The Responsibility of Social Media in Times of Societal and Political Manipulation

Creators: Reisach, Ulrike
Title: The Responsibility of Social Media in Times of Societal and Political Manipulation
Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Operational Research : EJOR
Additional Information: Under a Creative Commons license Ebenfalls veröffentlicht bei der US National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508050/pdf/main.pdf
Date: 22 September 2020
Divisions: Informationsmanagement
Abstract (ENG): The way electorates were influenced to vote for the Brexit referendum, and in presidential elections both in Brazil and the USA, has accelerated a debate about whether and how machine learning techniques can influence citizens’ decisions. The access to balanced information is endangered if digital political manipulation can influence voters. The techniques of profiling and targeting on social media platforms can be used for advertising as well as for propaganda: Through tracking of a person's online behaviour, algorithms of social media platforms can create profiles of users. These can be used for the provision of recommendations or pieces of information to specific target groups. As a result, propaganda and disinformation can influence the opinions and (election) decisions of voters much more powerfully than previously. In order to counter disinformation and societal polarization, the paper proposes a responsibility-based approach for social media platforms in diverse political contexts. Based on the implementation requirements of the “Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence” of the European Commission, the ethical principles will be operationalized, as far as they are directly relevant for the safeguarding of democratic societies. The resulting suggestions show how the social media platform providers can minimize risks for societies through responsible action in the fields of human rights, education and transparency of algorithmic decisions.
Forthcoming: No
Language: English
Link eMedia: Download
Citation:

Reisach, Ulrike (2020) The Responsibility of Social Media in Times of Societal and Political Manipulation. European Journal of Operational Research : EJOR. ISSN 0377-2217

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