read in these sites? Who is responsible for validating the information or confirming that it is correct?
On the other hand, social networks deal with a huge amount of personal data. If a private user like me has, with just a few changes, obtained ratings on profile changes free of charge, what could a company or an ill-intended individual armed with a fake profile do in Facebook?
Imagine for a moment that an application was created to reward those who most benefit the social network, for example in terms of volume of personal information. What would it cause? For me, it’s crystal clear: addiction to the network and anxiety for being the lucky winner. What if a module was added to the application, by means of which an SMS service tells you who’s the best? Well, apart from the above, I’d also earn money for each message sent to the advertising system. For what’s worth, not only people are careless when publishing their data; they are even willing to pay for what they‘ve published.