Several weeks ago, the Grunge News team offered you an article to alert you of the dangers of the Internet, and more specifically, those of the Zoom video conferencing application. This article retraced the history of IT and concluded with an interview with a cybersecurity expert. We also studied the place that this technology occupies today in our society. By reading it you could conclude that computing is present everywhere around us and that many inventions have been able to see the light of day thanks to this science; for example social networks. Today, the team presents more than one article, a study on these! These parts of the Internet occupy one of the most influential roles in our society and at all scales. From the simple life of an individual to the votes in the presidential elections, everyone is affected by social networks.
Recently, it is in fact the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who uses them massively, especially Twitter. But how could these recent inventions have changed the world for better or for worse ?
What is the extent of their powers and their dangers ?
Social networks are two terms today anchored in our vocabulary... but you should know that barely 20 years ago few people pronounced these words with the same meaning as today. With 7.4 billion inhabitants in the world, 3.42 billion Internet users including 2.31 billion active on social networks, platforms of this kind are among the first sources of income for individuals on the web. But how did it all start ?
When some date the history of these platforms to 1992, with the dispatch of the first SMS, some present the origin of social networks in 1996 with the creation of one of the first web messaging services: Hotmail. But this was only the beginnings of this digital adventure.
It’s actually, 1997 that Internet users were able to discover a social network more or less similar to those we know today; Sixdegrees.com. Considered by many to be the first social network, it allowed its users to create their own profile and chat with those close to them.
Proof of the idea of creating its own network of friends digitally, the company was sold for $ 125 million in 1999 and at the time of site closure in 2001, the platform had 3.5 million users.
The following year marked the arrival of Google as one of the first search engines. Reliable, it was tquickly used by people to search the web. The same year the first major music streaming service, Napster, based on P2P (Peer 2 Peer) technology, hit the market. Its creator Sean Parker then worked with Mark Zuckerberg on the Facebook social network.
In the early 2000s, social networks developed and gained notoriety. One of the first is notably Myspace, which appeared in 2003. This social network mainly attracted music enthusiasts, and offered the possibility for users to personalize their page according to their tastes. The success of the network was such that the MySpace profiles of certain musicians were more often consulted than their own website. The record companies, among others, strongly advised their artists to create a MySpace page. Ticket sales were faster and this also made it easier for the musician to stay in touch.
On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg gave birth to thefacebook.com. The network originally was intended for the use of students of Harvard University. It was so successful the first month that in March new universities had free access to the exchange platform.Then, since September 26, 2006, anyone at least 13 years old could be able to create a Facebook account to chat with loved ones, discover content, etc.
In 2006 it was Twitter's turn to see the light of day. It was from this period that social networks really began to democratize among the general public. Becoming a substantial business, each year, they took an increasingly important place in our society. Today, 65% of French people use a smartphone, and 82% use a computer. 56% are registered on at least one social network and on average, we spend 1H16 per day there. To better visualize this data, here are two documents that show what is happening on social networks in one minute, and the number of active users in 2019 :
Every day there are more and more applications, and they are opening up to an increasingly large audience. Social networks have also created new professions, and now allow the development of a solid business. The new stars are now influencers, born in particular from YouTube, Instagram and more recently TikTok. These people, originally lambda, are gaining popularity thanks to what they post on social networks. A popularity that allows the influencer to earn a living in different ways (advertising, collaboration, ...). Indeed, in recent years it has been a real business that is developing, and social networks have become a place where it is possible to make a success of your life, to make your passion a job more or less easily. Indeed, even if now some brands are more prominent on this type of platform, it is nevertheless complicated to make a name in this world.
Besides this aspect, the democracy of some countries is largely controversial with these social networks. Take the example of the United States with the election of President Donald Trump. Shortly after his election scandals came to disrupt his mandate. The elections were accused of having been truncated. A loved one of Donald Trump financed a company that implemented an illegal strategy to influence votes in the 2016 American elections. Big Data specialist Cambridge Analytica had set up a whole program to favor the candidate Trump. It all started with a simple paid test available on the "thisisyourdigitallife" application, however explaining that the data was then recovered by psychologists. This is in reality not the case since, in this way, 50 million Facebook accounts have been studied with a magnifying glass in order to influence the votes of American citizens in favor of Trump.
Is democracy in danger at this stage ? The question is still controversial to this day, but what do you think ?
Social networks cover the various activities that integrate technology, social interactions between individuals and the creation of content. They are based on the philosophy and techniques of the web. They thus allow their users to exchange messages, content, etc. Through these addictions the individual in question is often provoked. More details on this document :
Social networks therefore have a history that has evolved and reinvented itself over the years. The trades that have emerged on this type of platform have taken off real professional careers for some! While some make a living this way, some prefer to ban social media from their lives. They partly want to preserve the democracy they find flawed in this new era in terms of technological advancement.
And you, how do you feel about the situation ?
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