Distortion of Social Media Data: Should Expressions be Controlled or Spammers be Eliminated?

How should we use social media? What should be language parameters and limits of expression?

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Image via Google and Wikipedia

Technically speaking, there needs to be no limit at all from the perspective of a researcher. Limits of expression are not required. One can, indeed, use abusive language or create other kinds of mess. These things can be converted into research topics. However, problems arise because most of the social networking sites are doing something very wrong. They let users leave several user data fields vacant. This helps spammers to become users and distort the social media data considerably. In other words, netiquette is less important than network security. It appears to be so at least from the viewpoint of a researcher or technology enthusiast.

If someone needs to join Facebook, he/she may skip a number of questions. But Google has shown a good approach. Google often makes filling of certain fields in a form mandatory. This is likely to increase stability and reliability. While opening a Gmail account (that can be later connected with Google Plus, the company’s social networking service), the user must give an authentic phone number. If this kind of system is materialized for Facebook too, then spamming and unauthorized use can be considerably controlled. However, the primary responsibility still lies with email service providers rather than the social networking sites.

Extended Reading:

[1] Core Rules of Netiquette

[2] Laughton, P. A. (2008). Hierarchical analysis of acceptable use policies. South African Journal of Information Management, 10(4), 2-6.

[3] Social Spam

[4] Social Networking Spam – 5 Rules for Marketers

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