Algorithmic Harms

If I am being honest, as someone who didn’t grow up with computers, this is all a little over my head. It scares me  to death and interests me all at the same time. I can see the value in algorithms, with my campaign, and with every day life. It helps to advertise possible “sells” based on the consumer’s likes and dislikes. It is a genius way to get your information and or product out to the people who may be interested. If I understand public activity on the internet, as a producer of a product, whatever that may be, you can pay to make your product information more accessible above all the others.  That way if some one is searching for the same product or information that you have to offer. you may have the first one at the chance to “sell” it.

This approach could be beneficial to my campaign. These algorithms could make the information more readily available to the public. I can think of a handful of people, maybe even a small group that would be interested in the information I have to share. But this process would open up the audience on a grander scale.

On the flip side of all of this, it makes me a little more than pissed that some one is using my information to decide what ads, products or information I should be viewing. That should be a decision I make for myself. I would like to think that my rights are better protected than that. Unfortunately, with out computers around when we were considering and defining the parameters of our personal rights, how could we prepare for this. How legal is it to use our personal information? More importantly, how ethical is it? It is definitely something that needs more consideration on everyone’s part.


2 thoughts on “Algorithmic Harms

  1. I am really interested to read your take in algorithms as you mentioned you didn’t grow up with computers. It must have change the way you interact with people around you as technology becomes more advanced. I agree with you that algorithms does help in some way to get your message circulated. Especially, to those that are actually interested in whatever the issue that we are trying to convey. Since algorithms play with what we usually browse or read on the internet, the person that reads our document is likely to already be interested in that topic. This is so much more effective in terms of getting people involved in the matter. It is also easier to convey your idea or message to a bigger audience in a shorter time. The good thing about social media is that you can get your message across the globe in a few minutes, a few seconds even. The good thing is also a bad thing in some ways. As much as we want people all around the world to get the message, we could also spread false things or negative things in seconds. Children and teenagers today are very vulnerable and they get influenced easily by social media. This could both be good and bad.
    I also agree that despite the good things about algorithm, I am not comfortable that my information is known to those that runs the internet, may it be Google or any advertising company. In some way, we don’t have any privacy in this modern world. Even when we delete our browser’s history, Google still have access to everything that we searched, watched or read. I believe that once something is in the internet, it could never be erased. There’s no true privacy today in the world where everything is just a click away.

  2. You have a good sense of the business advantages of our current environment with internet advertising via things like social media and web tracking data. You also point to the issues with privacy. How are our privacy rights even possible in such an environment? Thinking about the telephone or newspapers, those media never made it possible to individually store how we converse or read.
    Perhaps television or radio may be a slightly better historical example? Nielsen ratings, though, require consent of those measured. Do we even have an opportunity to consent with social media, web browsers, search engines, or even our internet service provider in general? Sure, we can opt out. But is there a better option then simply “use or don’t use”?

Comments are closed.