Recently, on 6 November famous Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna posted a video on X that appeared to show her face in the lift had been swapped and morphed with a video of British influencer, Zara Patel. She expressed her privacy concerns over this issue and, many actor-actresses supported her too.This is not the first case of deepfake video. Its number is increasing every day. According to research, 29% of people are victims of deepfake videos. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has become a major contributor to this issue. The arrival of social media has enabled us to share information from one place to another, but it also brings a lot of privacy concerns for the users.
What is social media misuse?
Improper usage of social media, engaging in illegal activities like sharing false information, cyberbullying, morphing, and violation of privacy are known as social media misuse.
Understanding The Risk Factors:
- Cyberbullying: The repetition of abuse, online threats, and harassment, toward other individuals or groups of individuals. It often happens whenever one tries to upset another individual. Photos and videos of the victim are also dont taken down even when they are asked to which makes the situation of the person more worse. Cyberbullying among students is very common. Around 33% of students faced online bullying. This has had a negative impact on their mental health as well. It includes many disorders like eating disorders, depression, etc.
- Sharing false information: Every day, we come across false information about people on social media. False information is when someone makes a false or fabricated story about someone eventually leading to confusion and mislead.
- Morphing: Changing the photo into another through a smooth transition. Deep fake is also altering a video and changing the image into another which causes the sharing of false information. According to Deep Media, 500,000 videos and voice deep fakes were shared on social media.
- Privacy violation: nowadays privacy has become a very important concern on social media all over the world. 14% of people experienced privacy violations on social media. Privacy violation leads to the unwanted exposure of individual personal information. This is a compromise with users’ privacy.
Also Read: Social comparison in the age of Social media
Why do social media privacy is important?
Since so many people around the world are using social media networking sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, sometimes its users are vulnerable to all these privacy violations. As social media is accessible to all, the concern for individual privacy has also become an important question.
Social misuse is becoming a worrisome topic for everyone as it can lead to many problems like identity theft, stalking, learning bad habits, mental health issues among teenagers.
What Are The Risks?
All these threats lead to a negative impact on the society.
Identity Theft And Stalking:
One of the serious threats associated with social media misuse is identity theft. Financial fraud and scams are some of the common activities that happen in it. Identity theft happens when someone steals personal information mainly the info related to bank credit cards and social security numbers. It includes watching and following someone without their consent. Stalking possesses all potential harm be it physical or mental harm. These days stalkers’ work has become very easy as mutual friends and acquaintances tell about the person, like their locations, the photgraphs, etc. Creating a fake account has become a very common thing for stalkers. According to a study, around 45% of Instagram are found to be fake.
Loss Of Private Information And Learning Bad Habits:
Mostly the information is leaked when there is a lack of awareness among the people. The most vulnerable age group who experiences this is generally the youngsters. Social media provides a space for expressing yourself and building your relationship with others, but sometimes it can be used against the users. Therefore, it becomes the duty of their teachers, parents, or siblings to make them aware of the possible threats related to social media. Moreover, Many teenagers post whatever they want to without knowing the consequences. As so many influencers are making content and influencing people, mainly youngsters, Teenagers also follow them and start doing whatever they are doing. Many people post their photos and videos with alcohol and share their opinions on drugs which inspires these teenagers to follow them and get addicted to it.
Raising Mental Issues Among Youngsters And Hacking:
Social media has become a platform where everyone wants to look beautiful and the introduction of many filters and editing also made things possible. However, it gave rise to unexpected beauty standards which affect teenagers’ self-esteem and confidence. It rules out the idea of natural beauty in many ways. All this leads to a negative impact on youngsters’ mental health. Therefore, many teenagers start starving themselves just to look slim and fit.This is one of the common activities on social media. Hackers can get to know about individual passwords by posting personal information on their accounts.
Deepfaking can be a huge threat to people online on the web as it is one of the most heinous crimes one can commit on social media faking someone’s identity is mostly done by media through pictures and videos. With the rise of AI, these kinds of activities have elevated to a new level never seen before. Most celebrities were a victim of deepfaking but because of AI, common people are falling victim to these acts.
How To Protect From Social Media Misuse?
However, it is possible to prevent social media misuse by making changes in our security settings. Some of the effective ways are:
- Setting A Strong Password: It has been seen that setting a strong password for your social media gets less chance of being hacked. Try to don’t use the same passwords on different social media sites.
- Change Your Account To Private: If you are using Instagram, always make sure that you change your account setting to private. As it will make sure to control what other people can see.
- Avoid Clicking on Unknown Links: Whenever we use social media, we come across many links that may look attractive to us, and clicking on them results in the loss of personal information.
- Don’t Accept Stranger’s Requests: Avoid accepting a friend request from strangers as it can be harmful to your account. Be sure that the user is someone you know already.
- Be Mindful of What You Share: Teenagers don’t think twice before posting anything on social media. It is important to be mindful when sharing a photo as a revealing photo can become a potential threat for the users.
- Stay Informed About Social Media Policies: It is important to be regularly informed about the new policies that social media introduced as it will help to avoid any possible threats of social media misuse in the future.