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Bev Skeggs on Social Media Siloing

Bev Skeggs on Social Media Siloing

“Most people,” says Goldsmiths sociologist Bev Skeggs, “think they’re using Facebook to communicate with friends. Basically they’re using it to reveal how much they can be sold for, now and in the future, and how much their friends can be sold for.” That was an almost accidental lesson she learned during research on how social networks were structuring, or restructuring, friendships, she explains to interviewer David Edmonds in this Social Science Bites podcast. After receiving a monstrous data dump – with permission – of individual’s social media usage, Skeggs and her colleagues were “completely diverted”  as it dawned on them that Facebook was trawling its users’ habits to collect information on people’s general browsing habits. The potentially disturbing but legal practice was only the first step in Facebook’s efforts to monetize social media – and in what Skeggs argues calcifies inequality. “They probably have the greatest capacity to experiment with social data to see who we’re co

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