This article will be arguing that big players, mainly governments and large corporations, use user data, targeted advertising, and selective speech to manipulate users of popular social media platforms. They do this in order to achieve their agendas goals at the expense of the users. These goals may range from selling a certain good or service to swaying a certain percentage of voters to cast their ballots one way or another. Regardless of the outcome, people are being taken advantage of, with most not even knowing it. Users must look past the media in front of them to see their information being gathered and exploited and aim to change the relationship between these manipulative strategies and their targets. The online world needs to open its eyes to understand the industry that has evolved from social media and how it has been turned into a means of manipulation. Popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are prime examples and I will be looking further into them throughout the following analysis. The article will look at key events that have been subject to mass amounts of media manipulation, the forms and goals relating to how the manipulation occurs, and is put into effect, and finally what can and will be done to prevent further harm to the communities on social media platforms.
Keenan, Spencer J., "Behind Social Media: A World of Manipulation and Control" (2020). Pop Culture Intersections. 48.