Small Instances of Social Network Profiles in New Media

Social network profiling is defined as the assumption of certain interests that somebody has based on their online history and intersts expressed on social networks online like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Hugo Liu talks about social network profiling in his essay Social Network Profiling as Taste Performances and he says that “up through the 19th century in European society, identity was largely determined by a handful of circumstances such as profession, social class, and church membership” (252, Liu). Circumstances can be certain instances today online such as videos watched, searches, music and even what type of friends you have on a social network. Believe it or not the small pieces of social network profiling are important and they are viruses and certain trackers that spy on what a user does in many instances online to eventually get their attention. One example of this is YouTube and how it attempts to commit social network profiling by showing recommendations on a user’s homepage based on what they have watched and searched for. Many people may only believe this is true if they have an account on YouTube. However, if a user who visits YouTube frequently doesn’t have an account can they can still eventually see recommendations and be socially profiled. I am a victim of social network profiling because I visit YouTube frequently and see recommendations of videos and other accounts recommended for subscribing. I may check out a certain video once that is unrelated to my interests because a friend of mine recommended it and next thing I see is a bunch of videos listed as recommendation on my home page assuming I am interested in viewing more videos like the one I have just viewed.

My YouTube home page

youtube screenshot

A typical online scam

online dating

Anyone who looks at my laptop while I am on my home page on YouTube can make assumption on my identity, especially online. This can be classified as social network profiling and they are even viruses that can lead a person to a page stating that they are single women or men in your area and often these webpage’s will have the information on your precise town location. This can be quite scary, but nothing to panic about since it is extremely common and must be ignored as it can lead to unwanted trouble. Even on my new Twitter account I have followed many of my favorite athletes and I recommendations of other athletes who I should follow. It is nice I receive this and it is helpful but I know and have an idea of who I need to follow on Twitter.

A part of my Twitter home page

twitter recommendation

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Posted in Film & New Media Studies, Uncategorized

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