Octopuses change the color to hide from predators, it seems to be an accurate way to describe our, sometimes, awkward relationship with social media. Different colors change through time, and in the end, move forward without showing their true colors. It becomes an important part of our reality and a new axis of power that demands more transparency to transform it into an equal and fairground for all.
The more power they are gaining, the more global engagement is imperative to demand.
The best way to identify the power of Internet giants that steadily are showing obscure colors without giving clues of their in-depth purposes. It´s indeed a process that goes beyond us –and sometimes against us- without the user’s involvement. The decision-making process is inconsistent and biased, although there is no question about their benefits on high-level communications, innovative relations, the power of exchange, and the tremendous learning that supposes.
The positive aspects that Social Media delivers are widely clear and have also been endorsed by the positive physiology for its great benefits on individuals in the sense that they find “social validation”, among others. Experts found that ”acknowledgment” is an essential part of a positive life, and now we can get it easily and fast.
Learn, exchange, connect, interconnect it’s a powerful shape of a new voice for the civil society. There is no better achievement for a world in crisis than to join efforts around common interests. Creating spaces of information and knowledge exchange professional and personal addressing big crises from the holistic approach that represents the mix of personalities, cultures, educational backgrounds, etc.
The European Commission is currently undergoing an investigation over the unfair advantages that Facebook may have gotten through the collection of data “from advertisers to help boost Marketplace to more than 2 billion users of its main social network, giving it an unfair advantage over rivals in violation of European Union competition laws”. A strong sign that this “octopus” called Social Media & OTT is eventually gaining direct profits from no traditional ways pushing to a new shape of relations without accountability and zero regulation.
Is indeed regulation the one that seems to be the answer to all that anarchical power that is gaining more ground through the illegal use of personal data. To the point that we are psychologically manipulated to buy products or/and services that we do not need it, and that we do not even given consent to show up on our screens. Unwilling to see “pop-ups” day by day without any possibility to change it as well as “pop-ups ideas” that come from political ideologies with a disguise that influence us to reflect, think and act even if it goes against our principles and values. Looking at the world and taking decisions through the lenses of mysterious goals. Certainly, a centralized power, is geographically centered in the US that makes us reflect on the following coincidence: is precisely 20 years ago that they are losing global influence on negotiation and Diplomacy, however, and after the boom of Social Media it becomes an axis, once again, stronger than before.
Nothing wrong if there is not that there is no counterbalance of power, and the organization that naturally may play as a catalyzer actor: United Nations, is not showing enough political flexibility to do so.
Is it only through blocks of Nations that we can find balance. BRICS, the European Union, Mercosur, and all regional agreements are suitable for the job of reinforcing transparency and accountability and make of only one power a superpower adapted to each culture, habits, and reality. It is of extreme importance to take into account the level of engagement that each Nation would like to take. Just in a few words “how much social media “ they can cope with. Especially through their weak system is that we realize that all skepticism or rejection to absorb more digital platforms is perfectly logical and understandable. More democracy is not about more private sector power, but a balanced power that is regulated and controlled by the rest of the global community.
Is it in our hands to look at Social Media and OTT platforms as a big octopus that traps us within their tentacles or a bright one that embraces us with their benefits, within a transparent and accountable global democratic system.