Talk:Social media

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Some proposed changes[edit]

Thank you for the reply @Spintendo, and again, apologies as I'm new to editing.

Information to be added or removed: I am advocating to include a scientific reference to section 6.3.3, as outlined below.

Social media platforms have been weaponized by state-sponsored cyber groups to attack governments in the United States, European Union, and Middle East.Bossetta, Michael. "The Weaponization of Social Media: Spear Phishing and Cyber Attacks on Democracy". Journal of International Affairs. 71 (1.5): 97–106. Retrieved 2018-09-03.

Explanation of issue: This is not an original research citation, but a scientific research citation, which has undergone peer-review for Columbia University's Journal of International Affairs. I am the author of the article, and wrote the section 6.3.3 that included 7 other scientific references supporting the introductory sentence that I apply to add a reference to.

References supporting change: The below URL is a reference to the print version of the article, although I have added the web version above as it is easier to access publicly.

SoMeGuRu (talk) 22:37, 3 November 2018 (UTC)SoMeGuru

"This is not an original research citation, but a scientific research citation, which has undergone peer-review for Columbia University's Journal of International Affairs." I appreciate your explanation, but I already know what a journal article is. My question asks this: Are you the only researcher who has covered the 'social media as viewed through the lenses of weaponry' type-angle for this topic? Specifically, are you the only researcher who has applied the term 'weaponry' to social media when comparing it to other classical tools of weaponry (i.e., guns, explosives, transportation, etc) or have other researchers also made this link? If you can point to other researchers who have made this link then please do so (because it validates your point and makes it easier to add the information to the article in question.) Those are the types of explanations you should bring to the table here, rather than "this is an article which is published in journals" because most of us are already past that simple identification part. Please advise, and thank you for your help.  Spintendo  00:06, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
The claim of weaponization as a separate purpose is one side of the coin, with the other side seeing it as part and parcel of all internet freedoms which may also be viewed as "a long game, to be conceived of and supported not as a separate agenda but merely as an important input to the more fundamental political freedoms."[1] For the purposes of this paragraph in the Social media Wikipedia article, is it fair to mention one side and not the other? Or is there a way we could mention both aspects which might offer a better viewpoint for this paragraph? Please advise your thoughts on this. Thank you!  Spintendo  00:55, 4 November 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Shirky, Clay (2011). "The Political Power of Social Media". Foreign Affairs. 90 (1): 19. ISSN 2327-7793.
Hi again, @Spintendo. Let me first say that I'm impressed by the community's awareness here, and again, let me re-emphasize my apologies if my formatting is not correct. It's quite difficult to follow and translate the code into practice when starting out.
To address your first point, and to paraphrase: "Am I the only researcher who has addressed social media from a weaponry perspective?" The short answer is no, and it's an interesting point. The "weaponization of social media" is currently a trending topic in academia that is currently widely interpretable, and many scholars are trying to claim a stake in defining it. See, for example, the recently published book "Likewar: The Weaponization of Social Media."[1] The book largely defines weaponization as information warfare (i.e. propaganda), whereas other recent reports of weaponization on social media have focused similarly on propaganda via targeted advertising.[2]
Both works do not consider social media as mechanical weaponry; rather, they refer to social media's information carrying potential as the primary interpretation of weaponization. Yet, the potential for social media, especially Twitter, to be used as a weapon has been clearly demonstrated by the Russians.[3] I detail several other such 'weaponry' examples (backed by media references) from China and Iran in my article, which is why I decided to include it.
Interestingly, the Shirky article you cite claims that social media is "difficult to weaponize for country-specific policy goals."[4] This was conventional wisdom when Shirky wrote the article, but recent cyberattacks by state-sponsored attacks via social media have proven otherwise (again, outlined in my article).
The reason I wrote this section (6.3.3), was to emphasize that social media has been and is being weaponized - not just by information, but also as a concrete weapon via cyberattacks - to enact country-specific policy goals. I included in section 6.3.3 several references that substantiate this claim; that social media is weaponized not just as information in line with propaganda and the manipulation of public opinion, but for the pinpointed aim of breaching networks and to impact critical infrastructure. Perhaps it wasn't clear, and I'd appreciate advice on how to proceed for improvement.
SoMeGuRu (talk) 05:33, 5 November 2018 (UTC)SoMeGuRu


  1. ^ Singer, P.W.; Brooking, Emerson (2018). LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-1-328-69574-1.
  2. ^ Nadler, Anthony; Crain, Matthew; Donovan, Joan (October 2018). Weaponizing the Digital Influence Machine: The Political Perils of Online Ad Tech (Report). Data&Society.
  3. ^ Frenkel, Sheera (2017-05-28). "Hackers Hide Cyberattacks in Social Media Posts". New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  4. ^ Shirky, Clay (2011). "The Political Power of Social Media". Foreign Affairs. 90 (1): 31. ISSN 2327-7793.

removal of tags[edit]

With regard to this , this and this edit - can you expalin here on the talk page what your intent is? Your edit summaries say "Added info to last two paragraphs of "effects on youth communication" and rearranged some paragraphs from this same section (from my sandbox User: Psaltele/sandbox" - but all you seem to have done is remove the various {{cn}} {{vague}} and {{who}} tags?

The only positive result was the removal of a <nowiki> tag that caused two words to flow into each other. Chaheel Riens (talk) 15:28, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Political Polarization[edit]

Just wanted to write in the changes I made to the header "Ideological Polarization." Because the information which was already under “Ideological Polarization” referred more specifically to “Political Polarization,” and because my research was also related more specifically to political polarization, I changed the heading from “Ideological Polarization” to “Political Polarization.” I edited the information which was previously under the header to exclude information which was not related specifically to social media or political polarization, and to exclude “factual” statements which were not backed up by sources. I edited the information related to “selective exposure” and the Hayat and Samuel-Azran study to make it more succinct and relevant to the topic of political polarization. From there I added my own research which had not been referenced in the Wiki page, including the final four paragraphs and all references aside for the Hayat and Samuel Azran study.

References added include

Matsa, K. E., & Shearer, E. (2018). News Use Across Social Media Platforms. Retrieved November 25, 2018, from

Bail, C., Argyle, L., Brown, T., Bumpus, J., Chen, H., Fallin Hunzaker, M.B., Lee, J., Mann, M., Merhout, F., Volfovsky, A. (2018). Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 115 (37) 9216-9221. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1804840115

Diehl, T., Weeks, B. E., & de Zúñiga, H. G. (2016). Political persuasion on social media: Tracing direct and indirect effects of news use and social interaction. New Media & Society, 18(9), 1875–1895.

Hardy, Molly & E Sorenson, Mary & Warner, Benjamin. (2016). Ferguson on Facebook: Political persuasion in a new era of media effects. Computers in Human Behavior. 57. 1-10. 10.1016/j.chb.2015.12.003.

Lee, J.K., Choi, J., Kim, C., Kim, Y. (2014). Social Media, Network Heterogeneity, and Opinion Polarization. Journal of Communication. Volume 64, Issue 4, Pages 702–722.

Mihailidis, P., Viotty, S., & Payne, J. (2017). Spreadable Spectacle in Digital Culture: Civic Expression, Fake News, and the Role of Media Literacies in “Post-Fact” Society. American Behavioral Scientist, 61(4), 441-454.

Masonbeck17 (talk) 19:39, 8 December 2018 (UTC)Masonbeck17

Suggestion for new page: Social Media Addiction[edit]

My name is Dr Peter James Chisholm. I am a medical doctor in Melbourne Australia. I have attended the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance congress in Canada this year, and from this and my lived experience of social media addiction, I have a lot to contribute to this page.

I suggest 1. That we make a new page Social Media Addiction 2. That we aim for featured article status 3. That it is rapidly edited and protected 4. That it start with what I placed on my talk page or similar. I am working on getting many references now. 5. That we be as neutral as possible, as we are always, taking all points of view, but not neutrality for neutrality's sake - we don't need the opposing view if it has been throughly debunked. I do not want to enter into edit war with anyone.

Please note I started my concept What5words - which is a tactical business structure in Australia, New Zealand and Bulgaria in an attempt to address this crisis and protect myself from the large internet corporations. It appears I have done this with some success. I don't intend to make lots of money, just reinvest into this crisis as it worsens, and you can see this via my other writings on the internet.

Please let me know what you think. E.3 (talk) 05:19, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

@E.3: Wikipedia already has an article about social media addiction. Jarble (talk) 23:35, 8 January 2019 (UTC)
Yes I know I created it after all these discussions E.3 (talk) 00:28, 9 January 2019 (UTC)

Addition of an image for mental health effects[edit]

@GermanJoe Thanks for redirecting me to this page.

I'm trying to upload this image to this section. Please let me know your suggestions on the same. As I'm relatively new to professional editing on Wikipedia, multiple uploads led to an unintended edit war. I've tried to make the most recent upload textually neutral based on earlier feedback. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Avimanyu786 (talkcontribs) 12:31, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

@Avimanyu786:, please sign messages on talkpages and discussion forums with 4 tilde characters ~~~~ at the end to create an automatic signature with timestamp. Thank you. Regarding your question: such graphics, like any other content on Wikipedia, should be based on expert sources, for example a WP:MEDRS-compliant publication that covered this aspect. Aside from reliability of the depicted information, the image also simplifies the relationship between social media and mental processing that is likely far more complex. If you could find a freely licensed expert graph about this aspect, it could be included of course. But this particular self-made image isn't suitable for an encyclopedia in this particular context. GermanJoe (talk) 12:53, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback from your end. Avimanyu786 (talk) 13:08, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Image for intro[edit]

I think it would be nice to have an image in the intro section of this article. Any suggestions? Sdkb (talk) 20:12, 6 November 2019 (UTC)


Does social media contribute a positive or a negative impact to teenage behaviour. Zikhundla125 (talk) 07:49, 13 February 2020 (UTC)

Modification in Characteristics of Social Media[edit]

In addition to user generated content, we added "user shared content" because a lot of content comes from existing information in social media. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:41, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

  • Greetings, thank you for your contribution to the article. I believe that the text you added is slightly repetitive. "User-shared" content is included under the umbrella of "user-generated" as well as "data generated through all online interactions". I should add that it is questionable whether "user-shared" is an accurate term as this doesn't appear in the literature cited, thus a potential question of WP:Verifiability. Happy to discuss this further. Best, --Jaobar (talk) 16:44, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

List of Social Media frauds?[edit]

Is it good to have a List of Social media frauds? Do you remember the fraudster couple who raised money for a homeless veteran, here is a clip (here). Another one is a woman who adopted a autistic child from China for the same purpose (here).--Kiatdd (talk) 07:08, 29 May 2020 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

There is a lot of overlap between this article and Social networking service as discussed above. The previous discussion is two years old. I myself was confused when trying to find an article to describe social media/networking services such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Does anyone have any advice on a merge? --Buffaboy talk 03:00, 26 June 2020 (UTC)

  • As someone who researches this stuff, I don't recommend merging the articles. There are distinct audiences for the two articles, with the audience for SNS being considerably smaller. Furthermore, social media functionality differs from SNS services specifically, with the former being a much broader construct as compared to the latter. Happy to discuss this further, if interested. --Jaobar (talk) 06:23, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
    • As this thread doesn't seem to be generating comments, I recommend that we remove the flag. I recommend keeping the two articles separate. Best, --Jaobar (talk) 02:39, 3 August 2020 (UTC)
    • I honestly find myself struggling greatly to understand the distinction between "social media" and "social networking service" even after reading your post. It doesn't help that the latter's article lists "social media" as an alternative name, and the old discussion on the other article's Talk page points out that it seems the two terms appear to have a "promotional, consumer-oriented" vs. "technical, neutral-sounding" contrast. MarqFJA87 (talk) 13:06, 20 September 2020 (UTC)

Article length[edit]

I removed the warning tag because it's just tag spam. This article is long and would benefit from splitting. I'll take a look and see if there's any obvious splitting I can do. Please feel free to do more or to present ideas how to fix the problem. Be a fixer, not a tag bomber. Jehochman Talk 13:02, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

@Jehochman: I agree that is too long. I think a good section to split off may be the controversy section. Additionally, there are many Wikipedia sub-articles about social media that are referenced in this article, and streamlining the information presented in this document would be useful. Moofinberry Talk 22 October 2020 (UTC)