Have you ever "Liked" something on social media or filled in an online quiz? Many times your "likes" and quiz answers are sold to data companies so they can figure out your preferences. For example, in a quiz, What Superhero Character Are You? the questions will ask questions about your preferences. For example questions could ask things like: what color cape you would wear, what food you like to eat, what type of shoes you prefer, and what superhero car you would drive. If the quiz asked these four questions, what would someone know about you? While these quizzes are fun and seem innocent, this data is often gathered and sold to companies so they can target advertising toward your preferences to influence you to buy more. Consider ways you can protect yourself when using social media. What choices should you make about sharing information?
That is not the only problem with information sharing by social media sites. The two Tampa Bay Times articles below discuss the latest Facebook data breach and how companies used personal data to manipulate the type of news and other information that appeared in their feeds. The first article further discusses how Facebook "likes" about hobbies, interested and attitudes were shared to create "information dominance" where a company can change all of the information you receive to make sure it aligns to your preferences and biases. These connections are very important to marketers and special interest groups, including conspiracy sites who share fake news. When you read the second article about Facebook breakup, consider how difficult it can be to leave a social media site. After learning about these sites, think of someone you know who uses social media. What advice would you provide to them?
SS.8.FL.6.7 Evaluate social networking sites and other online activity from the perspective of making individuals vulnerable to harm caused by identity theft or misuse of their personal information.
SS.912.FL.6.9 Explain that loss of assets, wealth, and future opportunities can occur if an individual’s personal information is obtained by others through identity theft and then used fraudulently, and that by managing their personal information and choosing the environment in which it is revealed, individuals can accept, reduce, and insure against the risk of loss due to identity theft.
Created by Deborah Kozdras and Brittany Sampson