Internet, Fake-ism And All That Hoopla

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Recently, New Yorker had come with an interesting piece which opines around 40 per cent of activity on the web being labelled as “Fake.” Although the points touched upon can’t be agreed all the way, it does offer an interesting insight into a lot of other stuff. Incidentally, WhiteOps, which helps fight against organized cybercrime, had reported on the various indictments of two such fraud operations of advertising namely 3ve and Methot. Both such scams worked to fool advertisers by lulling them to think the ads have been put on distinguished websites and have also garnered a great deal of attention. However, the entire structure was fake, which led New Yorker to pen down the piece, pointing fingers at all Internet activity and questioning just how much of the activity online is real.

There have been a string of studies that have concluded how less than 60 per cent of the traffic online is human. Starting 2013, bots gained widespread publicity through YouTube which made developers fear that their algorithm might not function to work for interpreting bot behaviour and differentiating it from humans.  Now, the existence of bots on the Internet is a no-brainer, but it has triggered the question as to how much on the Internet is actually led by humans and not fake, in the true sense of the term. In October last year, Facebook was slammed for overestimating the time users spend watching videos as they misjudged it by 80 per cent when the plaintiff called it to be right as 900 per cent. Nonetheless, which opinion is right, Facebook did admit on reporting other metrics which weren’t actually real.

The steady emergence of click farms all over the net has also contributed to the fake factory. As such these services guarantee you get a specific number of views against a nominal pay. Now, these clicks are actually generated through bots and not human which made YouTube label them as “Spam Accounts.” It was in a study by Cambridge Analytica that depicted how political groups are keen to buy out information across social media in order to influence and use political opinion to their favour.

But, let’s dwell on this for a minute. Aren’t we posing ourselves to be fake? I don’t mean to start a philosophical discourse here, but we are bent on living up to the idiom “Keeping up with the Joneses.” While online, it’s a reverse scenario as we are bent on spending time on quizzes that are all the way unfruitful and also share the results across our social media profile to declare ourselves “Smart.“ The way we post photos of our kids and proclaim us to be proud parents when the only thing that matter is a “Like.” How many times have you hit the “Like” button even though you didn’t understand what the post meant in the first place?  The above behavioural pattern isn’t applicable for every social media user, but there’s certainly no denying how we are gradually sinking into an abyss of fake-ism without any respite. If anyone is looking to fix that scenario, it will call for an all-round political and cultural reform across Silicon Valley; if not across the world, or else woe betide our race in the hands of bots ruling the roost.

Also Read: Quora – The Latest Victim Of Unauthorized Data Breach


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