Public vs private

By Zara Asgher

Segment of commentary on the subject of public vs private.

The film by Jeff Orlowski The Social Dilemma exposes the social media companies manipulating users by using algorithms based on the information they share. This has nothing to do with how private one’s profile is, once that information is online that information is then used to target users to certain ads and to attract them to things they would like to see and thus a cycle of addiction develops. Therefore, we only have an illusion of having control of the privacy of our profiles. By providing stricter laws about who gets to see what we post, we are made confident that we are in control but in reality, the information we provide is processed to make regular users out of us.

This has changed people’s attitudes towards what privacy is, as well. We don’t shy away from taking a screenshot of someone’s post or picture and sharing it forward or repurposing it in some way. Once we post something online, we pass off the confidentiality element to several other people we choose to have on our profiles. We can’t monitor how others will handle information. A lot of this relies upon people’s own morals and we all have our own versions of how public is public within the realm of social media. Some might deem stumbling onto a person’s certain sensitive information as very private but may share it to a close friend. Thus, the element of public never truly disappears.