Social Content in Politics “Crossing a Line”

New research shows Australians think use of data by social media platforms to boost content that targets individuals for political purposes is “crossing a line”.

The Digital Rights and Governance Project at the University of Sydney survey discovered that 67 percent of Australians try to protect their privacy online, but only 38 percent feel they should bother and 78 percent want to know what social media companies do with their personal data.

Data ethics played a central role in the research whose findings were published in a report that shows businesses concern Australians, with 57 percent of respondents concerned their privacy is being violated by corporations.

However, a substantial number were worried government (47%) is violating their privacy, and the majority (58%) were opposed to a policy for government mandated retention of information about internet communications.

Framing matters, however, because once this was presented as an anti-terrorism measure, government data-gathering on internet activity was supported by the majority (57%).

Women were more concerned about privacy online (71%, compared with 63% of men) and to change social media privacy settings (63%, compared with 58% of men).

A sign at The Glass Room, a pop-up exhibit in Manhattan in 2016, curated by the Tactical Technology Collective (Tactical Tech). ( CC BY-SA 4.0   User:Rhododendrites )

A sign at The Glass Room, a pop-up exhibit in Manhattan in 2016, curated by the Tactical Technology Collective (Tactical Tech). (CC BY-SA 4.0 User:Rhododendrites)