6 Social Networks

For a decade, social networks have been unavoidable, whatever one’s opinion on the quality of the information they convey. Designed from the outset as a means of communication, of information sharing and a tool for creating communities who wish to converse and create, they have partly deviated from their original aim. In fact, they play a role in the ever-faster diffusion of information and because of this, they are capable of making millions of people aware of specific information in a very short space of time. We are therefore seeing what individuals, institutions, businesses and States with ill-intent can do with these “communication tools”. These networks are therefore playing a full role in influence operations, which is to say they aim – especially via “viral marketing” – to create the desired reaction in exposed individuals, without them being aware of the “manipulation” underway.

Moreover, more and more “socialbots” are able to penetrate social networks and steal the identities of some individuals and, because of this, to provide social networks with “traffic”, well-intentioned or not, that is no longer in touch with reality. Many studies have shown that on Twitter, 5% of user accounts are fake and 20% of traffic is generated by robots. Fine analyses carried out in these conditions often lead to confusion. We can also ask, considering the rapid development of socialbots as well as their sophistication, if this will corrupt social networks and cause ...

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