Chapter 11

The Right Tool in the Wrong Hands

Neutrality, Values, and Biases of Social Media Deployment


Not only social justice protests, refugee aid, and political resistance to authoritarian regimes are successful in their deployment of social media, but also causes such as terrorism, right-wing extremism, mobbing, and anorexia. The neutrality of social media, however, is not measured by its deployment to “positive” or “negative” causes. Social media are tools whose design is value laden due to preexisting, technical, and emergent biases and values. These biases and values are affected by the institutions and individuals who build and operate the platforms, the context in which the platforms are used, and the individuals who use them. In ...

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