There have been speculations moving around that Facebook, Google and Twitter might be manipulating their users to make sure that they keep going back for the thumbs ups, likes and comments. But are the actions of these business gurus different from whatever happens in the rest of the industries?
An analyst following the matter closely opined, “Drawing on behavioral psychology research, many technology platforms actively condition user behavior, designing products to be intentionally habit-forming. The briefing invite reportedly reads. But these developments also raise important questions related to consumer protection, fake news/misinformation, antitrust/competition, and privacy.”
Former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris was one the top officials that attended a meeting held recently to discuss the matter. In his argument, he asserted that Silicon Valley was deliberately playing about with the psychology of its consumers. These talks took place at a moment when the tech-giants were in trouble on Capital Hill. There are plans underway to scrutinize Twitter, Google and Facebook in Washington.
The companies were blamed for allowing a large number of the Russian related ads on their respective platforms in the course of the 2016 elections. The most affected by the controversy was Twitter which is a favorite of President Donald Trump. In fact there have been quite a large number of Trump related controversies on Twitter.
Complaints have been launched from time to time pointing to the fact that the American leader has been advocating for racism and other divisions. Most of those complaining wanted Trump barred from using the platform but Twitter seemed to take its time in addressing the matter.
Twitter defended the American leader saying that his tweets bore messages that were of public interest. But Twitter has been trying to implement a number of changes. Lately, it has been engaging in the act of changing its policies. It is putting in place policies that will govern the way its users use the platform
In the meantime, quite a significant number of consumers have been spending much more time than they were doing before on the social media platforms.