The Twists and Turns of Social Media’s Future

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Daksha Gupta
Daksha Gupta
A big time introvert. Daksha is a shy and socially awkward person. She is a full time dog lover and half time human. She finds her comfort in simple artistic expressions. Her love for art, dance, and writing transcends her into another world.

In a surprise twist of events, US mega-social media platforms Twitter and Facebook have removed hundreds of accounts that have posted significant amounts of pro-Western propaganda, a move from their usual tactic of targeting non-Western countries.

The Social Media giant Twitter announced it was taking down a series of accounts that it says violate policies on spam and disinformation while also demonstrating what it refers to as “coordinated inauthentic behavior.” In particular, the accounts targeted other users based in non-Western countries in Asia and the Middle East.

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According to Forbes, it explained that the content was promoting the US and its allies’ interests while criticizing China, Iran, and Russia. In collaboration with private researchers and those at Stanford University, Twitter analyzed the content and found it was an example of the most extensive covert pro-Western operation ever. Their work usually involves combating misinformation associated with conflict or authoritarian or undemocratic regimes. So what’s up with Twitter?

Twitter’s Problems

The Twists and Turns of Social Media's Future

But the latest decision sees the tables turn. This will likely have a fallout effect on Twitter’s already precarious market position. Over the last few months, Twitter has shed billions of dollars in value because of various issues. 

These include plans for it to be taken over by Elon Musk, a subsequent withdrawal, and a raft of issues related to free speech and how it is governed. Facebook has experienced the same. In February 2022, Facebook lost $232 billion on the stock market, an all-time record.

Also, Read New Buzz: Twitter Paid Verification | Elon Musk’s Big Move!

This has been disastrous for shareholders, but it has also posed plenty of opportunities for investors that use trading platforms like INFINOX to trade stocks, speculate on indices or price changes, and deal with other assets. Sharp movements in the market when it comes to tech giants meant possibilities of good deals and also long-term price speculations, particularly on online platforms that give easy access to round-the-clock training.

While the fortunes of both companies have improved somewhat since earlier this year, it is not all smooth sailing ahead. Both companies are tied up in a myriad of court and regulatory proceedings in the US and Europe regarding everything, including antitrust, infringement, data privacy, discrimination, and even false advertising.

EU legislation

The Twists and Turns of Social Media's Future

Forthcoming EU legislation, which aims to reign in big tech and slaps them with a raft of obligations designed to limit their power and protect end users, could further complicate their futures and fortunes, according to EU policy media EURACTIV.

What is The Digital Services Act?

The Digital Services Act is an EU regulation to modernize the e-Commerce Directive regarding illegal content, transparent advertising, and disinformation. On October 4, 2022, the European Council approved the Regulation on a Digital Services Act.

It is set to regulate various matters in the social media world, including dark patterns, illegal content, and threats to public safety. The European Council reached an agreement on the text of the act earlier this year, while the final law is set to be enforced in due course. It will then be implemented throughout the 27-member bloc and potential candidate countries such as Western Balkans.

What Does it Cover?

The Digital Services Act and its parallel Digital Markets Act seek to “create a safer digital space in which the fundamental rights of all users of digital services are protected” and “establish a level playing field to foster innovation, growth, and competitiveness, both in the European Single Market and globally,” according to the European Commission.

Also, Read How Do Local Councils Adopt Digital Technology?

Areas covered by the Digital Services Act include taking meaningful action against misinformation, transparency with political adverts, tackling hate speech, and a ban on prompting users to make decisions they may not usually take. It will allow social media users to opt-out of algorithms related to behavior and micro-targeted advertising. Big platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will have to put together annual reports regarding their services’ risks and then present them to the Commission.

What Does it Mean For Twitter?

he Twists and Turns of Social Media's Future

Sites like Twitter, with over 45 million users a month, will be under the supervision of the Commission instead of authorities in the country on which the platform is based. This means the EU is set to create a special directorate specifically to deal with social media platforms and issues.

Failure to comply with either act and its provisions results in huge fines of up to 6% of their global turnover. That’s big money for the social media giants, to the tune of billions of dollars. The US, however, is yet to catch up with its own package.

While it brings many good things to society, such as bringing people together and providing access to information and community, it is becoming more clear that oversight is indeed necessary.

Also, Read The Digital Age Has Changed The Legal Field As We Knew It 

Wrapping Up

One thing is certain-social media has grown more powerful than anyone could have predicted. Going back to the days of MSN messenger and Myspace and comparing them to the trillion-dollar industries that have emerged from platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, it is no surprise that authorities are moving to reel them in. Wielding more power and influence than many media to, even governments, social media has taken on a life of its own.

Check Path of EX to know what will happen next!

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