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Make Social Media Useful Again!

Robin Olsen holds a B.Sc In Computer Systems and has over 20 years of IT Experience. In that time he has worked in many different industries

Social media has become destructive, but can we improve it with enhanced methods of safety and authentication.

Social media has become destructive, but can we improve it with enhanced methods of safety and authentication.

Social Media Has Become Destructive

Social media, as it exists today, is useless to society in most ways and can be destructive in some ways as well. I think many people feel this way. Sure, we all use it to talk to friends and family members, but virtually everything else that social media is used for today is riddled with corruption and flaws.

  1. False news, misleading posts, multiple accounts for a single individual, bots posing as people, when you add it all up it does not look good for social media. It seems to have become a cesspool of corrupted information and deception.
  2. Predators stalk children on social media, bullies harass individuals sometimes on a daily basis on social media, even resorting to using multiple accounts to make it appear to be more than one person.
  3. Opinions are falsely represented by individuals with multiple accounts, or bots designed to ‘like’ certain comments over others.
  4. Search engines have algorithms designed to ‘guide’ what you see in search results. All in an effort to mold opinions to force conformity on people.
  5. Don’t even get me started about all the online scams.

There is a solution to many of these problems, but we, as people, are not going to like it. It involves biometric authentication (or realistic authentication).

What is that, you may be asking? Simply put, biometric authentication, in the computer world, is the use of body measurements and calculations related to human characteristics to verify real identity and to control access.

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How to Improve Social Media

There have been many proposed ways to improve social media, but most are toothless. However, there are some methods that could really work.

1. Verification of Identity

Imagine how Facebook and Twitter and Instagram would change if every single account creation had to be verified with a thumb print scan and the same thumb print could never be used to create any other account on that site.

First of all, I think the ‘user base’ would drop by a good 30% as the fake accounts were weeded out. It wouldn’t get rid of the bots, but a single individual would no longer be able to create multiple accounts nor would they be able to hide their identity, even if they used a fake name and multiple email addresses, because they could only use their own thumb print once. Terrorists and other criminals would also have a hard time using it to either find victims or organize bad events. They would not be able to hide their identities either.

There are other methods of realistic authentication, I chose to discuss the thumb print solution as fingerprint scanners are cheap to buy and easy to find and many laptop models already come with them as do virtually all modern cell phones. The point being is that some form of real online identification needs to be implemented in order to make social media useful again, to make it authentic.

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Many would find this a hard question

2. Biometric Authentication

Did you know that, at present, the court systems cannot prove with 100% certainty who is actually sitting at the keyboard typing in the comments being read every day? They can prove conclusively where it is coming from, even when people use those cheap VPNs they can get to download illegal movies, but that does not give them a person, just a location.

With biometrics, real identity can be proven conclusively, especially if you are required to scan your thumb print at every login. Leaving yourself ‘logged in’, as so many do because they hate having to type in a password, can also be avoided, or even disabled to prevent someone else from using the system under false pretenses.

Personal online security would be enhanced greatly if biometrics were used across the board on the internet. Banking online, for example, would be much more safe as only your thumb print can be used to login to your accounts. This would get rid of probably half of all the internet banking scams currently running today as simply having an account number would no longer be enough.

If biometrics were endorsed and implemented, even just in the realm of social media, then the internet could be used to gauge public opinion very accurately. As it stands the internet is useless for determining public opinions due to the fake accounts and bots that exist. Nothing posted on the internet can be reasonably used as ‘proof’ that events actually happened the way they are told either, again, due to fake news, fake accounts and bots.

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Biometric authentication can eliminate almost all of these problems and issues related to the lack of the ability to properly limit account creations to one account per person.

3. Eliminate Bots

The elimination of all bots on social media accounts is another good option to consider with regards to improving social media. This step would most likely take a piece of hard legislation combined with heavy punishments for offending corporations. After all, it is not users creating bots on Twitter, it is Twitter.

Imagine an internet that looked much more like your public park on a Saturday afternoon than a dark costume party where no one really knows who is behind the mask. We can have that with biometric authentication. Many of us already use thumb print scans to lock out and unlock our cell phones. I see no real privacy issues with using it for other areas of communication as well. Biometrics can make social media useful again.

Further Reading on Using Biometrics in Social Media

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Robin Olsen

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