The paradox of social media

A natural internet paradox exists between the desire to share and the desire to control; when we post, like, comment, stream, engage in any form, we do so with the prevailing assumption that the platform will safeguard our content and information, using it responsibly in alignment with the way in which it was intended to be shared.
As current paradigms stand, platforms have publicly and privately mined consumer data and content to develop the social fabric of the internet, which gave rise to social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), modern E-commerce, Ad Networks (Google AdSense, Facebook Ads, AdRoll), and now generative AI companies trained on non permissioned sets of user data.. While one cannot deny that this has produced billions of dollars in economic value, consumer sentiment has shifted enormously as the negative effects of always-online asymmetric consumer data-mining and permanent social graphing have started to reveal themselves in a number of ways.
The many instances of data exploitation, catfishing, doxxing, sextortion, piracy, deepfakes, and real and manufactured image-based sexual abuse (also known as “revenge porn”), are the painful result of an internet fabric that fundamentally lacks consent, recourse, ownership, and verification for publicly shared content. For many consumers, the paradox between public sharing and misuse is evident and has permanently eroded trust in platforms, resulting in mass exodus when key creators raise alarm.
Platforms are taking notice – according to a 2022 Data Grail report, 60% of individuals are concerned about their online privacy, with 53% additionally feeling a loss of control over their online identity. These shifts in consumer sentiment have made it all the way into tech policy leaders at the world’s most influential companies; Google, notably, plans to deprecate 3rd party cookies by 2024 – a major blow to all Ad-Tech reliant companies.