Experts from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) asked today to question the credibility of the information on social networks and extreme caution following the recent Facebook scandal with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

In the conference “Social networks: tools of manipulation or information?”, The expert Fabián Romo urged users to “be very aware and clear about the use of social networks, and question everything” to protect their privacy how to avoid manipulation

The director of Systems and Institutional Services of the General Directorate of Computing and Information and Communication Technologies of the UNAM said that in social networks “there is no guarantee that the information will be published by humans.”

This is due to a large number of bots (digital robots) programmed to publish, comment, give likes and monitor the information of the users.

Regarding the conventional means of communication that use accounts in networks, the specialist warned that “they can repeat information that has not been validated more than by the networks themselves, which does not mean that it is valid”.

Privacy is another important aspect to address, since “everything that is published on the Internet is highly susceptible to being not only seen but used for purposes other than those that the user had when he published it.”

To understand this, it should be remembered that Facebook is a free platform but also “a business model” that feeds on the publicity that companies publish in it and on the data that users deliver daily when they “like” or publish a “post”, a sort of reflection of the phobias of each user.

“Social networks are not resources that are provided without a commercial objective, are not a social service, but are a business model that sells information to individuals with the purpose that the latter can provide products and services to each user of social networks “he warned.

He also explained the individualization that audiences suffer, since “advertisers access not only audiences, but individuals identified by their searches, tastes and consumption patterns.”

This allows companies to use personal data for “even more specific purposes”.

Romo also commented on Cambridge Analytica, a British company that collected data from millions of Facebook users to allegedly help the campaign of Republican Donald Trump in the US presidential election. of 2016.

“If there was an information leak, it is possible that someone has access to the home address within the social network,” he said.

This recent event shows that there is no guarantee yet that “these networks do not continue to sell information or have not already sold information to companies to channel some type of messages directly to each user”.

Therefore, he regretted that most users “never configure the privacy options of their social network.”

On the other hand, the psychologist and professor of the Faculty of Psychology of the UNAM, Ricardo Trujillo, commented that the problem lies not so much in the technology, but in the excessive use that the human being makes of it. efe

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