By Steve Dellar  |  05-08-2018   News
Photo credit: Boarding1now | Dreamstime.com

There was a surprise in the UK last week when statistics showed that throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the refusal of CEO Mr. Mark Zuckerberg to appear before parliament, not a single user had been lost by the social media network. Their numbers were in fact still growing.

Worldwide, Facebook recorded some 2.13 billion monthly active users, which is a 14% increase from a year ago. For the first quarter of 2018, the company made $11.97bn or revenues up some 49% on last year.

Related coverage: http://thegoldwater.com/news/25001-Twitter-Warns-Users-To-Change-Passwords-After-Glitch

All that despite the scandal surrounding it’s data privacy issues.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/SMARTNI_Online?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SMARTNI_Online</a>&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/naomhs?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@naomhs</a> hits the headlines today again!!!<br><br>&quot;Social Media is the NEW Crack Cocaine - ruining relationships.&quot; <a href="https://twitter.com/Irish_TechNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Irish_TechNews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/syncni?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@syncni</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BelfastTrust?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BelfastTrust</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BelfastTele?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BelfastTele</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/UlsterUniLHS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UlsterUniLHS</a> <a href="https://t.co/rI5NGen467">https://t.co/rI5NGen467</a></p>&mdash; SMART NI (@SMARTNI_Online) <a href="https://twitter.com/SMARTNI_Online/status/993788947313692672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 8, 2018</a></blockquote>

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But now Ms. Natasha Schüll, the author of a bestseller on slot machine behavior called Addiction by Design, revealed that most social media companies are simply copying gambling methods ‘to create psychological cravings’.

These instances of seeing what is happening online create the “same brain mechanisms as cocaine”

“Facebook, Twitter and other companies use methods similar to the gambling industry to keep users on their sites.”

Related coverage: http://thegoldwater.com/news/24924-Facebook-Fires-Employee-Bragging-About-Private-Data-Access-On-Tinder

“In the online economy, revenue is a function of continuous consumer attention, which is measured in clicks and time spent.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Social media copies gambling methods &#39;to create psychological cravings&#39;.<br><br>Methods activate ‘same brain mechanisms as cocaine’ and leads to users experiencing ‘phantom’ notification buzzing, experts warn.<a href="https://t.co/68pHWdpfVm">https://t.co/68pHWdpfVm</a></p>&mdash; comfortwriter 📱🤓📝 (@ComfortWriter) <a href="https://twitter.com/ComfortWriter/status/993777317666349056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 8, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The small sounds and beeps are also not there by accident. By making these recognizable, the moment you disengage from the site, “you get peppered with little messages or bonus offers to get your attention and pull you back in.”

She, therefore, urges people to start taking a break from social media, for the sake of your own wellbeing and recognize that it is nothing but an addiction.

“We have to start recognizing the costs of time spent on social media. It’s not just a game, it affects us financially, physically and emotionally.”

If there is one takeaway from the data privacy scandal that led to Facebook and many other FAANG companies temporary stock fall, it is that the public finally understands why those sites are in fact free.

They are because the data algorithm that understands what each person does next or likes next is sellable for the next fifty years, where a subscription can be stopped at any time.

Source:

https://www.thestar.com.my/tech/tech-news/2018/05/08/check-your-phone-86-times-a-day-tech-insiders-say-thats-by-design/

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