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Social Media Behavioral Laboratory

Big data is a predictive logarithm that is able to predict users behaviors and intentions. Big data is able to determine a users preference almost perfectly. Many believe big data is the reason President Obama won his first election. This information can used to strengthen and deepen the quality of democracy or it can be used to manipulate civil society thus decreasing the quality of democracy. It will be interesting to see how big data evolves and how it will effect democracy over time.

Social media and big data have negative effects on civil society and politics. For example privacy is a major issue every time an action is committed on a social media site such as a tweet on Twitter or a like on Facebook a cyber footprint is left thus accumulating more information for big data analytics to utilize and gain more information about the user, its network, demographics and ultimately civil society as a whole. Private companies are collecting vast amounts of information from social media sites. These companies include Twitter, Microsoft, Google and Facebook. Microsoft and Facebook have already conducted studies on users. Microsoft is now able to identify women who are at risk for postpartum depression while Facebook has conducted a research study on how parents interact with their children. It is said that Facebook has become a behavioral laboratory. In order to ensure the quality of democracy is no lessened it is imperative that the information collected online by big data analytic companies is used ethically for the best interest of civil society.

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