Essay on the Importance of Social Media Today

Social media is an essential aspect of our life Today. Unlike in the past years, life has become more interesting with the invention of Technology, which led to social media. With the provision of the Internet, social media is tremendously growing in broader perspectives. Many people across the world consume social media, but a significant percentage are young people. Examples of social media platforms are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Emails (Jeesmitha, 2019). Although it has its and pros and cons, the benefits supersede the disadvantages. Therefore, this essay seeks to highlight the Importance of social media in our lives Today, for example, it has enhanced business, improved social interaction, and digitized communication.

Marketing is an integral part of a successful business. As a business person, I can advertise and sell my services on my Facebook and Instagram pages. The targeted followers become potential customers. Customers communicate to me directly via messenger, and I can get to them instantly. Through social media, one can recognize which companies to partner with and which brands are suitable to work with for the growth of the business. Networking in business is essential. Entrepreneurs support each other in advertising and exchanging business ideas (Pourkhani et al., 2019). Selling products a buying from other online stores such as Ali Baba and Amazon is easy. Shop and Ship is also an application website that delivers products anywhere in the world. Conferences and meetings can be held virtually through webinars and zoom. Social media has created employment, such as social media managers and social media influencers.

In my social life, social media is a tool for interaction. By posting pictures, sharing personal information, and posting trendy issues, there is an interaction of people from different walks of life (Jeesemitha, 2019). On the Agenda setting, campaigns, and activism, Twitter gives a platform for many people to participate through slogans and hashtags, which starts as a simple statement that can go a long way to having international attention. TED Talks are now a norm. Watching and listening to Ted talk events online has positively influenced my way of thinking on different topical issues. Netflix offers a platform to access top-rated movies, shows, and documentaries produced worldwide; one needs to have Internet and a subscription.

Communication has been enhanced through social media. Personally, social media has helped me in beautiful ways. For instance, in streaming live videos and news worldwide at the comfort of where I am. News agencies and organizations update crucial information on their websites, thus getting information as soon as it happens. Blogging is necessary for me as I love to put down my thoughts and express ideas, thus reaching millions of people. It is a platform that sometimes works as a marketing tool for my products or any other business Affiliate. In addition, Stories, Books, and Memoirs from authors can be accessed on social media platforms, and For the Booklovers, once an author releases new work, one can know when to be launched, the charges and can read as a soft copy. Recently podcasts have been growing at a fast rate. It is a means of communication, and many people are venturing into it. In the case of inspirational talks, a podcast is the best medium for me as online radio. I listen to it in my own free time.

To sum up, social media plays a vital role in modern life Today. Information Technology has created a niche for social media advancement. Electronics such as computers, tablets, and smartphones with the accessibility of the Internet has made social media easier for its users. It has now revolutionized our life as Human beings, and it is a necessity in almost every aspect of life, for instance, in business, education, communication, and entertainment.

Jeesmitha, P. S., & CA, M. C. (2019). The Impact of social media.  International Journal of .

Pourkhani, A., Abdipour, K., Baher, B., & Moslehpour, M. (2019). The Impact of social media in business growth and performance: A scientometrics analysis.  International Journal of Data and Network Science ,  3 (3), 223-244.

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Americans’ social media use, youtube and facebook are by far the most used online platforms among u.s. adults; tiktok’s user base has grown since 2021.

To better understand Americans’ social media use, Pew Research Center surveyed 5,733 U.S. adults from May 19 to Sept. 5, 2023. Ipsos conducted this National Public Opinion Reference Survey (NPORS) for the Center using address-based sampling and a multimode protocol that included both web and mail. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race and ethnicity, education and other categories.

Polls from 2000 to 2021 were conducted via phone. For more on this mode shift, read our Q&A .

Here are the questions used for this analysis , along with responses, and  its methodology ­­­.

A note on terminology: Our May-September 2023 survey was already in the field when Twitter changed its name to “X.” The terms  Twitter  and  X  are both used in this report to refer to the same platform.

Social media platforms faced a range of controversies in recent years, including concerns over misinformation and data privacy . Even so, U.S. adults use a wide range of sites and apps, especially YouTube and Facebook. And TikTok – which some Congress members previously called to ban – saw growth in its user base.

These findings come from a Pew Research Center survey of 5,733 U.S. adults conducted May 19-Sept. 5, 2023.

Which social media sites do Americans use most?

A horizontal bar chart showing that most U.S. adults use YouTube and Facebook; about half use Instagram.

YouTube by and large is the most widely used online platform measured in our survey. Roughly eight-in-ten U.S. adults (83%) report ever using the video-based platform.

While a somewhat lower share reports using it, Facebook is also a dominant player in the online landscape. Most Americans (68%) report using the social media platform.

Additionally, roughly half of U.S. adults (47%) say they use Instagram .

The other sites and apps asked about are not as widely used , but a fair portion of Americans still use them:

  • 27% to 35% of U.S. adults use Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Snapchat.
  • About one-in-five say they use Twitter (recently renamed “X”) and Reddit.  

This year is the first time we asked about BeReal, a photo-based platform launched in 2020. Just 3% of U.S. adults report using it.

Recent Center findings show that YouTube also dominates the social media landscape among U.S. teens .

TikTok sees growth since 2021

One platform – TikTok – stands out for growth of its user base. A third of U.S. adults (33%) say they use the video-based platform, up 12 percentage points from 2021 (21%).

A line chart showing that a third of U.S. adults say they use TikTok, up from 21% in 2021.

The other sites asked about had more modest or no growth over the past couple of years. For instance, while YouTube and Facebook dominate the social media landscape, the shares of adults who use these platforms has remained stable since 2021.

The Center has been tracking use of online platforms for many years. Recently, we shifted from gathering responses via telephone to the web and mail. Mode changes can affect study results in a number of ways, therefore we have to take a cautious approach when examining how things have – or have not – changed since our last study on these topics in 2021. For more details on this shift, please read our Q&A .

Stark age differences in who uses each app or site

Adults under 30 are far more likely than their older counterparts to use many of the online platforms. These findings are consistent with previous Center data .

A dot plot showing that the youngest U.S. adults are far more likely to use Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok; age differences are less pronounced for Facebook.

Age gaps are especially large for Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok – platforms that are used by majorities of adults under 30. For example:

  • 78% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use Instagram, far higher than the share among those 65 and older (15%).
  • 65% of U.S. adults under 30 report using Snapchat, compared with just 4% of the oldest age cohort.
  • 62% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use TikTok, much higher than the share among adults ages 65 years and older (10%).
  • Americans ages 30 to 49 and 50 to 64 fall somewhere in between for all three platforms.

YouTube and Facebook are the only two platforms that majorities of all age groups use. That said, there is still a large age gap between the youngest and oldest adults when it comes to use of YouTube. The age gap for Facebook, though, is much smaller.

Americans ages 30 to 49 stand out for using three of the platforms – LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Facebook – at higher rates. For instance, 40% of this age group uses LinkedIn, higher than the roughly three-in-ten among those ages 18 to 29 and 50 to 64. And just 12% of those 65 and older say the same. 

Overall, a large majority of the youngest adults use multiple sites and apps. About three-quarters of adults under 30 (74%) use at least five of the platforms asked about. This is far higher than the shares of those ages 30 to 49 (53%), 50 to 64 (30%), and ages 65 and older (8%) who say the same.  

Refer to our social media fact sheet for more detailed data by age for each site and app.

Other demographic differences in use of online platforms

A number of demographic differences emerge in who uses each platform. Some of these include the following:

  • Race and ethnicity: Roughly six-in-ten Hispanic (58%) and Asian (57%) adults report using Instagram, somewhat higher than the shares among Black (46%) and White (43%) adults. 1
  • Gender: Women are more likely than their male counterparts to say they use the platform.
  • Education: Those with some college education and those with a college degree report using it at somewhat higher rates than those who have a high school degree or less education.
  • Race and ethnicity: Hispanic adults are particularly likely to use TikTok, with 49% saying they use it, higher than Black adults (39%). Even smaller shares of Asian (29%) and White (28%) adults say the same.
  • Gender: Women use the platform at higher rates than men (40% vs. 25%).
  • Education: Americans with higher levels of formal education are especially likely to use LinkedIn. For instance, 53% of Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree report using the platform, far higher than among those who have some college education (28%) and those who have a high school degree or less education (10%). This is the largest educational difference measured across any of the platforms asked about.

Twitter (renamed “X”)

  • Household income: Adults with higher household incomes use Twitter at somewhat higher rates. For instance, 29% of U.S. adults who have an annual household income of at least $100,000 say they use the platform. This compares with one-in-five among those with annual household incomes of $70,000 to $99,999, and around one-in-five among those with annual incomes of less than $30,000 and those between $30,000 and $69,999.
  • Gender: Women are far more likely to use Pinterest than men (50% vs. 19%).
  • Race and ethnicity: 54% of Hispanic adults and 51% of Asian adults report using WhatsApp. This compares with 31% of Black adults and even smaller shares of those who are White (20%).

A heat map showing how use of online platforms – such as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok – differs among some U.S. demographic groups.

  • Estimates for Asian adults are representative of English speakers only. ↩

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Report Materials

Table of contents, q&a: how – and why – we’re changing the way we study tech adoption, americans’ use of mobile technology and home broadband, social media fact sheet, internet/broadband fact sheet, mobile fact sheet, most popular.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

Feb 15, 2023

6 Example Essays on Social Media | Advantages, Effects, and Outlines

Got an essay assignment about the effects of social media we got you covered check out our examples and outlines below.

Social media has become one of our society's most prominent ways of communication and information sharing in a very short time. It has changed how we communicate and has given us a platform to express our views and opinions and connect with others. It keeps us informed about the world around us. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have brought individuals from all over the world together, breaking down geographical borders and fostering a genuinely global community.

However, social media comes with its difficulties. With the rise of misinformation, cyberbullying, and privacy problems, it's critical to utilize these platforms properly and be aware of the risks. Students in the academic world are frequently assigned essays about the impact of social media on numerous elements of our lives, such as relationships, politics, and culture. These essays necessitate a thorough comprehension of the subject matter, critical thinking, and the ability to synthesize and convey information clearly and succinctly.

But where do you begin? It can be challenging to know where to start with so much information available. Jenni.ai comes in handy here. Jenni.ai is an AI application built exclusively for students to help them write essays more quickly and easily. Jenni.ai provides students with inspiration and assistance on how to approach their essays with its enormous database of sample essays on a variety of themes, including social media. Jenni.ai is the solution you've been looking for if you're experiencing writer's block or need assistance getting started.

So, whether you're a student looking to better your essay writing skills or want to remain up to date on the latest social media advancements, Jenni.ai is here to help. Jenni.ai is the ideal tool for helping you write your finest essay ever, thanks to its simple design, an extensive database of example essays, and cutting-edge AI technology. So, why delay? Sign up for a free trial of Jenni.ai today and begin exploring the worlds of social networking and essay writing!

Want to learn how to write an argumentative essay? Check out these inspiring examples!

We will provide various examples of social media essays so you may get a feel for the genre.

6 Examples of Social Media Essays

Here are 6 examples of Social Media Essays:

The Impact of Social Media on Relationships and Communication

Introduction:.

The way we share information and build relationships has evolved as a direct result of the prevalence of social media in our daily lives. The influence of social media on interpersonal connections and conversation is a hot topic. Although social media has many positive effects, such as bringing people together regardless of physical proximity and making communication quicker and more accessible, it also has a dark side that can affect interpersonal connections and dialogue.

Positive Effects:

Connecting People Across Distances

One of social media's most significant benefits is its ability to connect individuals across long distances. People can use social media platforms to interact and stay in touch with friends and family far away. People can now maintain intimate relationships with those they care about, even when physically separated.

Improved Communication Speed and Efficiency

Additionally, the proliferation of social media sites has accelerated and simplified communication. Thanks to instant messaging, users can have short, timely conversations rather than lengthy ones via email. Furthermore, social media facilitates group communication, such as with classmates or employees, by providing a unified forum for such activities.

Negative Effects:

Decreased Face-to-Face Communication

The decline in in-person interaction is one of social media's most pernicious consequences on interpersonal connections and dialogue. People's reliance on digital communication over in-person contact has increased along with the popularity of social media. Face-to-face interaction has suffered as a result, which has adverse effects on interpersonal relationships and the development of social skills.

Decreased Emotional Intimacy

Another adverse effect of social media on relationships and communication is decreased emotional intimacy. Digital communication lacks the nonverbal cues and facial expressions critical in building emotional connections with others. This can make it more difficult for people to develop close and meaningful relationships, leading to increased loneliness and isolation.

Increased Conflict and Miscommunication

Finally, social media can also lead to increased conflict and miscommunication. The anonymity and distance provided by digital communication can lead to misunderstandings and hurtful comments that might not have been made face-to-face. Additionally, social media can provide a platform for cyberbullying, which can have severe consequences for the victim's mental health and well-being.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the impact of social media on relationships and communication is a complex issue with both positive and negative effects. While social media platforms offer many benefits, such as connecting people across distances and enabling faster and more accessible communication, they also have a dark side that can negatively affect relationships and communication. It is up to individuals to use social media responsibly and to prioritize in-person communication in their relationships and interactions with others.

The Role of Social Media in the Spread of Misinformation and Fake News

Social media has revolutionized the way information is shared and disseminated. However, the ease and speed at which data can be spread on social media also make it a powerful tool for spreading misinformation and fake news. Misinformation and fake news can seriously affect public opinion, influence political decisions, and even cause harm to individuals and communities.

The Pervasiveness of Misinformation and Fake News on Social Media

Misinformation and fake news are prevalent on social media platforms, where they can spread quickly and reach a large audience. This is partly due to the way social media algorithms work, which prioritizes content likely to generate engagement, such as sensational or controversial stories. As a result, false information can spread rapidly and be widely shared before it is fact-checked or debunked.

The Influence of Social Media on Public Opinion

Social media can significantly impact public opinion, as people are likelier to believe the information they see shared by their friends and followers. This can lead to a self-reinforcing cycle, where misinformation and fake news are spread and reinforced, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

The Challenge of Correcting Misinformation and Fake News

Correcting misinformation and fake news on social media can be a challenging task. This is partly due to the speed at which false information can spread and the difficulty of reaching the same audience exposed to the wrong information in the first place. Additionally, some individuals may be resistant to accepting correction, primarily if the incorrect information supports their beliefs or biases.

In conclusion, the function of social media in disseminating misinformation and fake news is complex and urgent. While social media has revolutionized the sharing of information, it has also made it simpler for false information to propagate and be widely believed. Individuals must be accountable for the information they share and consume, and social media firms must take measures to prevent the spread of disinformation and fake news on their platforms.

The Effects of Social Media on Mental Health and Well-Being

Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of people around the world using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay connected with others and access information. However, while social media has many benefits, it can also negatively affect mental health and well-being.

Comparison and Low Self-Esteem

One of the key ways that social media can affect mental health is by promoting feelings of comparison and low self-esteem. People often present a curated version of their lives on social media, highlighting their successes and hiding their struggles. This can lead others to compare themselves unfavorably, leading to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment

Another way that social media can negatively impact mental health is through cyberbullying and online harassment. Social media provides a platform for anonymous individuals to harass and abuse others, leading to feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression.

Social Isolation

Despite its name, social media can also contribute to feelings of isolation. At the same time, people may have many online friends but need more meaningful in-person connections and support. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.

Addiction and Overuse

Finally, social media can be addictive, leading to overuse and negatively impacting mental health and well-being. People may spend hours each day scrolling through their feeds, neglecting other important areas of their lives, such as work, family, and self-care.

In sum, social media has positive and negative consequences on one's psychological and emotional well-being. Realizing this, and taking measures like reducing one's social media use, reaching out to loved ones for help, and prioritizing one's well-being, are crucial. In addition, it's vital that social media giants take ownership of their platforms and actively encourage excellent mental health and well-being.

The Use of Social Media in Political Activism and Social Movements

Social media has recently become increasingly crucial in political action and social movements. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have given people new ways to express themselves, organize protests, and raise awareness about social and political issues.

Raising Awareness and Mobilizing Action

One of the most important uses of social media in political activity and social movements has been to raise awareness about important issues and mobilize action. Hashtags such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, for example, have brought attention to sexual harassment and racial injustice, respectively. Similarly, social media has been used to organize protests and other political actions, allowing people to band together and express themselves on a bigger scale.

Connecting with like-minded individuals

A second method in that social media has been utilized in political activity and social movements is to unite like-minded individuals. Through social media, individuals can join online groups, share knowledge and resources, and work with others to accomplish shared objectives. This has been especially significant for geographically scattered individuals or those without access to traditional means of political organizing.

Challenges and Limitations

As a vehicle for political action and social movements, social media has faced many obstacles and restrictions despite its many advantages. For instance, the propagation of misinformation and fake news on social media can impede attempts to disseminate accurate and reliable information. In addition, social media corporations have been condemned for censorship and insufficient protection of user rights.

In conclusion, social media has emerged as a potent instrument for political activism and social movements, giving voice to previously unheard communities and galvanizing support for change. Social media presents many opportunities for communication and collaboration. Still, users and institutions must be conscious of the risks and limitations of these tools to promote their responsible and productive usage.

The Potential Privacy Concerns Raised by Social Media Use and Data Collection Practices

With billions of users each day on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, social media has ingrained itself into every aspect of our lives. While these platforms offer a straightforward method to communicate with others and exchange information, they also raise significant concerns over data collecting and privacy. This article will examine the possible privacy issues posed by social media use and data-gathering techniques.

Data Collection and Sharing

The gathering and sharing of personal data are significant privacy issues brought up by social media use. Social networking sites gather user data, including details about their relationships, hobbies, and routines. This information is made available to third-party businesses for various uses, such as marketing and advertising. This can lead to serious concerns about who has access to and uses our personal information.

Lack of Control Over Personal Information

The absence of user control over personal information is a significant privacy issue brought up by social media usage. Social media makes it challenging to limit who has access to and how data is utilized once it has been posted. Sensitive information may end up being extensively disseminated and may be used maliciously as a result.

Personalized Marketing

Social media companies utilize the information they gather about users to target them with adverts relevant to their interests and usage patterns. Although this could be useful, it might also cause consumers to worry about their privacy since they might feel that their personal information is being used without their permission. Furthermore, there are issues with the integrity of the data being used to target users and the possibility of prejudice based on individual traits.

Government Surveillance

Using social media might spark worries about government surveillance. There are significant concerns regarding privacy and free expression when governments in some nations utilize social media platforms to follow and monitor residents.

In conclusion, social media use raises significant concerns regarding data collecting and privacy. While these platforms make it easy to interact with people and exchange information, they also gather a lot of personal information, which raises questions about who may access it and how it will be used. Users should be aware of these privacy issues and take precautions to safeguard their personal information, such as exercising caution when choosing what details to disclose on social media and keeping their information sharing with other firms to a minimum.

The Ethical and Privacy Concerns Surrounding Social Media Use And Data Collection

Our use of social media to communicate with loved ones, acquire information, and even conduct business has become a crucial part of our everyday lives. The extensive use of social media does, however, raise some ethical and privacy issues that must be resolved. The influence of social media use and data collecting on user rights, the accountability of social media businesses, and the need for improved regulation are all topics that will be covered in this article.

Effect on Individual Privacy:

Social networking sites gather tons of personal data from their users, including delicate information like search history, location data, and even health data. Each user's detailed profile may be created with this data and sold to advertising or used for other reasons. Concerns regarding the privacy of personal information might arise because social media businesses can use this data to target users with customized adverts.

Additionally, individuals might need to know how much their personal information is being gathered and exploited. Data breaches or the unauthorized sharing of personal information with other parties may result in instances where sensitive information is exposed. Users should be aware of the privacy rules of social media firms and take precautions to secure their data.

Responsibility of Social Media Companies:

Social media firms should ensure that they responsibly and ethically gather and use user information. This entails establishing strong security measures to safeguard sensitive information and ensuring users are informed of what information is being collected and how it is used.

Many social media businesses, nevertheless, have come under fire for not upholding these obligations. For instance, the Cambridge Analytica incident highlighted how Facebook users' personal information was exploited for political objectives without their knowledge. This demonstrates the necessity of social media corporations being held responsible for their deeds and ensuring that they are safeguarding the security and privacy of their users.

Better Regulation Is Needed

There is a need for tighter regulation in this field, given the effect, social media has on individual privacy as well as the obligations of social media firms. The creation of laws and regulations that ensure social media companies are gathering and using user information ethically and responsibly, as well as making sure users are aware of their rights and have the ability to control the information that is being collected about them, are all part of this.

Additionally, legislation should ensure that social media businesses are held responsible for their behavior, for example, by levying fines for data breaches or the unauthorized use of personal data. This will provide social media businesses with a significant incentive to prioritize their users' privacy and security and ensure they are upholding their obligations.

In conclusion, social media has fundamentally changed how we engage and communicate with one another, but this increased convenience also raises several ethical and privacy issues. Essential concerns that need to be addressed include the effect of social media on individual privacy, the accountability of social media businesses, and the requirement for greater regulation to safeguard user rights. We can make everyone's online experience safer and more secure by looking more closely at these issues.

In conclusion, social media is a complex and multifaceted topic that has recently captured the world's attention. With its ever-growing influence on our lives, it's no surprise that it has become a popular subject for students to explore in their writing. Whether you are writing an argumentative essay on the impact of social media on privacy, a persuasive essay on the role of social media in politics, or a descriptive essay on the changes social media has brought to the way we communicate, there are countless angles to approach this subject.

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Why social media has changed the world — and how to fix it

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Sinan Aral and his new book The Hype Machine

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Are you on social media a lot? When is the last time you checked Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? Last night? Before breakfast? Five minutes ago?

If so, you are not alone — which is the point, of course. Humans are highly social creatures. Our brains have become wired to process social information, and we usually feel better when we are connected. Social media taps into this tendency.

“Human brains have essentially evolved because of sociality more than any other thing,” says Sinan Aral, an MIT professor and expert in information technology and marketing. “When you develop a population-scale technology that delivers social signals to the tune of trillions per day in real-time, the rise of social media isn’t unexpected. It’s like tossing a lit match into a pool of gasoline.”

The numbers make this clear. In 2005, about 7 percent of American adults used social media. But by 2017, 80 percent of American adults used Facebook alone. About 3.5 billion people on the planet, out of 7.7 billion, are active social media participants. Globally, during a typical day, people post 500 million tweets, share over 10 billion pieces of Facebook content, and watch over a billion hours of YouTube video.

As social media platforms have grown, though, the once-prevalent, gauzy utopian vision of online community has disappeared. Along with the benefits of easy connectivity and increased information, social media has also become a vehicle for disinformation and political attacks from beyond sovereign borders.

“Social media disrupts our elections, our economy, and our health,” says Aral, who is the David Austin Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Now Aral has written a book about it. In “The Hype Machine,” published this month by Currency, a Random House imprint, Aral details why social media platforms have become so successful yet so problematic, and suggests ways to improve them.

As Aral notes, the book covers some of the same territory as “The Social Dilemma,” a documentary that is one of the most popular films on Netflix at the moment. But Aral’s book, as he puts it, "starts where ‘The Social Dilemma’ leaves off and goes one step further to ask: What can we do about it?”

“This machine exists in every facet of our lives,” Aral says. “And the question in the book is, what do we do? How do we achieve the promise of this machine and avoid the peril? We’re at a crossroads. What we do next is essential, so I want to equip people, policymakers, and platforms to help us achieve the good outcomes and avoid the bad outcomes.”

When “engagement” equals anger

“The Hype Machine” draws on Aral’s own research about social networks, as well as other findings, from the cognitive sciences, computer science, business, politics, and more. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, for instance, have found that people obtain bigger hits of dopamine — the chemical in our brains highly bound up with motivation and reward — when their social media posts receive more likes.

At the same time, consider a 2018 MIT study by Soroush Vosoughi, an MIT PhD student and now an assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth College; Deb Roy, MIT professor of media arts and sciences and executive director of the MIT Media Lab; and Aral, who has been studying social networking for 20 years. The three researchers found that on Twitter, from 2006 to 2017, false news stories were 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true ones. Why? Most likely because false news has greater novelty value compared to the truth, and provokes stronger reactions — especially disgust and surprise.

In this light, the essential tension surrounding social media companies is that their platforms gain audiences and revenue when posts provoke strong emotional responses, often based on dubious content.

“This is a well-designed, well-thought-out machine that has objectives it maximizes,” Aral says. “The business models that run the social-media industrial complex have a lot to do with the outcomes we’re seeing — it’s an attention economy, and businesses want you engaged. How do they get engagement? Well, they give you little dopamine hits, and … get you riled up. That’s why I call it the hype machine. We know strong emotions get us engaged, so [that favors] anger and salacious content.”

From Russia to marketing

“The Hype Machine” explores both the political implications and business dimensions of social media in depth. Certainly social media is fertile terrain for misinformation campaigns. During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Russia spread  false information to at least 126 million people on Facebook and another 20 million people on Insta­gram (which Facebook owns), and was responsible for 10 million tweets. About 44 percent of adult Americans visited a false news source in the final weeks of the campaign.

“I think we need to be a lot more vigilant than we are,” says Aral.

We do not know if Russia’s efforts altered the outcome of the 2016 election, Aral says, though they may have been fairly effective. Curiously, it is not clear if the same is true of most U.S. corporate engagement efforts.

As Aral examines, digital advertising on most big U.S. online platforms is often wildly ineffective, with academic studies showing that the “lift” generated by ad campaigns — the extent to which they affect consumer action — has been overstated by a factor of hundreds, in some cases. Simply counting clicks on ads is not enough. Instead, online engagement tends to be more effective among new consumers, and when it is targeted well; in that sense, there is a parallel between good marketing and guerilla social media campaigns.

“The two questions I get asked the most these days,” Aral says, “are, one, did Russia succeed in intervening in our democracy? And two, how do I measure the ROI [return on investment] from marketing investments? As I was writing this book, I realized the answer to those two questions is the same.”

Ideas for improvement

“The Hype Machine” has received praise from many commentators. Foster Provost, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, says it is a “masterful integration of science, business, law, and policy.” Duncan Watts, a university professor at the University of Pennsylvania, says the book is “essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how we got here and how we can get somewhere better.”

In that vein, “The Hype Machine” has several detailed suggestions for improving social media. Aral favors automated and user-generated labeling of false news, and limiting revenue-collection that is based on false content. He also calls for firms to help scholars better research the issue of election interference.

Aral believes federal privacy measures could be useful, if we learn from the benefits and missteps of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and a new California law that lets consumers stop some data-sharing and allows people to find out what information companies have stored about them. He does not endorse breaking up Facebook, and suggests instead that the social media economy needs structural reform. He calls for data portability and interoperability, so “consumers would own their identities and could freely switch from one network to another.” Aral believes that without such fundamental changes, new platforms will simply replace the old ones, propelled by the network effects that drive the social-media economy.

“I do not advocate any one silver bullet,” says Aral, who emphasizes that changes in four areas together — money, code, norms, and laws — can alter the trajectory of the social media industry.

But if things continue without change, Aral adds, Facebook and the other social media giants risk substantial civic backlash and user burnout.

“If you get me angry and riled up, I might click more in the short term, but I might also grow really tired and annoyed by how this is making my life miserable, and I might turn you off entirely,” Aral observes. “I mean, that’s why we have a Delete Facebook movement, that’s why we have a Stop Hate for Profit movement. People are pushing back against the short-term vision, and I think we need to embrace this longer-term vision of a healthier communications ecosystem.”

Changing the social media giants can seem like a tall order. Still, Aral says, these firms are not necessarily destined for domination.

“I don’t think this technology or any other technology has some deterministic endpoint,” Aral says. “I want to bring us back to a more practical reality, which is that technology is what we make it, and we are abdicating our responsibility to steer technology toward good and away from bad. That is the path I try to illuminate in this book.”

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Press mentions.

Prof. Sinan Aral’s new book, “The Hype Machine,” has been selected as one of the best books of the year about AI by Wired . Gilad Edelman notes that Aral’s book is “an engagingly written shortcut to expertise on what the likes of Facebook and Twitter are doing to our brains and our society.”

Prof. Sinan Aral speaks with Danny Crichton of TechCrunch about his new book, “The Hype Machine,” which explores the future of social media. Aral notes that he believes a starting point “for solving the social media crisis is creating competition in the social media economy.” 

New York Times

Prof. Sinan Aral speaks with New York Times editorial board member Greg Bensinger about how social media platforms can reduce the spread of misinformation. “Human-in-the-loop moderation is the right solution,” says Aral. “It’s not a simple silver bullet, but it would give accountability where these companies have in the past blamed software.”

Prof. Sinan Aral speaks with Kara Miller of GBH’s Innovation Hub about his research examining the impact of social media on everything from business re-openings during the Covid-19 pandemic to politics.

Prof. Sinan Aral speaks with NPR’s Michael Martin about his new book, “The Hype Machine,” which explores the benefits and downfalls posed by social media. “I've been researching social media for 20 years. I've seen its evolution and also the techno utopianism and dystopianism,” says Aral. “I thought it was appropriate to have a book that asks, 'what can we do to really fix the social media morass we find ourselves in?'”

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Ad Council Home

Social Media's Impact on Society

social media today essay

This article was updated on: 11/19/2021

Social media is an undeniable force in modern society. With over half the global population using social platforms, and the average person spending at least two hours scrolling through them every day , it can’t be overstated that our digital spaces have altered our lives as we knew them. From giving us new ways to come together and stay connected with the world around us, to providing outlets for self-expression, social media has fundamentally changed the way we initiate, build and maintain our relationships.

But while these digital communities have become commonplace in our daily lives, researchers are only beginning to understand the consequences of social media use on future generations. Social media models are changing every day, with major platforms like Meta and Instagram evolving into primary digital advertising spaces as much as social ones. A critical responsibility falls on marketers to spread messages that inform, rather than contribute to the sea of misinformation that thrives on social media.

Read on to see what’s on marketers’ minds when it comes to the impact of social media on society:

MENTAL HEALTH

You’ve likely heard about the negative impacts that social media can have on mental health. Experts are weighing in on the role that the algorithms and design of social platforms play in exasperating these concerns.

At SXSW 2019 , Aza Raskin, co-founder of the Center for Human Technology, talked about the “digital loneliness epidemic,” which focused on the rise of depression and loneliness as it relates to social media use. During the panel, Raskin spoke about the “infinite scroll,” the design principle that enables users to continuously scroll through their feeds, without ever having to decide whether to keep going—it’s hard to imagine what the bottom of a TikTok feed would look like, and that’s intentional. But with the knowledge that mental health concerns are undeniably linked to social media use, the dilemma we’re now facing is when does good design become inhumane design?

Arguably, Rankin’s term for social media use could now be renamed the “digital loneliness pandemic ” as the world faces unprecedented isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2020 the Ad Council released a study exploring factors that cause loneliness, and what can be done to alleviate it. Interestingly, our research found that while social isolation is one factor that can cause loneliness, 73% of respondents typically maintain interpersonal relationships via technology, including engaging with others on social media. Simply put, social media use can both contribute to and help mitigate feelings of isolation. So how do we address this Catch-22? We should ask ourselves how we can use social media as a platform to foster positive digital communities as young adults rely on it more and more to cope with isolation.

Findings like these have been useful as we reexamine the focuses of Ad Council campaigns. In May 2020, our iconic Seize the Awkward campaign launched new creative highlighting ways young people could use digital communications tools to stay connected and check in on one another’s mental health while practicing physical distancing. A year later, we launched another mental health initiative, Sound It Out , which harnesses the power of music to speak to 10-14-year-olds’ emotional wellbeing. Ad Council has seen the importance of spreading awareness around mental health concerns as they relate to social media consumption in young adults—who will become the next generation of marketers.

EXTREMISM & HATE

Another trend on experts’ minds is how the algorithms behind these massively influential social media platforms may contribute to the rise of extremism and online radicalization.

Major social networking sites have faced criticism over how their advanced algorithms can lead users to increasingly fringe content. These platforms are central to discussions around online extremism, as social forums have become spaces for extreme communities to form and build influence digitally. However, these platforms are responding to concerns and troubleshooting functionalities that have the potential to result in dangerous outcomes. Meta, for example, announced test prompts to provide anti-extremism resources and support for users it believes have been exposed to extremist content on their feeds.

But as extremist groups continue to turn to fringe chatrooms and the “dark web” that begin on social media, combing through the underbelly of the internet and stopping the spread of hateful narratives is a daunting task. Promoting public service messages around Racial Justice and Diversity & Inclusion are just some of the ways that Ad Council and other marketers are using these platforms to move the needle away from hateful messaging and use these platforms to change mindsets in a positive way.

PUBLIC HEALTH CRISES

Social media can be both a space to enlighten and spread messages of doubt. The information age we’re all living in has enabled marketers to intervene as educators and providers of informative messaging to all facets of the American public. And no time has this been more urgent than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Public health efforts around mask mandates and vaccine rollouts have now become increasingly polarized issues. Social media platforms have turned into breeding grounds for spreading disinformation around vaccinations, and as a result, has contributed to vaccine hesitancy among the American public. Meta, Instagram, and other platforms have begun to flag certain messages as false, but the work of regulating misinformation, especially during a pandemic, will be an enduring problem. To combat this, Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative have put a particular emphasis on our historic COVID-19 Vaccine Education initiative, which has connected trusted messengers with the “uncommitted” American public who feel the most uncertainty around getting the vaccine.

Living during a global pandemic has only solidified a societal need for social media as a way to stay connected to the world at large. During the pandemic, these platforms have been used to promote hopeful and educational messages, like #AloneTogether , and ensures that social media marketing can act as a public service.

DIGITAL ACTIVISM

Beyond serving as an educational resource, social media has been the space for digital activism across a myriad of social justice issues. Movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter have gone viral thanks to the power of social media. What starts as a simple hashtag has resulted in real change, from passing sexual harassment legislation in response to #MeToo, to pushing for criminal justice reform because of BLM activists. In these cases, social media empowered likeminded people to organize around a specific cause in a way not possible before.

It’s impossible to separate the role of social media from the scalable impact that these movements have had on society. #MeToo and BLM are just two examples of movements that have sparked national attention due in large part to conversations that began on social media.

SO, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MARKETERS?

Social media is a great equalizer that allows for large-scale discourse and an endless, unfiltered stream of content. Looking beyond the repercussions for a generation born on social media, these platforms remain an essential way for marketers to reach their audiences.

Whether you argue there are more benefits or disadvantages to a world run on social media, we can all agree that social media has fundamentally shifted how society communicates. With every scroll, view, like, comment and share, we’re taught something new about the impact of social media on the way we think and see the world.

But until we find a way to hold platforms more accountable for the global consequences of social media use, it’s up to marketers to use these digital resources as engines of progressive messaging. We can’t control the adverse effects of the Internet, but as marketers, we can do our part in ensuring that the right messages are being spread and that social media remains a force for social good.

social media today essay

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How Does Social Media Affect Your Mental Health?

Facebook has delayed the development of an Instagram app for children amid questions about its harmful effects on young people’s mental health. Does social media have an impact on your well-being?

social media today essay

By Nicole Daniels

What is your relationship with social media like? Which platforms do you spend the most time on? Which do you stay away from? How often do you log on?

What do you notice about your mental health and well-being when spending time on social networks?

In “ Facebook Delays Instagram App for Users 13 and Younger ,” Adam Satariano and Ryan Mac write about the findings of an internal study conducted by Facebook and what they mean for the Instagram Kids app that the company was developing:

Facebook said on Monday that it had paused development of an Instagram Kids service that would be tailored for children 13 years old or younger, as the social network increasingly faces questions about the app’s effect on young people’s mental health. The pullback preceded a congressional hearing this week about internal research conducted by Facebook , and reported in The Wall Street Journal , that showed the company knew of the harmful mental health effects that Instagram was having on teenage girls. The revelations have set off a public relations crisis for the Silicon Valley company and led to a fresh round of calls for new regulation. Facebook said it still wanted to build an Instagram product intended for children that would have a more “age appropriate experience,” but was postponing the plans in the face of criticism.

The article continues:

With Instagram Kids, Facebook had argued that young people were using the photo-sharing app anyway, despite age-requirement rules, so it would be better to develop a version more suitable for them. Facebook said the “kids” app was intended for ages 10 to 12 and would require parental permission to join, forgo ads and carry more age-appropriate content and features. Parents would be able to control what accounts their child followed. YouTube, which Google owns, has released a children’s version of its app. But since BuzzFeed broke the news this year that Facebook was working on the app, the company has faced scrutiny. Policymakers, regulators, child safety groups and consumer rights groups have argued that it hooks children on the app at a younger age rather than protecting them from problems with the service, including child predatory grooming, bullying and body shaming.

The article goes on to quote Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram:

Mr. Mosseri said on Monday that the “the project leaked way before we knew what it would be” and that the company had “few answers” for the public at the time. Opposition to Facebook’s plans gained momentum this month when The Journal published articles based on leaked internal documents that showed Facebook knew about many of the harms it was causing. Facebook’s internal research showed that Instagram, in particular, had caused teen girls to feel worse about their bodies and led to increased rates of anxiety and depression, even while company executives publicly tried to minimize the app’s downsides.

But concerns about the effect of social media on young people go beyond Instagram Kids, the article notes:

A children’s version of Instagram would not fix more systemic problems, said Al Mik, a spokesman for 5Rights Foundation, a London group focused on digital rights issues for children. The group published a report in July showing that children as young as 13 were targeted within 24 hours of creating an account with harmful content, including material related to eating disorders, extreme diets, sexualized imagery, body shaming, self-harm and suicide. “Big Tobacco understood that the younger you got to someone, the easier you could get them addicted to become a lifelong user,” Doug Peterson, Nebraska’s attorney general, said in an interview. “I see some comparisons to social media platforms.” In May, attorneys general from 44 states and jurisdictions had signed a letter to Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, asking him to end plans for building an Instagram app for children. American policymakers should pass tougher laws to restrict how tech platforms target children, said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, a Boston-based group that was part of an international coalition of children’s and consumer groups opposed to the new app. Last year, Britain adopted an Age Appropriate Design Code , which requires added privacy protections for digital services used by people under the age of 18.

Students, read the entire article , then tell us:

Do you think Facebook made the right decision in halting the development of the Instagram Kids app? Do you think there should be social media apps for children 13 and younger? Why or why not?

What is your reaction to the research that found that Instagram can have harmful mental health effects on teenagers, particularly teenage girls? Have you experienced body image issues, anxiety or depression tied to your use of the app? How do you think social media affects your mental health?

What has your experience been on different social media apps? Are there apps that have a more positive or negative effect on your well-being? What do you think could explain these differences?

Have you ever been targeted with inappropriate or harmful content on Instagram or other social media apps? What responsibility do you think social media companies have to address these issues? Do you think there should be more protections in place for users under 18? Why or why not?

What does healthy social media engagement look like for you? What habits do you have around social media that you feel proud of? What behaviors would you like to change? How involved are your parents in your social media use? How involved do you think they should be?

If you were in charge of making Instagram, or another social media app, safer for teenagers, what changes would you make?

Want more writing prompts? You can find all of our questions in our Student Opinion column . Teachers, check out this guide to learn how you can incorporate them into your classroom.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

Nicole Daniels joined The Learning Network as a staff editor in 2019 after working in museum education, curriculum writing and bilingual education. More about Nicole Daniels

Home — Essay Samples — Sociology — Sociology of Media and Communication — Social Media

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Argumentative Essays About Social Media

This is a comprehensive resource to help you find the perfect social media essay topic. Whether you're navigating the complexities of digital communication, exploring the impact of social media on society, or examining its effects on personal identity, the right topic can transform your essay into a captivating and insightful exploration. Remember, selecting a topic that resonates with your personal interests and academic goals not only makes the writing process more enjoyable but also enriches your learning experience. Let's dive into a world of creativity and critical thinking!

Essay Types and Topics

Below, you'll find a curated list of essay topics organized by type. Each section includes diverse topics that touch on technology, society, personal growth, and academic interests, along with introduction and conclusion paragraph examples to get you started.

Argumentative Essays

Introduction Example: "In the digital age, social media platforms have become central to our daily interactions and self-perception, particularly among teenagers. This essay explores the impact of social media on teen self-esteem, arguing that while it offers a space for expression and connection, it also presents significant challenges to self-image. "

Conclusion Example: "Having delved into the complex relationship between social media and teen self-esteem, it is clear that the digital landscape holds profound effects on individual self-perception. This essay reaffirms the thesis that social media can both uplift and undermine teen self-esteem, calling for a balanced approach to digital engagement."

Introduction Example: "As political landscapes evolve, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for political mobilization and engagement. This essay investigates the role of social media in shaping political movements, positing that it significantly enhances communication and organizational capabilities, yet raises questions about information authenticity. "

Conclusion Example: "Through examining the dual facets of social media in political mobilization, the essay concludes that while social media is a pivotal tool for engagement, it necessitates critical scrutiny of information to ensure a well-informed public discourse."

Compare and Contrast Essays

Introduction Example: "In the competitive realm of digital marketing, Instagram and Twitter stand out as leading platforms for brand promotion. This essay compares and contrasts their effectiveness, revealing that each platform caters to unique marketing strengths due to its specific user engagement and content dissemination strategies. "

Conclusion Example: "The comparative analysis of Instagram and Twitter highlights distinct advantages for brands, with Instagram excelling in visual storytelling and Twitter in real-time engagement, underscoring the importance of strategic platform selection in digital marketing."

Descriptive Essays

Introduction Example: "Today's social media landscape is a vibrant tapestry of platforms, each contributing to the digital era's social fabric. This essay describes the characteristics and cultural significance of current social media trends, illustrating that they reflect and shape our societal values and interactions. "

Conclusion Example: "In portraying the dynamic and diverse nature of today's social media landscape, this essay underscores its role in molding contemporary cultural and social paradigms, inviting readers to reflect on their digital footprints."

Persuasive Essays

Introduction Example: "In an era where digital presence is ubiquitous, fostering positive social media habits is essential for mental and emotional well-being. This essay advocates for mindful social media use, arguing that intentional engagement can enhance our life experiences rather than detract from them. "

Conclusion Example: "This essay has championed the cause for positive social media habits, reinforcing the thesis that through mindful engagement, individuals can navigate the digital world in a way that promotes personal growth and well-being."

Narrative Essays

Introduction Example: "Embarking on a personal journey with social media has been both enlightening and challenging. This narrative essay delves into my experiences, highlighting how social media has influenced my perception of self and community. "

Conclusion Example: "Reflecting on my social media journey, this essay concludes that while it has significantly shaped my interactions and self-view, it has also offered invaluable lessons on connectivity and self-awareness, affirming the nuanced role of digital platforms in our lives."

Engagement and Creativity

As you explore these topics, remember to approach your essay with an open mind and creative spirit. The purpose of academic writing is not just to inform but to engage and provoke thought. Use this opportunity to delve deep into your topic, analyze different perspectives, and articulate your own insights.

Educational Value

Each essay type offers unique learning outcomes. Argumentative essays enhance your analytical thinking and ability to construct well-founded arguments. Compare and contrast essays develop your skills in identifying similarities and differences. Descriptive essays improve your ability to paint vivid pictures through words, while persuasive essays refine your ability to influence and convince. Finally, narrative essays offer a platform for personal expression and storytelling. Embrace these opportunities to grow academically and personally.

The Impact of Social Media: Causes and Effects

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Pros and Cons of Social Media: Social Networking

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The List of Pros and Cons of Social Media

The importance of staying safe on social media, impact of social media on our lives, social media: negative effects and addiction, discussion on whether is social media beneficial or harmful for society, negative effects of social media: relationships and communication, social media pros and cons, social media - good and bad sides, a study of the role of social media concerning confidentiality of personal data, how social media causes stereotyping, social media addiction: consequences and strategies for recovery, the role of social media in making us more narcissistic, the effect social media is having on today's society and political atmosphere, digital/social media, censorship in social media, why teenagers are addicted to social media and how it affects them, advantages and disadvantages of social media for society, enormous impact of mass media on children, the role of social media in the current business world, social media is the reason for many of the world’s problems and solutions.

Social media refers to dynamic online platforms that enable individuals to actively engage in the generation and dissemination of various forms of content, including information, ideas, and personal interests. These interactive digital channels foster virtual communities and networks, allowing users to connect, communicate, and express themselves. By harnessing the power of technology, social media platforms provide a space for individuals to share and exchange content, fostering connections and facilitating the flow of information in an increasingly digital world.

In a peculiar manner, the inception of social media can be traced back to May 24, 1844, when a sequence of electronic dots and dashes was manually tapped on a telegraph machine. Although the origins of digital communication have deep historical roots, most contemporary narratives regarding the modern beginnings of the internet and social media often point to the emergence of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) in 1969. The year 1987 witnessed the establishment of the direct precursor to today's internet, as the National Science Foundation introduced the more robust and expansive NSFNET, a nationwide digital network. A significant milestone occurred in 1997 when Six Degrees, the first genuine social media platform, was launched.

Mark Zuckerberg is a notable figure in the realm of social media as the co-founder and CEO of Facebook. Zuckerberg played a pivotal role in transforming Facebook from a small networking platform for college students into a global social media giant with billions of users. His innovative ideas and strategic decisions have reshaped the way people connect and share information online, making him one of the most influential individuals in the digital age. Jack Dorsey is recognized as one of the key pioneers of social media, notably for co-founding Twitter. Dorsey's creation revolutionized online communication by introducing the concept of microblogging, allowing users to share short messages in real-time. Twitter quickly gained popularity, becoming a powerful platform for news dissemination, public conversations, and social movements. Dorsey's entrepreneurial spirit and vision have contributed significantly to the evolution of social media and its impact on society. Sheryl Sandberg is a prominent figure in the social media landscape, known for her influential role as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook.Sandberg played a crucial part in scaling and monetizing Facebook's operations, transforming it into a global advertising powerhouse. She is also recognized for her advocacy of women's empowerment and leadership in the tech industry, inspiring countless individuals and promoting diversity and inclusion within the social media sphere. Sandberg's contributions have left an indelible mark on the growth and development of social media platforms worldwide.

Social Networking Sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Microblogging Platforms: Twitter. Media Sharing Networks: Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. Discussion Forums and Community-Based Platforms: Reddit and Quora. Blogging Platforms: WordPress and Blogger. Social Bookmarking and Content Curation Platforms: Pinterest and Flipboard. Messaging Apps: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Facebook (2004), Reddit (2005), Twitter (2006), Instagram (2010), Pinterest (2010), Snapchat (2011), TikTok (2016)

1. Increased Connectivity 2. Information Sharing and Awareness 3. Networking and Professional Opportunities 4. Creativity and Self-Expression 5. Supportive Communities and Causes

1. Privacy Concerns 2. Cyberbullying and Online Harassment 3. Information Overload and Misinformation 4. Time and Productivity Drain 5. Comparison and Self-Esteem Issues

The topic of social media holds significant importance for students as it plays a prominent role in their lives, both academically and socially. Social media platforms provide students with opportunities to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge with peers, expanding their learning networks beyond the confines of the classroom. It facilitates communication and access to educational resources, allowing students to stay updated on academic trends and research. Additionally, social media enhances digital literacy and prepares students for the realities of the digital age. However, it is crucial for students to develop critical thinking skills to navigate the potential pitfalls of social media, such as misinformation and online safety, ensuring a responsible and balanced use of these platforms.

The topic of social media is worthy of being explored in an essay due to its profound impact on various aspects of society. Writing an essay on social media allows for an in-depth examination of its influence on communication, relationships, information sharing, and societal dynamics. It offers an opportunity to analyze the advantages and disadvantages, exploring topics such as privacy, online identities, social activism, and the role of social media in shaping cultural norms. Additionally, studying social media enables a critical evaluation of its effects on mental health, politics, and business. By delving into this subject, one can gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex and ever-evolving digital landscape we inhabit.

1. Social media users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on social networking platforms. This amounts to over 7 years of an individual's lifetime spent on social media, highlighting its significant presence in our daily lives. 2. Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users, with more than 500 million of them using the platform on a daily basis. 3. YouTube has over 2 billion logged-in monthly active users. On average, users spend over 1 billion hours watching YouTube videos every day, emphasizing the platform's extensive reach and the power of video content. 4. Social media has become a major news source, with 48% of people getting their news from social media platforms. This shift in news consumption highlights the role of social media in shaping public opinion and disseminating information in real-time. 5. Influencer marketing has grown exponentially, with 63% of marketers planning to increase their influencer marketing budget in the coming year. This showcases the effectiveness of influencers in reaching and engaging with target audiences, and the value brands place on leveraging social media personalities to promote their products or services.

1. Schober, M. F., Pasek, J., Guggenheim, L., Lampe, C., & Conrad, F. G. (2016). Social media analyses for social measurement. Public opinion quarterly, 80(1), 180-211. (https://academic.oup.com/poq/article-abstract/80/1/180/2593846) 2. Appel, G., Grewal, L., Hadi, R., & Stephen, A. T. (2020). The future of social media in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing science, 48(1), 79-95. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11747-019-00695-1?error=cookies_not_support) 3. Aichner, T., Grünfelder, M., Maurer, O., & Jegeni, D. (2021). Twenty-five years of social media: a review of social media applications and definitions from 1994 to 2019. Cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking, 24(4), 215-222. (https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cyber.2020.0134) 4. Ruths, D., & Pfeffer, J. (2014). Social media for large studies of behavior. Science, 346(6213), 1063-1064. (https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.346.6213.1063) 5. Hou, Y., Xiong, D., Jiang, T., Song, L., & Wang, Q. (2019). Social media addiction: Its impact, mediation, and intervention. Cyberpsychology: Journal of psychosocial research on cyberspace, 13(1). (https://cyberpsychology.eu/article/view/11562) 6. Auxier, B., & Anderson, M. (2021). Social media use in 2021. Pew Research Center, 1, 1-4. (https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2021/04/PI_2021.04.07_Social-Media-Use_FINAL.pdf) 7. Al-Samarraie, H., Bello, K. A., Alzahrani, A. I., Smith, A. P., & Emele, C. (2021). Young users' social media addiction: causes, consequences and preventions. Information Technology & People, 35(7), 2314-2343. (https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/ITP-11-2020-0753/full/html) 8. Bhargava, V. R., & Velasquez, M. (2021). Ethics of the attention economy: The problem of social media addiction. Business Ethics Quarterly, 31(3), 321-359. (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/business-ethics-quarterly/article/ethics-of-the-attention-economy-the-problem-of-social-mediaaddiction/1CC67609A12E9A912BB8A291FDFFE799)

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social media today essay

Essay on Social Media for School Students and Children

500+ words essay on social media.

Social media is a tool that is becoming quite popular these days because of its user-friendly features. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more are giving people a chance to connect with each other across distances. In other words, the whole world is at our fingertips all thanks to social media. The youth is especially one of the most dominant users of social media. All this makes you wonder that something so powerful and with such a massive reach cannot be all good. Like how there are always two sides to a coin, the same goes for social media. Subsequently, different people have different opinions on this debatable topic. So, in this essay on Social Media, we will see the advantages and disadvantages of social media.

Essay on Social Media

Advantages of Social Media

When we look at the positive aspect of social media, we find numerous advantages. The most important being a great device for education . All the information one requires is just a click away. Students can educate themselves on various topics using social media.

Moreover, live lectures are now possible because of social media. You can attend a lecture happening in America while sitting in India.

Furthermore, as more and more people are distancing themselves from newspapers, they are depending on social media for news. You are always updated on the latest happenings of the world through it. A person becomes more socially aware of the issues of the world.

In addition, it strengthens bonds with your loved ones. Distance is not a barrier anymore because of social media. For instance, you can easily communicate with your friends and relatives overseas.

Most importantly, it also provides a great platform for young budding artists to showcase their talent for free. You can get great opportunities for employment through social media too.

Another advantage definitely benefits companies who wish to promote their brands. Social media has become a hub for advertising and offers you great opportunities for connecting with the customer.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Disadvantages of Social Media

Despite having such unique advantages, social media is considered to be one of the most harmful elements of society. If the use of social media is not monitored, it can lead to grave consequences.

social media today essay

Thus, the sharing on social media especially by children must be monitored at all times. Next up is the addition of social media which is quite common amongst the youth.

This addiction hampers with the academic performance of a student as they waste their time on social media instead of studying. Social media also creates communal rifts. Fake news is spread with the use of it, which poisons the mind of peace-loving citizens.

In short, surely social media has both advantages and disadvantages. But, it all depends on the user at the end. The youth must particularly create a balance between their academic performances, physical activities, and social media. Excess use of anything is harmful and the same thing applies to social media. Therefore, we must strive to live a satisfying life with the right balance.

social media today essay

FAQs on Social Media

Q.1 Is social media beneficial? If yes, then how?

A.1 Social media is quite beneficial. Social Media offers information, news, educational material, a platform for talented youth and brands.

Q.2 What is a disadvantage of Social Media?

A.2 Social media invades your privacy. It makes you addicted and causes health problems. It also results in cyberbullying and scams as well as communal hatred.

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The effect of Social Media on today’s youth Quantitative Research

Introduction, literature review, research methodology, addiction and the desire to unplug.

Social media has become a part of the daily patterns of most individuals, forming a link between their online and offline experiences. This has made it the most common tool for communication and interaction among both individuals and businesses. Social media has been used in various ways in the Arab region. For instance, social media has also been used to elicit change in Yemen, Jordan and Morocco.

The protestors in these countries have made note of the significance of social media in addressing their issues that concern corruption and other disparities that oppress most of the population. Besides rallying people around social causes and political campaigns, social media in the Arab region has also been used to enhance citizen journalism and civic participation (Turkle, 2011).

This paper looks at the role of social media in the UAE, and its impact on the youth. In order to achieve this, this paper looks at various social media that are used by the youth in the UAE, what he youth see as the main benefits of social media, level of trust in social media, and the limitations that they face with regard to social media.

Social networking has become the easiest way for individuals to communicate, whether they live in the same country, or across the world from each other.

Social networking refers to the “network of social interactions and personal relationships” that consists of devoted websites or applications, which permit users to communicate with each other through posting messages, pictures, and sharing comments, among others (Oxford Dictionaries, 2010).

The drastic impact that various social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace have on people’s lives, and the way they communicate with one another, has made this topic relatively crucial.

People who are often addicted to such networks get fairly attached to it, causing them to communicate less with their families and replace the need for face-to-face interaction with their friends. This paper examines the effect of social media on the youth of the United Arab Emirates.

Studies show that the media is used for three primary reasons. First, it is used to bring meaning of the social world. Second, it informs people on how to act within a society. And third, it promotes pleasure and entertainment (Lenhardt & Madden, 2011). Based on these three elements that motivate media, it is apparent that various individuals are impacted in different ways by the media.

The audience has varied degree of reliance on the media based on their relationship with both the society, and the media. Studies show that the reliance of an audience on particular media gives that media a certain degree of authority over that audience. This theory is useful in the explanation of the impact of media during crisis, and will also be useful in the analysis of the impact of social media on the youth of the UAE (Boyd, 2007).

According to Al-Jenaibi (2011), social media has also been useful in developing forums for debate and interaction between governments and the communities, as well as, to enhance innovation and collaboration within the government. Social media has been used for various purposes including relaying information and cultural production, as well as, entertainment.

The rapid increase in the number of youth accessing various social media in the last decade has been driven by accessibility of the internet, especially through the mobile phones (Al-Jenaibi, 2011).

According to Al-Jenaibi (2011), the recent trrnsformations in both political and societal matters have been effected by the rapid adoption of social media as a driver for regional change, especially among the Arab youthm “netizens” and women. There has been increased involvement of both youth and women in political and civic actions owing to increased access to the internet.

At the same time, regional and international level policy makers have taken an active role in the regulation of access to the internet and the use of social media for political and societal activism.

The use of the Internet has grown rapidly in the Arab world due to the diversification of its uses from social neworking and entertainment, to more professional engagements between businesses, as well as, in enhancing the transparency and participatory objectives of governance models (Hinduja & Patchin, 2007).

Although some may believe that social networking has helped our youth in many ways, social networking also possesses several negative features that are not widely recognized. Since social networking involves the Internet, it is prone to several dangers that people can easily come across.

Online predators can easily gather certain information; therefore, people are more likely to get security attacks and are prone to hackers due to the personal information they reveal on these social networking communities (ProCon.org, 2012).

A popular example of this involves people who provide detailed information about themselves on MySpace, without having the option of limiting this information to only people they know/accept. In addition, cyber bullying is very common on such websites and can lead to decreased self-esteem and declining of grades (Hinduja & Patchin, 2007).

The various social media investigated in the study include blogs, micro blogs, social network service, video-sharing service, social bookmarking, and image sharing websites (Ito & Baumer, 2010). The quantitative study involved 30 surveys that were randomly distributed in a population of youth aged between 15 and 30 years from different parts in the seven regions of the United Arab Emirates.

The mean age of the sample used was 21 years, with most of the respondents pursuing tertiary education. However, all of the respondents selected had graduated from high school. Reliability of the survey questions was enhanced by rewording the questions in various ways in order to identify the stability of the responses provided.

No inconsistencies were noted in the retests; hence, all 30 surveys were used in analysis of the research question. The survey was administered online, and comprised questions that sought to measure the emotional and social well-being of the youth.

Some of the questions inquired about their state of happiness or sadness compared to other people who did not have access to social networking, whether they had many friends or were lonely at times, and more questions along those lines.

Face to face communication

Favorite way to communicate with friends

The study revealed that despite the prevalence of the use of technology among the youth, most of them still preferred to communicate face to face. Text messaging came in second and the use of social network s third.

Social and digital communication

Use of Social and Digital Communications

The sample was also surveyed for their use of social and digital communications. Texting was observed as a common trend among 87% of the sample, followed by social networking and emailing. These three activities were also the most prevalent on a daily basis, in the same order.

Social networking

Main social networking sites

This analysis of the use of social networking sites showed that it forms a crucial part of the youth’s lives, since more than half of the sample stated that they visit a social site on a daily basis. About 75% of the youth indicated that they were familiar with the privacy policies on social networking sites.

Social networking and social-emotional well-being

Perceived Effect of Social Networking on Social and Emotional Well-Being

Most of the study group indicated that the use of social networking did not influence their social or emotional well being. Some indicated that social networking had a positive effect on them, like for those who were less shy due to social networking, or more outgoing, and more confident.

Social media and relationships

Impact of Social Networking on Relationships

Many youth feel that social media has been useful in enhancing their relationships with both related and non-related people. Conversely, the sample stated that social networking impacted on the time that they spent with their friends or other people in person.

Hate Speech Online

Hate Speech in Social Media

One of the impacts of social media that has not been explored is the use of social media to spread hate speech. The study noted that about half of the sample had encountered various forms of discriminatory content in the various social media indicated earlier. About 25% of the sample also indicated that they encountered hateful content on various social networks on a regular basis.

Cell Phone and Social Networking “Addiction”

Table 15: Frustration with Gadgets and the Desire to Unplug.

Strongly or somewhat agree that they:

  • Get frustrated with friends for texting or social networking when hanging out together 45%.
  • Wish they could unplug for a while sometimes 43%.
  • Sometimes wish they could go back to a time when there was no Facebook 36%.
  • Wish their parents spent less time with cell phones and other devices 21%.

The study revealed that a considerable proportion of the youth could not operate without a cell phone. A considerable number stated that they occasionally felt the need to do away with social networking. This was especially evident in the frustration that most youth expressed due to the distraction that is caused when they were hanging out with their friends.

During the study, it was identified that the most common types of social media were social networks like Facebook, video-sharing websites like YouTube, and micro-blogging sites like Twitter, among others. The respondents in the study showed high familiarity with a variety of social media, including the privacy policies, and the potential ethical and practical shortcomings.

Social networking was identified to have a positive impact on the youth in terms of boosting their confidence and level of interaction. Social media also served as a reliable means of conveying social issues in the UAE. Further research on the topic can be narrowed down to the impact of social media on women in the UAE.

In addition, more research can be conducted to draw a complete picture of the merits, demerits, and possibilities of social media that have made the UAE one of the regions in the world with the highest internet migration rates.

Al-Jenaibi, B. (2011). The Use of Social Media in the United Arab Emirates – An Initial Study. European Journal of Social Sciences , 23(1), 87-96.

Boyd, d. (2007). Why youth (heart) social network sites: the role of networked publics in teenage social life. Youth, Identity, and Digital Media , 119-142.

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. (2007). Offline consequences of online victimization: school violence and delinquency. Journal of S. Violence , 6(3), 89–112.

Ito, M., & Baumer, S. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out: Kids living and learning with new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lenhardt, A., & Madden, M. (2011). Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites. Washington, D.C.: Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Oxford Dictionaries. (2010). Social network . Web.

ProCon.org. (2012). Social Networking . Web.

Turkle, S. (2011). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. New York: Basic Books.

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IvyPanda. (2024, January 6). The effect of Social Media on today’s youth. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-effect-of-social-media-on-todays-youth/

"The effect of Social Media on today’s youth." IvyPanda , 6 Jan. 2024, ivypanda.com/essays/the-effect-of-social-media-on-todays-youth/.

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IvyPanda . 2024. "The effect of Social Media on today’s youth." January 6, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-effect-of-social-media-on-todays-youth/.

1. IvyPanda . "The effect of Social Media on today’s youth." January 6, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-effect-of-social-media-on-todays-youth/.

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IvyPanda . "The effect of Social Media on today’s youth." January 6, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-effect-of-social-media-on-todays-youth/.

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Teens and social media use: What's the impact?

Social media is a term for internet sites and apps that you can use to share content you've created. Social media also lets you respond to content that others post. That can include pictures, text, reactions or comments on posts by others, and links to information.

Online sharing within social media sites helps many people stay in touch with friends or connect with new ones. And that may be more important for teenagers than other age groups. Friendships help teens feel supported and play a role in forming their identities. So, it's only natural to wonder how social media use might affect teens.

Social media is a big part of daily life for lots of teenagers.

How big? A 2022 survey of 13- to 17-year-olds offers a clue. Based on about 1,300 responses, the survey found that 35% of teens use at least one of five social media platforms more than several times a day. The five social media platforms are: YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

Social media doesn't affect all teens the same way. Use of social media is linked with healthy and unhealthy effects on mental health. These effects vary from one teenager to another. Social media effects on mental health depend on things such as:

  • What a teen sees and does online.
  • The amount of time spent online.
  • Psychological factors, such as maturity level and any preexisting mental health conditions.
  • Personal life circumstances, including cultural, social and economic factors.

Here are the general pros and cons of teen social media use, along with tips for parents.

Healthy social media

Social media lets teens create online identities, chat with others and build social networks. These networks can provide teens with support from other people who have hobbies or experiences in common. This type of support especially may help teens who:

  • Lack social support offline or are lonely.
  • Are going through a stressful time.
  • Belong to groups that often get marginalized, such as racial minorities, the LGBTQ community and those who are differently abled.
  • Have long-term medical conditions.

Sometimes, social media platforms help teens:

  • Express themselves.
  • Connect with other teens locally and across long distances.
  • Learn how other teens cope with challenging life situations and mental health conditions.
  • View or take part in moderated chat forums that encourage talking openly about topics such as mental health.
  • Ask for help or seek healthcare for symptoms of mental health conditions.

These healthy effects of social media can help teens in general. They also may help teens who are prone to depression stay connected to others. And social media that's humorous or distracting may help a struggling teen cope with a challenging day.

Unhealthy social media

Social media use may have negative effects on some teens. It might:

  • Distract from homework, exercise and family activities.
  • Disrupt sleep.
  • Lead to information that is biased or not correct.
  • Become a means to spread rumors or share too much personal information.
  • Lead some teens to form views about other people's lives or bodies that aren't realistic.
  • Expose some teens to online predators, who might try to exploit or extort them.
  • Expose some teens to cyberbullying, which can raise the risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

What's more, certain content related to risk-taking, and negative posts or interactions on social media, have been linked with self-harm and rarely, death.

The risks of social media use are linked with various factors. One may be how much time teens spend on these platforms.

In a study focusing on 12- to 15-year-olds in the United States, spending three hours a day using social media was linked to a higher risk of mental health concerns. That study was based on data collected in 2013 and 2014 from more than 6,500 participants.

Another study looked at data on more than 12,000 teens in England between the ages of 13 to 16. The researchers found that using social media more than three times a day predicted poor mental health and well-being in teens.

But not all research has found a link between time spent on social media and mental health risks in teens.

How teens use social media also might determine its impact. For instance, viewing certain types of content may raise some teens' mental health risks. This could include content that depicts:

  • Illegal acts.
  • Self-harm or harm to other people.
  • Encouragement of habits tied to eating disorders, such as purging or restrictive eating.

These types of content may be even more risky for teens who already have a mental health condition. Being exposed to discrimination, hate or cyberbullying on social media also can raise the risk of anxiety or depression.

What teens share about themselves on social media also matters.

With the teenage brain, it's common to make a choice before thinking it through. So, teens might post something when they're angry or upset, and regret it later. That's known as stress posting.

Teens who post content also are at risk of sharing sexual photos or highly personal stories. This can lead to teens being bullied, harassed or even blackmailed.

Protecting your teen

You can take steps to help your teens use social media responsibly and limit some of the possible negative effects.

Use these tips:

Set rules and limits as needed. This helps prevent social media from getting in the way of activities, sleep, meals or homework.

For example, you could make a rule about not using social media until homework is done. Or you could set a daily time limit for social media use.

You also could choose to keep social media off-limits during certain times. These times might include during family meals and an hour before bed.

Set an example by following these rules yourself. And let your teen know what the consequences will be if your rules aren't followed.

  • Manage any challenging behaviors. If your teen's social media use starts to challenge your rules or your sense of what's appropriate, talk with your teen about it. You also could connect with parents of your teen's friends or take a look at your teen's internet history.
  • Turn on privacy settings. This can help keep your teen from sharing personal information or data that your teen didn't mean to share. Each of your teen's social media accounts likely has privacy setting that can be changed.

Monitor your teen's accounts. The American Psychological Association recommends you regularly review your child's social media use during the early teen years.

One way to monitor is to follow or "friend" your child's social accounts. As your teen gets older, you can choose to monitor your teen's social media less. Your teen's maturity level can help guide your decision.

Have regular talks with your teen about social media. These talks give you chances to ask how social media has been making your teen feel. Encourage your teen to let you know if something online worries or bothers your teen.

Regular talks offer you chances to give your child advice about social media too. For example, you can teach your teen to question whether content is accurate. You also can explain that social media is full of images about beauty and lifestyle that are not realistic.

  • Be a role model for your teen. You might want to tell your child about your own social media habits. That can help you set a good example and keep your regular talks from being one-sided.

Explain what's not OK. Remind your teen that it's hurtful to gossip, spread rumors, bully or harm someone's reputation — online or otherwise.

Also remind your teen not to share personal information with strangers online. This includes people's addresses, telephone numbers, passwords, and bank or credit card numbers.

  • Encourage face-to-face contact with friends. This is even more important for teens prone to social anxiety.

Talk to your child's healthcare professional if you think your teen has symptoms of anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns related to social media use. Also talk with your child's care professional if your teen has any of the following symptoms:

  • Uses social media even when wanting to stop.
  • Uses it so much that school, sleep, activities or relationships suffer.
  • Often spends more time on social platforms than you intended.
  • Lies in order to use social media.

Your teen might be referred to a mental healthcare professional who can help.

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Fake news, disinformation and misinformation in social media: a review

Esma aïmeur.

Department of Computer Science and Operations Research (DIRO), University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

Sabrine Amri

Gilles brassard, associated data.

All the data and material are available in the papers cited in the references.

Online social networks (OSNs) are rapidly growing and have become a huge source of all kinds of global and local news for millions of users. However, OSNs are a double-edged sword. Although the great advantages they offer such as unlimited easy communication and instant news and information, they can also have many disadvantages and issues. One of their major challenging issues is the spread of fake news. Fake news identification is still a complex unresolved issue. Furthermore, fake news detection on OSNs presents unique characteristics and challenges that make finding a solution anything but trivial. On the other hand, artificial intelligence (AI) approaches are still incapable of overcoming this challenging problem. To make matters worse, AI techniques such as machine learning and deep learning are leveraged to deceive people by creating and disseminating fake content. Consequently, automatic fake news detection remains a huge challenge, primarily because the content is designed in a way to closely resemble the truth, and it is often hard to determine its veracity by AI alone without additional information from third parties. This work aims to provide a comprehensive and systematic review of fake news research as well as a fundamental review of existing approaches used to detect and prevent fake news from spreading via OSNs. We present the research problem and the existing challenges, discuss the state of the art in existing approaches for fake news detection, and point out the future research directions in tackling the challenges.

Introduction

Context and motivation.

Fake news, disinformation and misinformation have become such a scourge that Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, is quoted to have said (making an implicit reference to the COVID-19 pandemic) “Misinformation is worse than an epidemic: It spreads at the speed of light throughout the globe and can prove deadly when it reinforces misplaced personal bias against all trustworthy evidence” in a joint statement of the National Academies 1 posted on July 15, 2021. Indeed, although online social networks (OSNs), also called social media, have improved the ease with which real-time information is broadcast; its popularity and its massive use have expanded the spread of fake news by increasing the speed and scope at which it can spread. Fake news may refer to the manipulation of information that can be carried out through the production of false information, or the distortion of true information. However, that does not mean that this problem is only created with social media. A long time ago, there were rumors in the traditional media that Elvis was not dead, 2 that the Earth was flat, 3 that aliens had invaded us, 4 , etc.

Therefore, social media has become nowadays a powerful source for fake news dissemination (Sharma et al. 2019 ; Shu et al. 2017 ). According to Pew Research Center’s analysis of the news use across social media platforms, in 2020, about half of American adults get news on social media at least sometimes, 5 while in 2018, only one-fifth of them say they often get news via social media. 6

Hence, fake news can have a significant impact on society as manipulated and false content is easier to generate and harder to detect (Kumar and Shah 2018 ) and as disinformation actors change their tactics (Kumar and Shah 2018 ; Micallef et al. 2020 ). In 2017, Snow predicted in the MIT Technology Review (Snow 2017 ) that most individuals in mature economies will consume more false than valid information by 2022.

Recent news on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has flooded the web and created panic in many countries, has been reported as fake. 7 For example, holding your breath for ten seconds to one minute is not a self-test for COVID-19 8 (see Fig.  1 ). Similarly, online posts claiming to reveal various “cures” for COVID-19 such as eating boiled garlic or drinking chlorine dioxide (which is an industrial bleach), were verified 9 as fake and in some cases as dangerous and will never cure the infection.

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Fake news example about a self-test for COVID-19 source: https://cdn.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/Screenshot031120_false.jpg , last access date: 26-12-2022

Social media outperformed television as the major news source for young people of the UK and the USA. 10 Moreover, as it is easier to generate and disseminate news online than with traditional media or face to face, large volumes of fake news are produced online for many reasons (Shu et al. 2017 ). Furthermore, it has been reported in a previous study about the spread of online news on Twitter (Vosoughi et al. 2018 ) that the spread of false news online is six times faster than truthful content and that 70% of the users could not distinguish real from fake news (Vosoughi et al. 2018 ) due to the attraction of the novelty of the latter (Bovet and Makse 2019 ). It was determined that falsehood spreads significantly farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects are more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information (Vosoughi et al. 2018 ).

Over 1 million tweets were estimated to be related to fake news by the end of the 2016 US presidential election. 11 In 2017, in Germany, a government spokesman affirmed: “We are dealing with a phenomenon of a dimension that we have not seen before,” referring to an unprecedented spread of fake news on social networks. 12 Given the strength of this new phenomenon, fake news has been chosen as the word of the year by the Macquarie dictionary both in 2016 13 and in 2018 14 as well as by the Collins dictionary in 2017. 15 , 16 Since 2020, the new term “infodemic” was coined, reflecting widespread researchers’ concern (Gupta et al. 2022 ; Apuke and Omar 2021 ; Sharma et al. 2020 ; Hartley and Vu 2020 ; Micallef et al. 2020 ) about the proliferation of misinformation linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Gartner Group’s top strategic predictions for 2018 and beyond included the need for IT leaders to quickly develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to address counterfeit reality and fake news. 17 However, fake news identification is a complex issue. (Snow 2017 ) questioned the ability of AI to win the war against fake news. Similarly, other researchers concurred that even the best AI for spotting fake news is still ineffective. 18 Besides, recent studies have shown that the power of AI algorithms for identifying fake news is lower than its ability to create it Paschen ( 2019 ). Consequently, automatic fake news detection remains a huge challenge, primarily because the content is designed to closely resemble the truth in order to deceive users, and as a result, it is often hard to determine its veracity by AI alone. Therefore, it is crucial to consider more effective approaches to solve the problem of fake news in social media.

Contribution

The fake news problem has been addressed by researchers from various perspectives related to different topics. These topics include, but are not restricted to, social science studies , which investigate why and who falls for fake news (Altay et al. 2022 ; Batailler et al. 2022 ; Sterret et al. 2018 ; Badawy et al. 2019 ; Pennycook and Rand 2020 ; Weiss et al. 2020 ; Guadagno and Guttieri 2021 ), whom to trust and how perceptions of misinformation and disinformation relate to media trust and media consumption patterns (Hameleers et al. 2022 ), how fake news differs from personal lies (Chiu and Oh 2021 ; Escolà-Gascón 2021 ), examine how can the law regulate digital disinformation and how governments can regulate the values of social media companies that themselves regulate disinformation spread on their platforms (Marsden et al. 2020 ; Schuyler 2019 ; Vasu et al. 2018 ; Burshtein 2017 ; Waldman 2017 ; Alemanno 2018 ; Verstraete et al. 2017 ), and argue the challenges to democracy (Jungherr and Schroeder 2021 ); Behavioral interventions studies , which examine what literacy ideas mean in the age of dis/mis- and malinformation (Carmi et al. 2020 ), investigate whether media literacy helps identification of fake news (Jones-Jang et al. 2021 ) and attempt to improve people’s news literacy (Apuke et al. 2022 ; Dame Adjin-Tettey 2022 ; Hameleers 2022 ; Nagel 2022 ; Jones-Jang et al. 2021 ; Mihailidis and Viotty 2017 ; García et al. 2020 ) by encouraging people to pause to assess credibility of headlines (Fazio 2020 ), promote civic online reasoning (McGrew 2020 ; McGrew et al. 2018 ) and critical thinking (Lutzke et al. 2019 ), together with evaluations of credibility indicators (Bhuiyan et al. 2020 ; Nygren et al. 2019 ; Shao et al. 2018a ; Pennycook et al. 2020a , b ; Clayton et al. 2020 ; Ozturk et al. 2015 ; Metzger et al. 2020 ; Sherman et al. 2020 ; Nekmat 2020 ; Brashier et al. 2021 ; Chung and Kim 2021 ; Lanius et al. 2021 ); as well as social media-driven studies , which investigate the effect of signals (e.g., sources) to detect and recognize fake news (Vraga and Bode 2017 ; Jakesch et al. 2019 ; Shen et al. 2019 ; Avram et al. 2020 ; Hameleers et al. 2020 ; Dias et al. 2020 ; Nyhan et al. 2020 ; Bode and Vraga 2015 ; Tsang 2020 ; Vishwakarma et al. 2019 ; Yavary et al. 2020 ) and investigate fake and reliable news sources using complex networks analysis based on search engine optimization metric (Mazzeo and Rapisarda 2022 ).

The impacts of fake news have reached various areas and disciplines beyond online social networks and society (García et al. 2020 ) such as economics (Clarke et al. 2020 ; Kogan et al. 2019 ; Goldstein and Yang 2019 ), psychology (Roozenbeek et al. 2020a ; Van der Linden and Roozenbeek 2020 ; Roozenbeek and van der Linden 2019 ), political science (Valenzuela et al. 2022 ; Bringula et al. 2022 ; Ricard and Medeiros 2020 ; Van der Linden et al. 2020 ; Allcott and Gentzkow 2017 ; Grinberg et al. 2019 ; Guess et al. 2019 ; Baptista and Gradim 2020 ), health science (Alonso-Galbán and Alemañy-Castilla 2022 ; Desai et al. 2022 ; Apuke and Omar 2021 ; Escolà-Gascón 2021 ; Wang et al. 2019c ; Hartley and Vu 2020 ; Micallef et al. 2020 ; Pennycook et al. 2020b ; Sharma et al. 2020 ; Roozenbeek et al. 2020b ), environmental science (e.g., climate change) (Treen et al. 2020 ; Lutzke et al. 2019 ; Lewandowsky 2020 ; Maertens et al. 2020 ), etc.

Interesting research has been carried out to review and study the fake news issue in online social networks. Some focus not only on fake news, but also distinguish between fake news and rumor (Bondielli and Marcelloni 2019 ; Meel and Vishwakarma 2020 ), while others tackle the whole problem, from characterization to processing techniques (Shu et al. 2017 ; Guo et al. 2020 ; Zhou and Zafarani 2020 ). However, they mostly focus on studying approaches from a machine learning perspective (Bondielli and Marcelloni 2019 ), data mining perspective (Shu et al. 2017 ), crowd intelligence perspective (Guo et al. 2020 ), or knowledge-based perspective (Zhou and Zafarani 2020 ). Furthermore, most of these studies ignore at least one of the mentioned perspectives, and in many cases, they do not cover other existing detection approaches using methods such as blockchain and fact-checking, as well as analysis on metrics used for Search Engine Optimization (Mazzeo and Rapisarda 2022 ). However, in our work and to the best of our knowledge, we cover all the approaches used for fake news detection. Indeed, we investigate the proposed solutions from broader perspectives (i.e., the detection techniques that are used, as well as the different aspects and types of the information used).

Therefore, in this paper, we are highly motivated by the following facts. First, fake news detection on social media is still in the early age of development, and many challenging issues remain that require deeper investigation. Hence, it is necessary to discuss potential research directions that can improve fake news detection and mitigation tasks. However, the dynamic nature of fake news propagation through social networks further complicates matters (Sharma et al. 2019 ). False information can easily reach and impact a large number of users in a short time (Friggeri et al. 2014 ; Qian et al. 2018 ). Moreover, fact-checking organizations cannot keep up with the dynamics of propagation as they require human verification, which can hold back a timely and cost-effective response (Kim et al. 2018 ; Ruchansky et al. 2017 ; Shu et al. 2018a ).

Our work focuses primarily on understanding the “fake news” problem, its related challenges and root causes, and reviewing automatic fake news detection and mitigation methods in online social networks as addressed by researchers. The main contributions that differentiate us from other works are summarized below:

  • We present the general context from which the fake news problem emerged (i.e., online deception)
  • We review existing definitions of fake news, identify the terms and features most commonly used to define fake news, and categorize related works accordingly.
  • We propose a fake news typology classification based on the various categorizations of fake news reported in the literature.
  • We point out the most challenging factors preventing researchers from proposing highly effective solutions for automatic fake news detection in social media.
  • We highlight and classify representative studies in the domain of automatic fake news detection and mitigation on online social networks including the key methods and techniques used to generate detection models.
  • We discuss the key shortcomings that may inhibit the effectiveness of the proposed fake news detection methods in online social networks.
  • We provide recommendations that can help address these shortcomings and improve the quality of research in this domain.

The rest of this article is organized as follows. We explain the methodology with which the studied references are collected and selected in Sect.  2 . We introduce the online deception problem in Sect.  3 . We highlight the modern-day problem of fake news in Sect.  4 , followed by challenges facing fake news detection and mitigation tasks in Sect.  5 . We provide a comprehensive literature review of the most relevant scholarly works on fake news detection in Sect.  6 . We provide a critical discussion and recommendations that may fill some of the gaps we have identified, as well as a classification of the reviewed automatic fake news detection approaches, in Sect.  7 . Finally, we provide a conclusion and propose some future directions in Sect.  8 .

Review methodology

This section introduces the systematic review methodology on which we relied to perform our study. We start with the formulation of the research questions, which allowed us to select the relevant research literature. Then, we provide the different sources of information together with the search and inclusion/exclusion criteria we used to select the final set of papers.

Research questions formulation

The research scope, research questions, and inclusion/exclusion criteria were established following an initial evaluation of the literature and the following research questions were formulated and addressed.

  • RQ1: what is fake news in social media, how is it defined in the literature, what are its related concepts, and the different types of it?
  • RQ2: What are the existing challenges and issues related to fake news?
  • RQ3: What are the available techniques used to perform fake news detection in social media?

Sources of information

We broadly searched for journal and conference research articles, books, and magazines as a source of data to extract relevant articles. We used the main sources of scientific databases and digital libraries in our search, such as Google Scholar, 19 IEEE Xplore, 20 Springer Link, 21 ScienceDirect, 22 Scopus, 23 ACM Digital Library. 24 Also, we screened most of the related high-profile conferences such as WWW, SIGKDD, VLDB, ICDE and so on to find out the recent work.

Search criteria

We focused our research over a period of ten years, but we made sure that about two-thirds of the research papers that we considered were published in or after 2019. Additionally, we defined a set of keywords to search the above-mentioned scientific databases since we concentrated on reviewing the current state of the art in addition to the challenges and the future direction. The set of keywords includes the following terms: fake news, disinformation, misinformation, information disorder, social media, detection techniques, detection methods, survey, literature review.

Study selection, exclusion and inclusion criteria

To retrieve relevant research articles, based on our sources of information and search criteria, a systematic keyword-based search was carried out by posing different search queries, as shown in Table  1 .

List of keywords for searching relevant articles

We discovered a primary list of articles. On the obtained initial list of studies, we applied a set of inclusion/exclusion criteria presented in Table  2 to select the appropriate research papers. The inclusion and exclusion principles are applied to determine whether a study should be included or not.

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

After reading the abstract, we excluded some articles that did not meet our criteria. We chose the most important research to help us understand the field. We reviewed the articles completely and found only 61 research papers that discuss the definition of the term fake news and its related concepts (see Table  4 ). We used the remaining papers to understand the field, reveal the challenges, review the detection techniques, and discuss future directions.

Classification of fake news definitions based on the used term and features

A brief introduction of online deception

The Cambridge Online Dictionary defines Deception as “ the act of hiding the truth, especially to get an advantage .” Deception relies on peoples’ trust, doubt and strong emotions that may prevent them from thinking and acting clearly (Aïmeur et al. 2018 ). We also define it in previous work (Aïmeur et al. 2018 ) as the process that undermines the ability to consciously make decisions and take convenient actions, following personal values and boundaries. In other words, deception gets people to do things they would not otherwise do. In the context of online deception, several factors need to be considered: the deceiver, the purpose or aim of the deception, the social media service, the deception technique and the potential target (Aïmeur et al. 2018 ; Hage et al. 2021 ).

Researchers are working on developing new ways to protect users and prevent online deception (Aïmeur et al. 2018 ). Due to the sophistication of attacks, this is a complex task. Hence, malicious attackers are using more complex tools and strategies to deceive users. Furthermore, the way information is organized and exchanged in social media may lead to exposing OSN users to many risks (Aïmeur et al. 2013 ).

In fact, this field is one of the recent research areas that need collaborative efforts of multidisciplinary practices such as psychology, sociology, journalism, computer science as well as cyber-security and digital marketing (which are not yet well explored in the field of dis/mis/malinformation but relevant for future research). Moreover, Ismailov et al. ( 2020 ) analyzed the main causes that could be responsible for the efficiency gap between laboratory results and real-world implementations.

In this paper, it is not in our scope of work to review online deception state of the art. However, we think it is crucial to note that fake news, misinformation and disinformation are indeed parts of the larger landscape of online deception (Hage et al. 2021 ).

Fake news, the modern-day problem

Fake news has existed for a very long time, much before their wide circulation became facilitated by the invention of the printing press. 25 For instance, Socrates was condemned to death more than twenty-five hundred years ago under the fake news that he was guilty of impiety against the pantheon of Athens and corruption of the youth. 26 A Google Trends Analysis of the term “fake news” reveals an explosion in popularity around the time of the 2016 US presidential election. 27 Fake news detection is a problem that has recently been addressed by numerous organizations, including the European Union 28 and NATO. 29

In this section, we first overview the fake news definitions as they were provided in the literature. We identify the terms and features used in the definitions, and we classify the latter based on them. Then, we provide a fake news typology based on distinct categorizations that we propose, and we define and compare the most cited forms of one specific fake news category (i.e., the intent-based fake news category).

Definitions of fake news

“Fake news” is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as false and often sensational information disseminated under the guise of news reporting, 30 yet the term has evolved over time and has become synonymous with the spread of false information (Cooke 2017 ).

The first definition of the term fake news was provided by Allcott and Gentzkow ( 2017 ) as news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false and could mislead readers. Then, other definitions were provided in the literature, but they all agree on the authenticity of fake news to be false (i.e., being non-factual). However, they disagree on the inclusion and exclusion of some related concepts such as satire , rumors , conspiracy theories , misinformation and hoaxes from the given definition. More recently, Nakov ( 2020 ) reported that the term fake news started to mean different things to different people, and for some politicians, it even means “news that I do not like.”

Hence, there is still no agreed definition of the term “fake news.” Moreover, we can find many terms and concepts in the literature that refer to fake news (Van der Linden et al. 2020 ; Molina et al. 2021 ) (Abu Arqoub et al. 2022 ; Allen et al. 2020 ; Allcott and Gentzkow 2017 ; Shu et al. 2017 ; Sharma et al. 2019 ; Zhou and Zafarani 2020 ; Zhang and Ghorbani 2020 ; Conroy et al. 2015 ; Celliers and Hattingh 2020 ; Nakov 2020 ; Shu et al. 2020c ; Jin et al. 2016 ; Rubin et al. 2016 ; Balmas 2014 ; Brewer et al. 2013 ; Egelhofer and Lecheler 2019 ; Mustafaraj and Metaxas 2017 ; Klein and Wueller 2017 ; Potthast et al. 2017 ; Lazer et al. 2018 ; Weiss et al. 2020 ; Tandoc Jr et al. 2021 ; Guadagno and Guttieri 2021 ), disinformation (Kapantai et al. 2021 ; Shu et al. 2020a , c ; Kumar et al. 2016 ; Bhattacharjee et al. 2020 ; Marsden et al. 2020 ; Jungherr and Schroeder 2021 ; Starbird et al. 2019 ; Ireton and Posetti 2018 ), misinformation (Wu et al. 2019 ; Shu et al. 2020c ; Shao et al. 2016 , 2018b ; Pennycook and Rand 2019 ; Micallef et al. 2020 ), malinformation (Dame Adjin-Tettey 2022 ) (Carmi et al. 2020 ; Shu et al. 2020c ), false information (Kumar and Shah 2018 ; Guo et al. 2020 ; Habib et al. 2019 ), information disorder (Shu et al. 2020c ; Wardle and Derakhshan 2017 ; Wardle 2018 ; Derakhshan and Wardle 2017 ), information warfare (Guadagno and Guttieri 2021 ) and information pollution (Meel and Vishwakarma 2020 ).

There is also a remarkable amount of disagreement over the classification of the term fake news in the research literature, as well as in policy (de Cock Buning 2018 ; ERGA 2018 , 2021 ). Some consider fake news as a type of misinformation (Allen et al. 2020 ; Singh et al. 2021 ; Ha et al. 2021 ; Pennycook and Rand 2019 ; Shao et al. 2018b ; Di Domenico et al. 2021 ; Sharma et al. 2019 ; Celliers and Hattingh 2020 ; Klein and Wueller 2017 ; Potthast et al. 2017 ; Islam et al. 2020 ), others consider it as a type of disinformation (de Cock Buning 2018 ) (Bringula et al. 2022 ; Baptista and Gradim 2022 ; Tsang 2020 ; Tandoc Jr et al. 2021 ; Bastick 2021 ; Khan et al. 2019 ; Shu et al. 2017 ; Nakov 2020 ; Shu et al. 2020c ; Egelhofer and Lecheler 2019 ), while others associate the term with both disinformation and misinformation (Wu et al. 2022 ; Dame Adjin-Tettey 2022 ; Hameleers et al. 2022 ; Carmi et al. 2020 ; Allcott and Gentzkow 2017 ; Zhang and Ghorbani 2020 ; Potthast et al. 2017 ; Weiss et al. 2020 ; Tandoc Jr et al. 2021 ; Guadagno and Guttieri 2021 ). On the other hand, some prefer to differentiate fake news from both terms (ERGA 2018 ; Molina et al. 2021 ; ERGA 2021 ) (Zhou and Zafarani 2020 ; Jin et al. 2016 ; Rubin et al. 2016 ; Balmas 2014 ; Brewer et al. 2013 ).

The existing terms can be separated into two groups. The first group represents the general terms, which are information disorder , false information and fake news , each of which includes a subset of terms from the second group. The second group represents the elementary terms, which are misinformation , disinformation and malinformation . The literature agrees on the definitions of the latter group, but there is still no agreed-upon definition of the first group. In Fig.  2 , we model the relationship between the most used terms in the literature.

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Modeling of the relationship between terms related to fake news

The terms most used in the literature to refer, categorize and classify fake news can be summarized and defined as shown in Table  3 , in which we capture the similarities and show the differences between the different terms based on two common key features, which are the intent and the authenticity of the news content. The intent feature refers to the intention behind the term that is used (i.e., whether or not the purpose is to mislead or cause harm), whereas the authenticity feature refers to its factual aspect. (i.e., whether the content is verifiably false or not, which we label as genuine in the second case). Some of these terms are explicitly used to refer to fake news (i.e., disinformation, misinformation and false information), while others are not (i.e., malinformation). In the comparison table, the empty dash (–) cell denotes that the classification does not apply.

A comparison between used terms based on intent and authenticity

In Fig.  3 , we identify the different features used in the literature to define fake news (i.e., intent, authenticity and knowledge). Hence, some definitions are based on two key features, which are authenticity and intent (i.e., news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false and could mislead readers). However, other definitions are based on either authenticity or intent. Other researchers categorize false information on the web and social media based on its intent and knowledge (i.e., when there is a single ground truth). In Table  4 , we classify the existing fake news definitions based on the used term and the used features . In the classification, the references in the cells refer to the research study in which a fake news definition was provided, while the empty dash (–) cells denote that the classification does not apply.

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The features used for fake news definition

Fake news typology

Various categorizations of fake news have been provided in the literature. We can distinguish two major categories of fake news based on the studied perspective (i.e., intention or content) as shown in Fig.  4 . However, our proposed fake news typology is not about detection methods, and it is not exclusive. Hence, a given category of fake news can be described based on both perspectives (i.e., intention and content) at the same time. For instance, satire (i.e., intent-based fake news) can contain text and/or multimedia content types of data (e.g., headline, body, image, video) (i.e., content-based fake news) and so on.

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Most researchers classify fake news based on the intent (Collins et al. 2020 ; Bondielli and Marcelloni 2019 ; Zannettou et al. 2019 ; Kumar et al. 2016 ; Wardle 2017 ; Shu et al. 2017 ; Kumar and Shah 2018 ) (see Sect.  4.2.2 ). However, other researchers (Parikh and Atrey 2018 ; Fraga-Lamas and Fernández-Caramés 2020 ; Hasan and Salah 2019 ; Masciari et al. 2020 ; Bakdash et al. 2018 ; Elhadad et al. 2019 ; Yang et al. 2019b ) focus on the content to categorize types of fake news through distinguishing the different formats and content types of data in the news (e.g., text and/or multimedia).

Recently, another classification was proposed by Zhang and Ghorbani ( 2020 ). It is based on the combination of content and intent to categorize fake news. They distinguish physical news content and non-physical news content from fake news. Physical content consists of the carriers and format of the news, and non-physical content consists of the opinions, emotions, attitudes and sentiments that the news creators want to express.

Content-based fake news category

According to researchers of this category (Parikh and Atrey 2018 ; Fraga-Lamas and Fernández-Caramés 2020 ; Hasan and Salah 2019 ; Masciari et al. 2020 ; Bakdash et al. 2018 ; Elhadad et al. 2019 ; Yang et al. 2019b ), forms of fake news may include false text such as hyperlinks or embedded content; multimedia such as false videos (Demuyakor and Opata 2022 ), images (Masciari et al. 2020 ; Shen et al. 2019 ), audios (Demuyakor and Opata 2022 ) and so on. Moreover, we can also find multimodal content (Shu et al. 2020a ) that is fake news articles and posts composed of multiple types of data combined together, for example, a fabricated image along with a text related to the image (Shu et al. 2020a ). In this category of fake news forms, we can mention as examples deepfake videos (Yang et al. 2019b ) and GAN-generated fake images (Zhang et al. 2019b ), which are artificial intelligence-based machine-generated fake content that are hard for unsophisticated social network users to identify.

The effects of these forms of fake news content vary on the credibility assessment, as well as sharing intentions which influences the spread of fake news on OSNs. For instance, people with little knowledge about the issue compared to those who are strongly concerned about the key issue of fake news tend to be easier to convince that the misleading or fake news is real, especially when shared via a video modality as compared to the text or the audio modality (Demuyakor and Opata 2022 ).

Intent-based Fake News Category

The most often mentioned and discussed forms of fake news according to researchers in this category include but are not restricted to clickbait , hoax , rumor , satire , propaganda , framing , conspiracy theories and others. In the following subsections, we explain these types of fake news as they were defined in the literature and undertake a brief comparison between them as depicted in Table  5 . The following are the most cited forms of intent-based types of fake news, and their comparison is based on what we suspect are the most common criteria mentioned by researchers.

A comparison between the different types of intent-based fake news

Clickbait refers to misleading headlines and thumbnails of content on the web (Zannettou et al. 2019 ) that tend to be fake stories with catchy headlines aimed at enticing the reader to click on a link (Collins et al. 2020 ). This type of fake news is considered to be the least severe type of false information because if a user reads/views the whole content, it is possible to distinguish if the headline and/or the thumbnail was misleading (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). However, the goal behind using clickbait is to increase the traffic to a website (Zannettou et al. 2019 ).

A hoax is a false (Zubiaga et al. 2018 ) or inaccurate (Zannettou et al. 2019 ) intentionally fabricated (Collins et al. 2020 ) news story used to masquerade the truth (Zubiaga et al. 2018 ) and is presented as factual (Zannettou et al. 2019 ) to deceive the public or audiences (Collins et al. 2020 ). This category is also known either as half-truth or factoid stories (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). Popular examples of hoaxes are stories that report the false death of celebrities (Zannettou et al. 2019 ) and public figures (Collins et al. 2020 ). Recently, hoaxes about the COVID-19 have been circulating through social media.

The term rumor refers to ambiguous or never confirmed claims (Zannettou et al. 2019 ) that are disseminated with a lack of evidence to support them (Sharma et al. 2019 ). This kind of information is widely propagated on OSNs (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). However, they are not necessarily false and may turn out to be true (Zubiaga et al. 2018 ). Rumors originate from unverified sources but may be true or false or remain unresolved (Zubiaga et al. 2018 ).

Satire refers to stories that contain a lot of irony and humor (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). It presents stories as news that might be factually incorrect, but the intent is not to deceive but rather to call out, ridicule, or to expose behavior that is shameful, corrupt, or otherwise “bad” (Golbeck et al. 2018 ). This is done with a fabricated story or by exaggerating the truth reported in mainstream media in the form of comedy (Collins et al. 2020 ). The intent behind satire seems kind of legitimate and many authors (such as Wardle (Wardle 2017 )) do include satire as a type of fake news as there is no intention to cause harm but it has the potential to mislead or fool people.

Also, Golbeck et al. ( 2018 ) mention that there is a spectrum from fake to satirical news that they found to be exploited by many fake news sites. These sites used disclaimers at the bottom of their webpages to suggest they were “satirical” even when there was nothing satirical about their articles, to protect them from accusations about being fake. The difference with a satirical form of fake news is that the authors or the host present themselves as a comedian or as an entertainer rather than a journalist informing the public (Collins et al. 2020 ). However, most audiences believed the information passed in this satirical form because the comedian usually projects news from mainstream media and frames them to suit their program (Collins et al. 2020 ).

Propaganda refers to news stories created by political entities to mislead people. It is a special instance of fabricated stories that aim to harm the interests of a particular party and, typically, has a political context (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). Propaganda was widely used during both World Wars (Collins et al. 2020 ) and during the Cold War (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). It is a consequential type of false information as it can change the course of human history (e.g., by changing the outcome of an election) (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). States are the main actors of propaganda. Recently, propaganda has been used by politicians and media organizations to support a certain position or view (Collins et al. 2020 ). Online astroturfing can be an example of the tools used for the dissemination of propaganda. It is a covert manipulation of public opinion (Peng et al. 2017 ) that aims to make it seem that many people share the same opinion about something. Astroturfing can affect different domains of interest, based on which online astroturfing can be mainly divided into political astroturfing, corporate astroturfing and astroturfing in e-commerce or online services (Mahbub et al. 2019 ). Propaganda types of fake news can be debunked with manual fact-based detection models such as the use of expert-based fact-checkers (Collins et al. 2020 ).

Framing refers to employing some aspect of reality to make content more visible, while the truth is concealed (Collins et al. 2020 ) to deceive and misguide readers. People will understand certain concepts based on the way they are coined and invented. An example of framing was provided by Collins et al. ( 2020 ): “suppose a leader X says “I will neutralize my opponent” simply meaning he will beat his opponent in a given election. Such a statement will be framed such as “leader X threatens to kill Y” and this framed statement provides a total misrepresentation of the original meaning.

Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories refer to the belief that an event is the result of secret plots generated by powerful conspirators. Conspiracy belief refers to people’s adoption and belief of conspiracy theories, and it is associated with psychological, political and social factors (Douglas et al. 2019 ). Conspiracy theories are widespread in contemporary democracies (Sutton and Douglas 2020 ), and they have major consequences. For instance, lately and during the COVID-19 pandemic, conspiracy theories have been discussed from a public health perspective (Meese et al. 2020 ; Allington et al. 2020 ; Freeman et al. 2020 ).

Comparison Between Most Popular Intent-based Types of Fake News

Following a review of the most popular intent-based types of fake news, we compare them as shown in Table  5 based on the most common criteria mentioned by researchers in their definitions as listed below.

  • the intent behind the news, which refers to whether a given news type was mainly created to intentionally deceive people or not (e.g., humor, irony, entertainment, etc.);
  • the way that the news propagates through OSN, which determines the nature of the propagation of each type of fake news and this can be either fast or slow propagation;
  • the severity of the impact of the news on OSN users, which refers to whether the public has been highly impacted by the given type of fake news; the mentioned impact of each fake news type is mainly the proportion of the negative impact;
  • and the goal behind disseminating the news, which can be to gain popularity for a particular entity (e.g., political party), for profit (e.g., lucrative business), or other reasons such as humor and irony in the case of satire, spreading panic or anger, and manipulating the public in the case of hoaxes, made-up stories about a particular person or entity in the case of rumors, and misguiding readers in the case of framing.

However, the comparison provided in Table  5 is deduced from the studied research papers; it is our point of view, which is not based on empirical data.

We suspect that the most dangerous types of fake news are the ones with high intention to deceive the public, fast propagation through social media, high negative impact on OSN users, and complicated hidden goals and agendas. However, while the other types of fake news are less dangerous, they should not be ignored.

Moreover, it is important to highlight that the existence of the overlap in the types of fake news mentioned above has been proven, thus it is possible to observe false information that may fall within multiple categories (Zannettou et al. 2019 ). Here, we provide two examples by Zannettou et al. ( 2019 ) to better understand possible overlaps: (1) a rumor may also use clickbait techniques to increase the audience that will read the story; and (2) propaganda stories, as a special instance of a framing story.

Challenges related to fake news detection and mitigation

To alleviate fake news and its threats, it is crucial to first identify and understand the factors involved that continue to challenge researchers. Thus, the main question is to explore and investigate the factors that make it easier to fall for manipulated information. Despite the tremendous progress made in alleviating some of the challenges in fake news detection (Sharma et al. 2019 ; Zhou and Zafarani 2020 ; Zhang and Ghorbani 2020 ; Shu et al. 2020a ), much more work needs to be accomplished to address the problem effectively.

In this section, we discuss several open issues that have been making fake news detection in social media a challenging problem. These issues can be summarized as follows: content-based issues (i.e., deceptive content that resembles the truth very closely), contextual issues (i.e., lack of user awareness, social bots spreaders of fake content, and OSN’s dynamic natures that leads to the fast propagation), as well as the issue of existing datasets (i.e., there still no one size fits all benchmark dataset for fake news detection). These various aspects have proven (Shu et al. 2017 ) to have a great impact on the accuracy of fake news detection approaches.

Content-based issue, deceptive content

Automatic fake news detection remains a huge challenge, primarily because the content is designed in a way that it closely resembles the truth. Besides, most deceivers choose their words carefully and use their language strategically to avoid being caught. Therefore, it is often hard to determine its veracity by AI without the reliance on additional information from third parties such as fact-checkers.

Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. ( 2020 ) reported that fake news tends to have more complicated stories and hardly ever make any references. It is more likely to contain a greater number of words that express negative emotions. This makes it so complicated that it becomes impossible for a human to manually detect the credibility of this content. Therefore, detecting fake news on social media is quite challenging. Moreover, fake news appears in multiple types and forms, which makes it hard and challenging to define a single global solution able to capture and deal with the disseminated content. Consequently, detecting false information is not a straightforward task due to its various types and forms Zannettou et al. ( 2019 ).

Contextual issues

Contextual issues are challenges that we suspect may not be related to the content of the news but rather they are inferred from the context of the online news post (i.e., humans are the weakest factor due to lack of user awareness, social bots spreaders, dynamic nature of online social platforms and fast propagation of fake news).

Humans are the weakest factor due to the lack of awareness

Recent statistics 31 show that the percentage of unintentional fake news spreaders (people who share fake news without the intention to mislead) over social media is five times higher than intentional spreaders. Moreover, another recent statistic 32 shows that the percentage of people who were confident about their ability to discern fact from fiction is ten times higher than those who were not confident about the truthfulness of what they are sharing. As a result, we can deduce the lack of human awareness about the ascent of fake news.

Public susceptibility and lack of user awareness (Sharma et al. 2019 ) have always been the most challenging problem when dealing with fake news and misinformation. This is a complex issue because many people believe almost everything on the Internet and the ones who are new to digital technology or have less expertise may be easily fooled (Edgerly et al. 2020 ).

Moreover, it has been widely proven (Metzger et al. 2020 ; Edgerly et al. 2020 ) that people are often motivated to support and accept information that goes with their preexisting viewpoints and beliefs, and reject information that does not fit in as well. Hence, Shu et al. ( 2017 ) illustrate an interesting correlation between fake news spread and psychological and cognitive theories. They further suggest that humans are more likely to believe information that confirms their existing views and ideological beliefs. Consequently, they deduce that humans are naturally not very good at differentiating real information from fake information.

Recent research by Giachanou et al. ( 2020 ) studies the role of personality and linguistic patterns in discriminating between fake news spreaders and fact-checkers. They classify a user as a potential fact-checker or a potential fake news spreader based on features that represent users’ personality traits and linguistic patterns used in their tweets. They show that leveraging personality traits and linguistic patterns can improve the performance in differentiating between checkers and spreaders.

Furthermore, several researchers studied the prevalence of fake news on social networks during (Allcott and Gentzkow 2017 ; Grinberg et al. 2019 ; Guess et al. 2019 ; Baptista and Gradim 2020 ) and after (Garrett and Bond 2021 ) the 2016 US presidential election and found that individuals most likely to engage with fake news sources were generally conservative-leaning, older, and highly engaged with political news.

Metzger et al. ( 2020 ) examine how individuals evaluate the credibility of biased news sources and stories. They investigate the role of both cognitive dissonance and credibility perceptions in selective exposure to attitude-consistent news information. They found that online news consumers tend to perceive attitude-consistent news stories as more accurate and more credible than attitude-inconsistent stories.

Similarly, Edgerly et al. ( 2020 ) explore the impact of news headlines on the audience’s intent to verify whether given news is true or false. They concluded that participants exhibit higher intent to verify the news only when they believe the headline to be true, which is predicted by perceived congruence with preexisting ideological tendencies.

Luo et al. ( 2022 ) evaluate the effects of endorsement cues in social media on message credibility and detection accuracy. Results showed that headlines associated with a high number of likes increased credibility, thereby enhancing detection accuracy for real news but undermining accuracy for fake news. Consequently, they highlight the urgency of empowering individuals to assess both news veracity and endorsement cues appropriately on social media.

Moreover, misinformed people are a greater problem than uninformed people (Kuklinski et al. 2000 ), because the former hold inaccurate opinions (which may concern politics, climate change, medicine) that are harder to correct. Indeed, people find it difficult to update their misinformation-based beliefs even after they have been proved to be false (Flynn et al. 2017 ). Moreover, even if a person has accepted the corrected information, his/her belief may still affect their opinion (Nyhan and Reifler 2015 ).

Falling for disinformation may also be explained by a lack of critical thinking and of the need for evidence that supports information (Vilmer et al. 2018 ; Badawy et al. 2019 ). However, it is also possible that people choose misinformation because they engage in directionally motivated reasoning (Badawy et al. 2019 ; Flynn et al. 2017 ). Online clients are normally vulnerable and will, in general, perceive web-based networking media as reliable, as reported by Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. ( 2019 ), who propose to mechanize fake news recognition.

It is worth noting that in addition to bots causing the outpouring of the majority of the misrepresentations, specific individuals are also contributing a large share of this issue (Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. 2019 ). Furthermore, Vosoughi et al. (Vosoughi et al. 2018 ) found that contrary to conventional wisdom, robots have accelerated the spread of real and fake news at the same rate, implying that fake news spreads more than the truth because humans, not robots, are more likely to spread it.

In this case, verified users and those with numerous followers were not necessarily responsible for spreading misinformation of the corrupted posts (Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. 2019 ).

Viral fake news can cause much havoc to our society. Therefore, to mitigate the negative impact of fake news, it is important to analyze the factors that lead people to fall for misinformation and to further understand why people spread fake news (Cheng et al. 2020 ). Measuring the accuracy, credibility, veracity and validity of news contents can also be a key countermeasure to consider.

Social bots spreaders

Several authors (Shu et al. 2018b , 2017 ; Shi et al. 2019 ; Bessi and Ferrara 2016 ; Shao et al. 2018a ) have also shown that fake news is likely to be created and spread by non-human accounts with similar attributes and structure in the network, such as social bots (Ferrara et al. 2016 ). Bots (short for software robots) exist since the early days of computers. A social bot is a computer algorithm that automatically produces content and interacts with humans on social media, trying to emulate and possibly alter their behavior (Ferrara et al. 2016 ). Although they are designed to provide a useful service, they can be harmful, for example when they contribute to the spread of unverified information or rumors (Ferrara et al. 2016 ). However, it is important to note that bots are simply tools created and maintained by humans for some specific hidden agendas.

Social bots tend to connect with legitimate users instead of other bots. They try to act like a human with fewer words and fewer followers on social media. This contributes to the forwarding of fake news (Jiang et al. 2019 ). Moreover, there is a difference between bot-generated and human-written clickbait (Le et al. 2019 ).

Many researchers have addressed ways of identifying and analyzing possible sources of fake news spread in social media. Recent research by Shu et al. ( 2020a ) describes social bots use of two strategies to spread low-credibility content. First, they amplify interactions with content as soon as it is created to make it look legitimate and to facilitate its spread across social networks. Next, they try to increase public exposure to the created content and thus boost its perceived credibility by targeting influential users that are more likely to believe disinformation in the hope of getting them to “repost” the fabricated content. They further discuss the social bot detection systems taxonomy proposed by Ferrara et al. ( 2016 ) which divides bot detection methods into three classes: (1) graph-based, (2) crowdsourcing and (3) feature-based social bot detection methods.

Similarly, Shao et al. ( 2018a ) examine social bots and how they promote the spread of misinformation through millions of Twitter posts during and following the 2016 US presidential campaign. They found that social bots played a disproportionate role in spreading articles from low-credibility sources by amplifying such content in the early spreading moments and targeting users with many followers through replies and mentions to expose them to this content and induce them to share it.

Ismailov et al. ( 2020 ) assert that the techniques used to detect bots depend on the social platform and the objective. They note that a malicious bot designed to make friends with as many accounts as possible will require a different detection approach than a bot designed to repeatedly post links to malicious websites. Therefore, they identify two models for detecting malicious accounts, each using a different set of features. Social context models achieve detection by examining features related to an account’s social presence including features such as relationships to other accounts, similarities to other users’ behaviors, and a variety of graph-based features. User behavior models primarily focus on features related to an individual user’s behavior, such as frequency of activities (e.g., number of tweets or posts per time interval), patterns of activity and clickstream sequences.

Therefore, it is crucial to consider bot detection techniques to distinguish bots from normal users to better leverage user profile features to detect fake news.

However, there is also another “bot-like” strategy that aims to massively promote disinformation and fake content in social platforms, which is called bot farms or also troll farms. It is not social bots, but it is a group of organized individuals engaging in trolling or bot-like promotion of narratives in a coordinated fashion (Wardle 2018 ) hired to massively spread fake news or any other harmful content. A prominent troll farm example is the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA), which disseminated inflammatory content online to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 33 As a result, Twitter suspended accounts connected to the IRA and deleted 200,000 tweets from Russian trolls (Jamieson 2020 ). Another example to mention in this category is review bombing (Moro and Birt 2022 ). Review bombing refers to coordinated groups of people massively performing the same negative actions online (e.g., dislike, negative review/comment) on an online video, game, post, product, etc., in order to reduce its aggregate review score. The review bombers can be both humans and bots coordinated in order to cause harm and mislead people by falsifying facts.

Dynamic nature of online social platforms and fast propagation of fake news

Sharma et al. ( 2019 ) affirm that the fast proliferation of fake news through social networks makes it hard and challenging to assess the information’s credibility on social media. Similarly, Qian et al. ( 2018 ) assert that fake news and fabricated content propagate exponentially at the early stage of its creation and can cause a significant loss in a short amount of time (Friggeri et al. 2014 ) including manipulating the outcome of political events (Liu and Wu 2018 ; Bessi and Ferrara 2016 ).

Moreover, while analyzing the way source and promoters of fake news operate over the web through multiple online platforms, Zannettou et al. ( 2019 ) discovered that false information is more likely to spread across platforms (18% appearing on multiple platforms) compared to real information (11%).

Furthermore, recently, Shu et al. ( 2020c ) attempted to understand the propagation of disinformation and fake news in social media and found that such content is produced and disseminated faster and easier through social media because of the low barriers that prevent doing so. Similarly, Shu et al. ( 2020b ) studied hierarchical propagation networks for fake news detection. They performed a comparative analysis between fake and real news from structural, temporal and linguistic perspectives. They demonstrated the potential of using these features to detect fake news and they showed their effectiveness for fake news detection as well.

Lastly, Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. ( 2020 ) note that it is almost impossible to manually detect the sources and authenticity of fake news effectively and efficiently, due to its fast circulation in such a small amount of time. Therefore, it is crucial to note that the dynamic nature of the various online social platforms, which results in the continued rapid and exponential propagation of such fake content, remains a major challenge that requires further investigation while defining innovative solutions for fake news detection.

Datasets issue

The existing approaches lack an inclusive dataset with derived multidimensional information to detect fake news characteristics to achieve higher accuracy of machine learning classification model performance (Nyow and Chua 2019 ). These datasets are primarily dedicated to validating the machine learning model and are the ultimate frame of reference to train the model and analyze its performance. Therefore, if a researcher evaluates their model based on an unrepresentative dataset, the validity and the efficiency of the model become questionable when it comes to applying the fake news detection approach in a real-world scenario.

Moreover, several researchers (Shu et al. 2020d ; Wang et al. 2020 ; Pathak and Srihari 2019 ; Przybyla 2020 ) believe that fake news is diverse and dynamic in terms of content, topics, publishing methods and media platforms, and sophisticated linguistic styles geared to emulate true news. Consequently, training machine learning models on such sophisticated content requires large-scale annotated fake news data that are difficult to obtain (Shu et al. 2020d ).

Therefore, datasets are also a great topic to work on to enhance data quality and have better results while defining our solutions. Adversarial learning techniques (e.g., GAN, SeqGAN) can be used to provide machine-generated data that can be used to train deeper models and build robust systems to detect fake examples from the real ones. This approach can be used to counter the lack of datasets and the scarcity of data available to train models.

Fake news detection literature review

Fake news detection in social networks is still in the early stage of development and there are still challenging issues that need further investigation. This has become an emerging research area that is attracting huge attention.

There are various research studies on fake news detection in online social networks. Few of them have focused on the automatic detection of fake news using artificial intelligence techniques. In this section, we review the existing approaches used in automatic fake news detection, as well as the techniques that have been adopted. Then, a critical discussion built on a primary classification scheme based on a specific set of criteria is also emphasized.

Categories of fake news detection

In this section, we give an overview of most of the existing automatic fake news detection solutions adopted in the literature. A recent classification by Sharma et al. ( 2019 ) uses three categories of fake news identification methods. Each category is further divided based on the type of existing methods (i.e., content-based, feedback-based and intervention-based methods). However, a review of the literature for fake news detection in online social networks shows that the existing studies can be classified into broader categories based on two major aspects that most authors inspect and make use of to define an adequate solution. These aspects can be considered as major sources of extracted information used for fake news detection and can be summarized as follows: the content-based (i.e., related to the content of the news post) and the contextual aspect (i.e., related to the context of the news post).

Consequently, the studies we reviewed can be classified into three different categories based on the two aspects mentioned above (the third category is hybrid). As depicted in Fig.  5 , fake news detection solutions can be categorized as news content-based approaches, the social context-based approaches that can be divided into network and user-based approaches, and hybrid approaches. The latter combines both content-based and contextual approaches to define the solution.

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Classification of fake news detection approaches

News Content-based Category

News content-based approaches are fake news detection approaches that use content information (i.e., information extracted from the content of the news post) and that focus on studying and exploiting the news content in their proposed solutions. Content refers to the body of the news, including source, headline, text and image-video, which can reflect subtle differences.

Researchers of this category rely on content-based detection cues (i.e., text and multimedia-based cues), which are features extracted from the content of the news post. Text-based cues are features extracted from the text of the news, whereas multimedia-based cues are features extracted from the images and videos attached to the news. Figure  6 summarizes the most widely used news content representation (i.e., text and multimedia/images) and detection techniques (i.e., machine learning (ML), deep Learning (DL), natural language processing (NLP), fact-checking, crowdsourcing (CDS) and blockchain (BKC)) in news content-based category of fake news detection approaches. Most of the reviewed research works based on news content for fake news detection rely on the text-based cues (Kapusta et al. 2019 ; Kaur et al. 2020 ; Vereshchaka et al. 2020 ; Ozbay and Alatas 2020 ; Wang 2017 ; Nyow and Chua 2019 ; Hosseinimotlagh and Papalexakis 2018 ; Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. 2019 , 2020 ; Mahabub 2020 ; Bahad et al. 2019 ; Hiriyannaiah et al. 2020 ) extracted from the text of the news content including the body of the news and its headline. However, a few researchers such as Vishwakarma et al. ( 2019 ) and Amri et al. ( 2022 ) try to recognize text from the associated image.

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News content-based category: news content representation and detection techniques

Most researchers of this category rely on artificial intelligence (AI) techniques (such as ML, DL and NLP models) to improve performance in terms of prediction accuracy. Others use different techniques such as fact-checking, crowdsourcing and blockchain. Specifically, the AI- and ML-based approaches in this category are trying to extract features from the news content, which they use later for content analysis and training tasks. In this particular case, the extracted features are the different types of information considered to be relevant for the analysis. Feature extraction is considered as one of the best techniques to reduce data size in automatic fake news detection. This technique aims to choose a subset of features from the original set to improve classification performance (Yazdi et al. 2020 ).

Table  6 lists the distinct features and metadata, as well as the used datasets in the news content-based category of fake news detection approaches.

The features and datasets used in the news content-based approaches

a https://www.kaggle.com/anthonyc1/gathering-real-news-for-oct-dec-2016 , last access date: 26-12-2022

b https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/ , last access date: 26-12-2022

c https://github.com/KaiDMML/FakeNewsNet , last access date: 26-12-2022

d https://www.kaggle.com/anthonyc1/gathering-real-news-for-oct-dec-2016 , last access date: 26-12-2022

e https://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~william/data/liar_dataset.zip , last access date: 26-12-2022

f https://www.kaggle.com/mrisdal/fake-news , last access date: 26-12-2022

g https://github.com/BuzzFeedNews/2016-10-facebook-fact-check , last access date: 26-12-2022

h https://www.politifact.com/subjects/fake-news/ , last access date: 26-12-2022

i https://www.kaggle.com/rchitic17/real-or-fake , last access date: 26-12-2022

j https://www.kaggle.com/jruvika/fake-news-detection , last access date: 26-12-2022

k https://github.com/MKLab-ITI/image-verification-corpus , last access date: 26-12-2022

l https://drive.google.com/file/d/14VQ7EWPiFeGzxp3XC2DeEHi-BEisDINn/view , last access date: 26-12-2022

Social Context-based Category

Unlike news content-based solutions, the social context-based approaches capture the skeptical social context of the online news (Zhang and Ghorbani 2020 ) rather than focusing on the news content. The social context-based category contains fake news detection approaches that use the contextual aspects (i.e., information related to the context of the news post). These aspects are based on social context and they offer additional information to help detect fake news. They are the surrounding data outside of the fake news article itself, where they can be an essential part of automatic fake news detection. Some useful examples of contextual information may include checking if the news itself and the source that published it are credible, checking the date of the news or the supporting resources, and checking if any other online news platforms are reporting the same or similar stories (Zhang and Ghorbani 2020 ).

Social context-based aspects can be classified into two subcategories, user-based and network-based, and they can be used for context analysis and training tasks in the case of AI- and ML-based approaches. User-based aspects refer to information captured from OSN users such as user profile information (Shu et al. 2019b ; Wang et al. 2019c ; Hamdi et al. 2020 ; Nyow and Chua 2019 ; Jiang et al. 2019 ) and user behavior (Cardaioli et al. 2020 ) such as user engagement (Uppada et al. 2022 ; Jiang et al. 2019 ; Shu et al. 2018b ; Nyow and Chua 2019 ) and response (Zhang et al. 2019a ; Qian et al. 2018 ). Meanwhile, network-based aspects refer to information captured from the properties of the social network where the fake content is shared and disseminated such as news propagation path (Liu and Wu 2018 ; Wu and Liu 2018 ) (e.g., propagation times and temporal characteristics of propagation), diffusion patterns (Shu et al. 2019a ) (e.g., number of retweets, shares), as well as user relationships (Mishra 2020 ; Hamdi et al. 2020 ; Jiang et al. 2019 ) (e.g., friendship status among users).

Figure  7 summarizes some of the most widely adopted social context representations, as well as the most used detection techniques (i.e., AI, ML, DL, fact-checking and blockchain), in the social context-based category of approaches.

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Social context-based category: social context representation and detection techniques

Table  7 lists the distinct features and metadata, the adopted detection cues, as well as the used datasets, in the context-based category of fake news detection approaches.

The features, detection cues and datasets used int the social context-based approaches

a https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ewzdrbelpmrnxu/rumdetect2017.zip , last access date: 26-12-2022 b https://snap.stanford.edu/data/ego-Twitter.html , last access date: 26-12-2022

Hybrid approaches

Most researchers are focusing on employing a specific method rather than a combination of both content- and context-based methods. This is because some of them (Wu and Rao 2020 ) believe that there still some challenging limitations in the traditional fusion strategies due to existing feature correlations and semantic conflicts. For this reason, some researchers focus on extracting content-based information, while others are capturing some social context-based information for their proposed approaches.

However, it has proven challenging to successfully automate fake news detection based on just a single type of feature (Ruchansky et al. 2017 ). Therefore, recent directions tend to do a mixture by using both news content-based and social context-based approaches for fake news detection.

Table  8 lists the distinct features and metadata, as well as the used datasets, in the hybrid category of fake news detection approaches.

The features and datasets used in the hybrid approaches

Fake news detection techniques

Another vision for classifying automatic fake news detection is to look at techniques used in the literature. Hence, we classify the detection methods based on the techniques into three groups:

  • Human-based techniques: This category mainly includes the use of crowdsourcing and fact-checking techniques, which rely on human knowledge to check and validate the veracity of news content.
  • Artificial Intelligence-based techniques: This category includes the most used AI approaches for fake news detection in the literature. Specifically, these are the approaches in which researchers use classical ML, deep learning techniques such as convolutional neural network (CNN), recurrent neural network (RNN), as well as natural language processing (NLP).
  • Blockchain-based techniques: This category includes solutions using blockchain technology to detect and mitigate fake news in social media by checking source reliability and establishing the traceability of the news content.

Human-based Techniques

One specific research direction for fake news detection consists of using human-based techniques such as crowdsourcing (Pennycook and Rand 2019 ; Micallef et al. 2020 ) and fact-checking (Vlachos and Riedel 2014 ; Chung and Kim 2021 ; Nyhan et al. 2020 ) techniques.

These approaches can be considered as low computational requirement techniques since both rely on human knowledge and expertise for fake news detection. However, fake news identification cannot be addressed solely through human force since it demands a lot of effort in terms of time and cost, and it is ineffective in terms of preventing the fast spread of fake content.

Crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing approaches (Kim et al. 2018 ) are based on the “wisdom of the crowds” (Collins et al. 2020 ) for fake content detection. These approaches rely on the collective contributions and crowd signals (Tschiatschek et al. 2018 ) of a group of people for the aggregation of crowd intelligence to detect fake news (Tchakounté et al. 2020 ) and to reduce the spread of misinformation on social media (Pennycook and Rand 2019 ; Micallef et al. 2020 ).

Micallef et al. ( 2020 ) highlight the role of the crowd in countering misinformation. They suspect that concerned citizens (i.e., the crowd), who use platforms where disinformation appears, can play a crucial role in spreading fact-checking information and in combating the spread of misinformation.

Recently Tchakounté et al. ( 2020 ) proposed a voting system as a new method of binary aggregation of opinions of the crowd and the knowledge of a third-party expert. The aggregator is based on majority voting on the crowd side and weighted averaging on the third-party site.

Similarly, Huffaker et al. ( 2020 ) propose a crowdsourced detection of emotionally manipulative language. They introduce an approach that transforms classification problems into a comparison task to mitigate conflation content by allowing the crowd to detect text that uses manipulative emotional language to sway users toward positions or actions. The proposed system leverages anchor comparison to distinguish between intrinsically emotional content and emotionally manipulative language.

La Barbera et al. ( 2020 ) try to understand how people perceive the truthfulness of information presented to them. They collect data from US-based crowd workers, build a dataset of crowdsourced truthfulness judgments for political statements, and compare it with expert annotation data generated by fact-checkers such as PolitiFact.

Coscia and Rossi ( 2020 ) introduce a crowdsourced flagging system that consists of online news flagging. The bipolar model of news flagging attempts to capture the main ingredients that they observe in empirical research on fake news and disinformation.

Unlike the previously mentioned researchers who focus on news content in their approaches, Pennycook and Rand ( 2019 ) focus on using crowdsourced judgments of the quality of news sources to combat social media disinformation.

Fact-Checking. The fact-checking task is commonly manually performed by journalists to verify the truthfulness of a given claim. Indeed, fact-checking features are being adopted by multiple online social network platforms. For instance, Facebook 34 started addressing false information through independent fact-checkers in 2017, followed by Google 35 the same year. Two years later, Instagram 36 followed suit. However, the usefulness of fact-checking initiatives is questioned by journalists 37 , as well as by researchers such as Andersen and Søe ( 2020 ). On the other hand, work is being conducted to boost the effectiveness of these initiatives to reduce misinformation (Chung and Kim 2021 ; Clayton et al. 2020 ; Nyhan et al. 2020 ).

Most researchers use fact-checking websites (e.g., politifact.com, 38 snopes.com, 39 Reuters, 40 , etc.) as data sources to build their datasets and train their models. Therefore, in the following, we specifically review examples of solutions that use fact-checking (Vlachos and Riedel 2014 ) to help build datasets that can be further used in the automatic detection of fake content.

Yang et al. ( 2019a ) use PolitiFact fact-checking website as a data source to train, tune, and evaluate their model named XFake, on political data. The XFake system is an explainable fake news detector that assists end users to identify news credibility. The fakeness of news items is detected and interpreted considering both content and contextual (e.g., statements) information (e.g., speaker).

Based on the idea that fact-checkers cannot clean all data, and it must be a selection of what “matters the most” to clean while checking a claim, Sintos et al. ( 2019 ) propose a solution to help fact-checkers combat problems related to data quality (where inaccurate data lead to incorrect conclusions) and data phishing. The proposed solution is a combination of data cleaning and perturbation analysis to avoid uncertainties and errors in data and the possibility that data can be phished.

Tchechmedjiev et al. ( 2019 ) propose a system named “ClaimsKG” as a knowledge graph of fact-checked claims aiming to facilitate structured queries about their truth values, authors, dates, journalistic reviews and other kinds of metadata. “ClaimsKG” designs the relationship between vocabularies. To gather vocabularies, a semi-automated pipeline periodically gathers data from popular fact-checking websites regularly.

AI-based Techniques

Previous work by Yaqub et al. ( 2020 ) has shown that people lack trust in automated solutions for fake news detection However, work is already being undertaken to increase this trust, for instance by von der Weth et al. ( 2020 ).

Most researchers consider fake news detection as a classification problem and use artificial intelligence techniques, as shown in Fig.  8 . The adopted AI techniques may include machine learning ML (e.g., Naïve Bayes, logistic regression, support vector machine SVM), deep learning DL (e.g., convolutional neural networks CNN, recurrent neural networks RNN, long short-term memory LSTM) and natural language processing NLP (e.g., Count vectorizer, TF-IDF Vectorizer). Most of them combine many AI techniques in their solutions rather than relying on one specific approach.

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Examples of the most widely used AI techniques for fake news detection

Many researchers are developing machine learning models in their solutions for fake news detection. Recently, deep neural network techniques are also being employed as they are generating promising results (Islam et al. 2020 ). A neural network is a massively parallel distributed processor with simple units that can store important information and make it available for use (Hiriyannaiah et al. 2020 ). Moreover, it has been proven (Cardoso Durier da Silva et al. 2019 ) that the most widely used method for automatic detection of fake news is not simply a classical machine learning technique, but rather a fusion of classical techniques coordinated by a neural network.

Some researchers define purely machine learning models (Del Vicario et al. 2019 ; Elhadad et al. 2019 ; Aswani et al. 2017 ; Hakak et al. 2021 ; Singh et al. 2021 ) in their fake news detection approaches. The more commonly used machine learning algorithms (Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. 2019 ) for classification problems are Naïve Bayes, logistic regression and SVM.

Other researchers (Wang et al. 2019c ; Wang 2017 ; Liu and Wu 2018 ; Mishra 2020 ; Qian et al. 2018 ; Zhang et al. 2020 ; Goldani et al. 2021 ) prefer to do a mixture of different deep learning models, without combining them with classical machine learning techniques. Some even prove that deep learning techniques outperform traditional machine learning techniques (Mishra et al. 2022 ). Deep learning is one of the most widely popular research topics in machine learning. Unlike traditional machine learning approaches, which are based on manually crafted features, deep learning approaches can learn hidden representations from simpler inputs both in context and content variations (Bondielli and Marcelloni 2019 ). Moreover, traditional machine learning algorithms almost always require structured data and are designed to “learn” to act by understanding labeled data and then use it to produce new results with more datasets, which requires human intervention to “teach them” when the result is incorrect (Parrish 2018 ), while deep learning networks rely on layers of artificial neural networks (ANN) and do not require human intervention, as multilevel layers in neural networks place data in a hierarchy of different concepts, which ultimately learn from their own mistakes (Parrish 2018 ). The two most widely implemented paradigms in deep neural networks are recurrent neural networks (RNN) and convolutional neural networks (CNN).

Still other researchers (Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. 2019 ; Kaliyar et al. 2020 ; Zhang et al. 2019a ; Deepak and Chitturi 2020 ; Shu et al. 2018a ; Wang et al. 2019c ) prefer to combine traditional machine learning and deep learning classification, models. Others combine machine learning and natural language processing techniques. A few combine deep learning models with natural language processing (Vereshchaka et al. 2020 ). Some other researchers (Kapusta et al. 2019 ; Ozbay and Alatas 2020 ; Ahmed et al. 2020 ) combine natural language processing with machine learning models. Furthermore, others (Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. 2019 ; Kaur et al. 2020 ; Kaliyar 2018 ; Abdullah-All-Tanvir et al. 2020 ; Bahad et al. 2019 ) prefer to combine all the previously mentioned techniques (i.e., ML, DL and NLP) in their approaches.

Table  11 , which is relegated to the Appendix (after the bibliography) because of its size, shows a comparison of the fake news detection solutions that we have reviewed based on their main approaches, the methodology that was used and the models.

Comparison of AI-based fake news detection techniques

Blockchain-based Techniques for Source Reliability and Traceability

Another research direction for detecting and mitigating fake news in social media focuses on using blockchain solutions. Blockchain technology is recently attracting researchers’ attention due to the interesting features it offers. Immutability, decentralization, tamperproof, consensus, record keeping and non-repudiation of transactions are some of the key features that make blockchain technology exploitable, not just for cryptocurrencies, but also to prove the authenticity and integrity of digital assets.

However, the proposed blockchain approaches are few in number and they are fundamental and theoretical approaches. Specifically, the solutions that are currently available are still in research, prototype, and beta testing stages (DiCicco and Agarwal 2020 ; Tchechmedjiev et al. 2019 ). Furthermore, most researchers (Ochoa et al. 2019 ; Song et al. 2019 ; Shang et al. 2018 ; Qayyum et al. 2019 ; Jing and Murugesan 2018 ; Buccafurri et al. 2017 ; Chen et al. 2018 ) do not specify which fake news type they are mitigating in their studies. They mention news content in general, which is not adequate for innovative solutions. For that, serious implementations should be provided to prove the usefulness and feasibility of this newly developing research vision.

Table  9 shows a classification of the reviewed blockchain-based approaches. In the classification, we listed the following:

  • The type of fake news that authors are trying to mitigate, which can be multimedia-based or text-based fake news.
  • The techniques used for fake news mitigation, which can be either blockchain only, or blockchain combined with other techniques such as AI, Data mining, Truth-discovery, Preservation metadata, Semantic similarity, Crowdsourcing, Graph theory and SIR model (Susceptible, Infected, Recovered).
  • The feature that is offered as an advantage of the given solution (e.g., Reliability, Authenticity and Traceability). Reliability is the credibility and truthfulness of the news content, which consists of proving the trustworthiness of the content. Traceability aims to trace and archive the contents. Authenticity consists of checking whether the content is real and authentic.

A checkmark ( ✓ ) in Table  9 denotes that the mentioned criterion is explicitly mentioned in the proposed solution, while the empty dash (–) cell for fake news type denotes that it depends on the case: The criterion was either not explicitly mentioned (e.g., fake news type) in the work or the classification does not apply (e.g., techniques/other).

A classification of popular blockchain-based approaches for fake news detection in social media

After reviewing the most relevant state of the art for automatic fake news detection, we classify them as shown in Table  10 based on the detection aspects (i.e., content-based, contextual, or hybrid aspects) and the techniques used (i.e., AI, crowdsourcing, fact-checking, blockchain or hybrid techniques). Hybrid techniques refer to solutions that simultaneously combine different techniques from previously mentioned categories (i.e., inter-hybrid methods), as well as techniques within the same class of methods (i.e., intra-hybrid methods), in order to define innovative solutions for fake news detection. A hybrid method should bring the best of both worlds. Then, we provide a discussion based on different axes.

Fake news detection approaches classification

News content-based methods

Most of the news content-based approaches consider fake news detection as a classification problem and they use AI techniques such as classical machine learning (e.g., regression, Bayesian) as well as deep learning (i.e., neural methods such as CNN and RNN). More specifically, classification of social media content is a fundamental task for social media mining, so that most existing methods regard it as a text categorization problem and mainly focus on using content features, such as words and hashtags (Wu and Liu 2018 ). The main challenge facing these approaches is how to extract features in a way to reduce the data used to train their models and what features are the most suitable for accurate results.

Researchers using such approaches are motivated by the fact that the news content is the main entity in the deception process, and it is a straightforward factor to analyze and use while looking for predictive clues of deception. However, detecting fake news only from the content of the news is not enough because the news is created in a strategic intentional way to mimic the truth (i.e., the content can be intentionally manipulated by the spreader to make it look like real news). Therefore, it is considered to be challenging, if not impossible, to identify useful features (Wu and Liu 2018 ) and consequently tell the nature of such news solely from the content.

Moreover, works that utilize only the news content for fake news detection ignore the rich information and latent user intelligence (Qian et al. 2018 ) stored in user responses toward previously disseminated articles. Therefore, the auxiliary information is deemed crucial for an effective fake news detection approach.

Social context-based methods

The context-based approaches explore the surrounding data outside of the news content, which can be an effective direction and has some advantages in areas where the content approaches based on text classification can run into issues. However, most existing studies implementing contextual methods mainly focus on additional information coming from users and network diffusion patterns. Moreover, from a technical perspective, they are limited to the use of sophisticated machine learning techniques for feature extraction, and they ignore the usefulness of results coming from techniques such as web search and crowdsourcing which may save much time and help in the early detection and identification of fake content.

Hybrid approaches can simultaneously model different aspects of fake news such as the content-based aspects, as well as the contextual aspect based on both the OSN user and the OSN network patterns. However, these approaches are deemed more complex in terms of models (Bondielli and Marcelloni 2019 ), data availability, and the number of features. Furthermore, it remains difficult to decide which information among each category (i.e., content-based and context-based information) is most suitable and appropriate to be used to achieve accurate and precise results. Therefore, there are still very few studies belonging to this category of hybrid approaches.

Early detection

As fake news usually evolves and spreads very fast on social media, it is critical and urgent to consider early detection directions. Yet, this is a challenging task to do especially in highly dynamic platforms such as social networks. Both news content- and social context-based approaches suffer from this challenging early detection of fake news.

Although approaches that detect fake news based on content analysis face this issue less, they are still limited by the lack of information required for verification when the news is in its early stage of spread. However, approaches that detect fake news based on contextual analysis are most likely to suffer from the lack of early detection since most of them rely on information that is mostly available after the spread of fake content such as social engagement, user response, and propagation patterns. Therefore, it is crucial to consider both trusted human verification and historical data as an attempt to detect fake content during its early stage of propagation.

Conclusion and future directions

In this paper, we introduced the general context of the fake news problem as one of the major issues of the online deception problem in online social networks. Based on reviewing the most relevant state of the art, we summarized and classified existing definitions of fake news, as well as its related terms. We also listed various typologies and existing categorizations of fake news such as intent-based fake news including clickbait, hoax, rumor, satire, propaganda, conspiracy theories, framing as well as content-based fake news including text and multimedia-based fake news, and in the latter, we can tackle deepfake videos and GAN-generated fake images. We discussed the major challenges related to fake news detection and mitigation in social media including the deceptiveness nature of the fabricated content, the lack of human awareness in the field of fake news, the non-human spreaders issue (e.g., social bots), the dynamicity of such online platforms, which results in a fast propagation of fake content and the quality of existing datasets, which still limits the efficiency of the proposed solutions. We reviewed existing researchers’ visions regarding the automatic detection of fake news based on the adopted approaches (i.e., news content-based approaches, social context-based approaches, or hybrid approaches) and the techniques that are used (i.e., artificial intelligence-based methods; crowdsourcing, fact-checking, and blockchain-based methods; and hybrid methods), then we showed a comparative study between the reviewed works. We also provided a critical discussion of the reviewed approaches based on different axes such as the adopted aspect for fake news detection (i.e., content-based, contextual, and hybrid aspects) and the early detection perspective.

To conclude, we present the main issues for combating the fake news problem that needs to be further investigated while proposing new detection approaches. We believe that to define an efficient fake news detection approach, we need to consider the following:

  • Our choice of sources of information and search criteria may have introduced biases in our research. If so, it would be desirable to identify those biases and mitigate them.
  • News content is the fundamental source to find clues to distinguish fake from real content. However, contextual information derived from social media users and from the network can provide useful auxiliary information to increase detection accuracy. Specifically, capturing users’ characteristics and users’ behavior toward shared content can be a key task for fake news detection.
  • Moreover, capturing users’ historical behavior, including their emotions and/or opinions toward news content, can help in the early detection and mitigation of fake news.
  • Furthermore, adversarial learning techniques (e.g., GAN, SeqGAN) can be considered as a promising direction for mitigating the lack and scarcity of available datasets by providing machine-generated data that can be used to train and build robust systems to detect the fake examples from the real ones.
  • Lastly, analyzing how sources and promoters of fake news operate over the web through multiple online platforms is crucial; Zannettou et al. ( 2019 ) discovered that false information is more likely to spread across platforms (18% appearing on multiple platforms) compared to valid information (11%).

Appendix: A Comparison of AI-based fake news detection techniques

This Appendix consists only in the rather long Table  11 . It shows a comparison of the fake news detection solutions based on artificial intelligence that we have reviewed according to their main approaches, the methodology that was used, and the models, as explained in Sect.  6.2.2 .

Author Contributions

The order of authors is alphabetic as is customary in the third author’s field. The lead author was Sabrine Amri, who collected and analyzed the data and wrote a first draft of the paper, all along under the supervision and tight guidance of Esma Aïmeur. Gilles Brassard reviewed, criticized and polished the work into its final form.

This work is supported in part by Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

Availability of data and material

Declarations.

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Contributor Information

Esma Aïmeur, Email: ac.laertnomu.ori@ruemia .

Sabrine Amri, Email: [email protected] .

Gilles Brassard, Email: ac.laertnomu.ori@drassarb .

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Essay on Social Media

List of essays on social media in english, essay on social media – essay 1 (100 words), essay on social media: benefits and drawbacks – essay 2 (250 words), essay on social media – essay 3 (250 words), essay on social media – advantages and disadvantages – essay 4 (500 words), essay on social media: effects, pros, cons and importance of social media – essay 5 (1000 words).

For this very purpose, we have prepared short essays for students as well as long essays in order to throw light on this very important topic. The students shall definitely find them useful in their studies as well.

Selected Essays on Social Media: Introduction, Advantages, Disadvantages and Effects of Social Media.

Social media is a very controversial topic of discussion today as it can be argued to be both a blessing and a curse to our generation. Most people are of the opinion that the social media has brought down and destroyed every iota of physical human interaction at a very alarming rate and has changed how we view human relationships in this modern time. There are a lot of others with the opinion that social media has help improve and given us better options and ways of staying connected to those we love wherever they are in the world and we can disseminate news and information quicker through social media.

The biggest revolution in the history of communication is Social Media and this started a completely new era altogether. Every platform that enables us to communicate and socialize locally and globally is a Social media platform. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Whatsapp are its many avatars.

Social media allows us to fellowship with people from all corners of the world. It gives us a sense of a global community where we are no more divided by political powers but united by our thoughts and interests. We can always keep in touch with people from all walks of our life – a boon that seemed impossible until social media showed up.

It gives the common man a platform to voice with complete freedom of expression, be it for supporting a cause or for addressing a national or international issue of any sensitivity. Business prospects and job opportunities gear up as social media is a stage with global audience to showcase our talents.

The biggest drawback of Social media is that it is highly addictive to almost every person using it. It has altered our sense of reality such that in priding the global connectivity it offers, we forget to connect with the people around us and grow emotionally distant. This obsession of being glued to our gadget screens all day brings with it an array of health disorders and is the main cause of stress, depression, anxiety and sleeplessness.

Social Media has expanded the horizons of communication more than ever and has changed the pace of life forever. While eliminating Social media from our lives is out of question, its usage can be moderated by limiting our time on it.

Introduction:

The term ‘ Social Media’ generated a great buzz in the world of internet users upon its arrival and soon became a huge thunder that was heard in every nook and corner of the world. Social Media is considered a technological marvel and a boon to mankind.

Lots and lots are heard about social media every day. So what is it and what makes it so important?

Simply put, ‘Social Medias are web-based platforms that allow users to interact with each other’. Social media websites enable users to create and share information. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest are few examples of leading social media websites.

Every technological invention has its own merits and de-merits; Social media is no exception.

Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives of using social media:-

Social Media has become the first and foremost medium for creating awareness among people for any social cause. This is an excellent medium for networking.

Social Media Websites has the ability to reach millions of people across nations in an unimaginable time frame.

Social Media Marketing is currently the most widely used strategies by many companies to improve their business.

Disadvantages

Addictive use of social media is found to be the main cause of depression among many people. It disrupts the sleeping patterns in adults and may also lessen the mental growth of children.

Social Media hacks are a great threat to one’s personal information .

Social media started off as a fashion trend among youth but today it has emerged as a medium that influences Presidential elections.

If used in the right way, Social Media has the ability to make our lives easier and convenient.

How many followers do you have on Instagram? Did you check her WhatsApp status? Why does he not like my pictures on Facebook? Well, these are some conversations friends usually have. Social Media is nothing for them, but still, it is everything for them. 21st generation is growing with Good mornings in social media and Goodnight through social media. Social Media has created a significant impact on people irrespective of gender and age difference.

Is Social Media making you fast-forward?

There are times when people think that youngsters or someone who is not accessing any social media are usually renegades in their thoughts and opinions. But, is that really true? Does, being on social media decide our views and opinions? It simply makes people think a lot more than what they should actually think about anyone. Based on that note, Social media has a bunch of advantages as well.

Advantages of Social Media

I. You can always keep connected to your loved ones. In today’s world, one cannot imagine meeting their loved ones every single day. Social media has made this process a lot easier by Video Callings and much more stuff.

II. Showcase your extraordinary talent. People usually search for platforms to showcase their talent. After, social media has come into existence there are a lot of people who have grabbed fame by their talent and hard work. It is literally not possible on any other platform.

III. Catching people with identical interests. Many people have the same thoughts, opinions and thinking. But, they seem to be disconnected because they don’t have a common medium to interact. Social media is a place where you can find someone who is of your type and have think pattern of your same wavelength. Finding such people often make our lives happier and much more comfortable.

IV. Who thought that earning money can be so easy? Social media has this one big advantage that people can make money by selling clothes, pieces of jewelry and many more things, beyond our imagination. Social media is not limited to buying and selling. There are bloggers, scholars who earn handsome money only through social media. Isn’t that great?

Disadvantages of Social Media

I. Not every information may be correct here. Social media is a platform which holds all news about almost everyone. However, it is not important that every single information which has conveyed through social media should be accurate. There are times when people receive wrong information only through this medium and spread like wildfire.

II. You meet new people, but they are majorly not real ones. Being on social media platform looks very cool and surprising to people. But, the inside reality is always behind the curtain every time. It is one place which makes you meet so many fake people. Not everyone you bond with is a genuine person. Many relationships have the signature of social media contribution and more than that major heartbreaks are also happening on social media.

III. It is good until you become addicted to social media. The social media addiction or sedation is real. People, especially youngsters go crazy on this platform. Their day usually begins with Social Media and ends by 2, or 3 am on social media, which is pathetic and life spoiling.

No doubt, Social Media is a great link to connect with people and maintain healthy relationships. However, social media comes along with some disadvantages as well which are beyond your control. So, with that, one must always be careful while connecting with people on social media. Try to be minimal in social media and share less of your personal information on any account. By keeping a calculated approach and maintaining your sensitive information, you can enjoy social media to the fullest.

One of the most common terms we come across these days is social media. Somehow, it has become an integral part of our daily lives and in fact many people in the world today as just obsessed with it. A combination of two words, “social” referring to the sharing of information and data with others and “media” refers to the medium of communication, the internet being the most preferred nowadays, the social media is something which has affected almost everyone today. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Reddit happen to the most popular social media platforms today.

Effects of Social Media:

Every tool has its own share of effects on the society. Social media is also not far behind and has, in fact, affected our society to a larger extent, both in positive as well as in a negative manner. Additionally, though it may sound weird, social media has affected the health of the people as well. There are various ways that social media can have an effect on your wellbeing. For instance, Individuals who are dependent via web-based networking media may encounter negative symptoms, for example, eye strain, social withdrawal or absence of rest. Also, in the event that you invest your energy on social media for exploring issues or contending with individuals, you may encounter pressure, which can negatively affect your wellbeing.

Pros / Advantages of Social Media:

It is not only the ill effect on health which the social media has had on us. There some advantages to its credit as well.

Availability – The first and fundamental preferred standpoint of social media is the network. Individuals from anyplace can associate with anybody. No matter which religion or area you belong to, the magnificence of social media based life is that you can interface with anybody to learn and share your thoughts.

Education – Social media has a considerable measure of advantages for the students and instructors. It is anything but difficult to teach from other people who are specialists and experts by means of online life. You can follow anybody to gain from him/her and improve your insight into any field. Despite your area or education, you can teach yourself, and that too without paying for it.

Help – You can impart your issues to the network to get help and energy. Regardless of whether it is helping in term of cash or in term of counsel, you can get it from the network you are associated with.

Information and Updates – The fundamental preferred standpoint of the social media-based life is that you refresh yourself from the most recent happenings around on the planet. More often than not, Television and print media nowadays is one-sided and does not pass on the genuine message. With the assistance of web-based life, you can get the certainties and genuine data by doing some research.

Brand Promotion – Whether you have a disconnected business or on the web, you can elevate your business to the biggest gathering of people. You have the access to the whole world and you can reach out to anyone you feel fit. This makes the organizations gainful and more affordable, on the grounds that the greater part of the costs made over a business is for publicizing and advancement.

Noble Cause – Social media can likewise be utilized for honourable motivations. For instance, to advance an NGO, social welfare exercises and gifts for the penniless individuals can be boosted using social media. Individuals are utilizing online life for a gift for destitute individuals and it very well may be a speedy method to encourage such individuals.

Awareness – Social media additionally make mindfulness and develop the manner in which individuals live. It is the web-based life which has helped individuals find new and inventive stuff that can upgrade individual lives. From ranchers to educators, understudies to legal advisors each person of the general public can profit by the web-based life and its mindfulness factor.

Cons / Disadvantages of Social Media:

Social media has a good share in negatively impacting us as well on various grounds. The most affected of the lot is considered to the teens who are also considered as the most vulnerable ones.

Cyberbullying – it is considered that a large portion of the youngsters has progressed toward becoming casualties of the cyberbullying due to the excessive due to the excessive use of social media. Since anybody can make a phoney record and do anything without being followed, it has turned out to be very simple for anybody to menace on the Internet. Dangers, terrorizing messages and bits of gossip can be sent to the majority to make uneasiness and mayhem in the general public.

Hacking – Personal information and security, which is so readily available on social media platforms can without much of a stretch be hacked and shared on the internet. On previous occasions as well, some facebook, as well as twitter accounts, have been hacked allowing the hacker to post information and data that have influenced the lives of many people. This is one of the risky impediments of the web-based life and each client is encouraged to guard their own information and records to evade such mishaps.

Other negative impacts of social media are an addiction, Social security issues and frauds.

Importance of Social Media

Despite there a being a host of negative issues of social media, it still is very important for society as a whole due to a large number of benefits it is associated with.

Social media is effortlessly available and it’s additionally the gathering purpose of the present web intelligent group of onlookers. Social media also opens potential outcomes of direct access to customers with no outsider intercession. Moreover, promoting through social media is pretty inexpensive when contrasted with expenses caused by print, TV or other customary media.

Whether social media is a boon or a curse, is a matter of debate. However, one thing which cannot be denied is that it too difficult to abstain from it. The advantages of being connected to people and keeping yourself updated have undoubtedly made our lives faster, happier and convenient at the same time. The challenges which come along with social media can somehow be kept aside and we can definitely move forward with the advancement it has provided in our daily lives.

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Social Media Essay

500 + words essay on social media.

Social media is a prevalent medium in today’s scenario because of its ability to transfer information and communicate with people worldwide using an internet connection. We have seen how social media platforms make it easier for people spread across the globe to connect.

However, it is still a matter of debate if social media is a bone or a bane for us, despite its user-friendly features. In this social media essay, we can look at the impacts of social media, its advantages and disadvantages and more.

Introduction to Social Media Essay

It is seen that over the past few years, social media has developed tremendously and has captured millions of users worldwide. Referring to this social media essay in English is the best way for students to learn about the pros and cons of social media. If they are preparing for the board exam, they will also find the ‘Impact of Social Media Essay ’ a beneficial topic. They can prepare themselves for the board exams by reading this short social media essay.

Impact of Social Media

Currently, social media is a lot more than just blogging or posting pictures. As the reach of social media is far and high, it goes beyond impressing people to impacting or influencing them with the help of these vital tools. However, a wide range of people believe that social media has negatively impacted human relationships.

Human interaction has also deteriorated because of it. Nevertheless, social media also has a positive effect. It enables us to connect with our family and friends globally while even sending out security warnings. Check out the advantages and disadvantages of social media to know more about the pros and cons.

Pros of Social Media

Reading through the advantages of social media is the best way to learn about its positive aspects. We can learn a lot with its help, thus enabling society’s social development. We can also quickly gain information and news via social media. It is a great tool that is used to create awareness about social evils or reform. It is also a good platform that reduces the distance between loved ones and brings them closer. Another advantage is that it is a good platform for young aspirants to showcase their knowledge and skills. At the same time, companies use social media to promote their brand and services/products.

Cons of Social Media

Psychiatrists believe that social media impacts a person negatively. Social media is also considered to be one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety in society. Students may get distracted from their studies due to addiction to social media. Spending too much time on social media may result in poor academic performance. Lack of privacy is another evil effect of social media. Social media users are also very vulnerable to hacking, identity theft, phishing crimes and other cyber crimes.

Thus, in conclusion, we can say that we have to be diligent while using social media . We should use our discretion while using social media, thus balancing our social life with our studies, work, family, and social media use.

Also Read: Woman Empowerment | Republic Day Essay | Essay On Constitution of India

Frequently Asked Questions on Social Media Essay

How can we balance the pros and cons of social media.

1. Spend a limited amount of time on social media.

2. Avoid getting addicted to entertainment channels.

3. Use social media for better communication and to spread social messages.

What is one of the unseen cons of social media?

One of the unseen cons of social media is that the content that we post/send online is getting stored somewhere at the backend even after its deletion. This fact must be kept in mind before using any social media app.

How can students get benefitted from Social media?

There are numerous apps and web pages where essential information is available not only regarding academics but also about extracurricular activities. Students can highly benefit from social media if they use it in a proper way with adult guidance.

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Essay on Social Media – Effects, Importance, Advantages, Disadvantages

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Essay on Social Media: The social media has undoubtedly changed the way we communicate and interact with each other. It has brought people closer and helped them connect with each other in ways that were never before possible. It is now becoming one of the largest means of communication and rapidly gaining popularity. Social media enables you to share ideas, content, information, news, etc., faster. In this article, we shall look at some essays on social media that talk about the effects, importance of social media, and its advantages and disadvantages.

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Here are essays on social media of varying word lengths to help you with the same in your exam. You can select any social media essay as per your need:

Long and Short Essay on Social Media in English

  • We have provided below short and long essays on social media in English.
  • These social media essays will improve your knowledge of the subject and make you aware of its pros and cons.
  • After reading the essays, you will be able to explain the meaning of social media and its various constituents, its advantages and disadvantages, etc.
  • You can use these social media essays in your school’s and the college’s several essay writing , speech and debate competitions, etc.

Essay on Social Media and its Impact

We live in an age where information is just a button press away. Although we are swayed by information all around us. We millennials want to know, read, understand and then speak our minds about it. That is where social media comes into play. Social media is one of the most significant elements we live with, and we cannot ignore it.

It is a collection of websites, applications, and other platforms that enable us to share or create content and also help us to participate in social networking. Social media is not limited to blogging and sharing pictures; there are a lot of solid tools also that social media provides. That is because the impact of social media is very high and far-reaching. It can make or break images.

But social media is a topic of controversy today, many feel it’s a boon, but a majority think it is a curse. Most believe social media has rapidly destroyed human interaction and modified modern human relationships. But others feel it is a blessing connecting us to every part of the world; we can meet our loved ones far, spread awareness, send security warnings, etc. There is a lot that social media can do. But it is an unarguable fact that social media has made our lives convenient, easier, and much faster.

Essay on Positive and Negative Effects of Social Media

Social media plays a significant role in our lives today. We have access to any information at just a button push away. Anything that is so vastly expanded has both positives and negatives. The power of social media is very high and affects each individual. It isn’t easy to imagine our lives with social media today, and we pay the price for excessive use. There is a lot of debate about the effects of social media on society as a whole. Some feel it’s a boon, while others think it is a curse.

Positive Effects of Social Media

Social media allows the social growth of society and also helps many businesses. It provides tools like social media marketing to reach millions of potential clients. We can easily access information and get news through social media. Social media is an excellent tool for creating awareness about any social cause. Employers can reach out to potential job seekers. It can help many individuals grow socially and interact with the world without a hitch. Many people use social media to make themselves heard by the higher authorities. It can also help you meet like-minded people.

Negative Effects of Social Media

Many physiatrists believe that social media is a single factor causing depression and anxiety. It is also a cause of poor mental growth in children. Increased use of social media can lead to poor sleeping patterns. Many other adverse effects include cyberbullying, body image issues, etc. There is an increased ‘Fear of Missing out (FOMO) at an all-time high in youth because of social media.

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Essay on Social Media Impact on Youth

We cannot ignore that social media is one of the biggest elements present in our lives today. We can quickly get information and talk to anyone in any corner of the world. The youth is the future of our nation; they can make or break the economy. Social media is one of the most engaging elements in their lives today. It has a far-reaching impact on the youth, as they are the most active on social networking sites. Social media has a far-reaching impact on the youth, as they are the most active on social networking sites.

Social Network Impact on Youth

It’s a fad these days to be on social networking sites. If you do not have a digital presence, then for some people, you do not exist. The ever-rising pressure of being on social networking sites and having an impressive profile affects the youth in a big way. According to statistics, the average number of hours a teenager spends online is 72 hours per week.

This is very high considering that they have to give time to study, physical activities, and other beneficial activities like reading. It leaves little time for other things; hence, serious issues arise, like lack of attention span, minimum focus, anxiety, and complex issues. We now have more virtual friends than real ones, and we lose human-to-human connections daily. Other dangers include leaking personal information to strangers, sex offenders, etc. There are some positive effects.

Positive Impacts of Social Media

  • It is a good tool for education.
  • It can create awareness for many social issues.
  • There is a fast transfer of information online, so the users can stay well informed.
  • It can also be used as a news medium.
  • There are a few social benefits like communication with long-distance friends and relatives.
  • It can provide great employment opportunities online.

We agree that social networks have positive impacts, but like everything else, it also has cons.

There are many negative impacts also:

Negative Impacts of Social Media

  • Enables cheating in exams
  • Dropping of grades and performance of students
  • Lack of privacy
  • Users are vulnerable to cyber crimes like hacking, identity theft, phishing crimes, etc.

Essay on the Importance of Social Media in Education

This is the age of smartphones and microblogging. Everything that we need to know is just a click away. Social media is the most widely used tool by all age groups today but is more popular among the youth and students. Keeping this in mind, researchers feel that social media can play a very important part in education. It can be used to reach out to many students and be highly effective.

Many academic thinkers feel social media is a deteriorating agent for students, but it can be highly effective if used wisely. Instead of arguing that social media is good or bad, we must find ways to use it for our benefit. How can social media be used to our advantage in education? Let’s try and answer this.

Importance of Social Media in Education

Today platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., are most widely used by( both) teachers, professors, and students, and they have become quite popular among them. Social media plays a very important role for students as it makes it easier for them to access and share information, get answers and connect with teachers. Students and teachers can connect and share content through social media platforms, using these platforms well.

Social Media Importance are the following:

  • Live Lectures: Many professors are conducting live video chats on skype, Twitter, and other places for their lectures. This makes it easy for students and teachers to learn and share while just sitting in their homes. How easy and convenient education can be with the help of social media.
  • Increased support : Since we use social media at our disposal at any hour of the day, teachers can provide off-hours support and solve queries of students even after class timings. This practice also helps the teacher understand their students’ development more closely.
  • Easy work : Many educators feel that social media makes work easier for students. It also helps the teacher expand and explore their own possibilities//skills// and knowledge.
  • More disciplined : The classes conducted on social media platforms are more disciplined and structured, as we know that everyone is watching.
  • Teaching aids : Social media can help students nourish their knowledge with many teaching aids available online. Students can watch videos, see images, check out reviews and instantly clear their doubts while watching the live processes. Students and teachers can make their lectures more interesting using these tools and teaching aids.
  • Teaching Blogs and write-ups: Students can enhance their knowledge by reading blogs, articles, and write-ups by renowned teachers, professors, and thinkers. This way, good content can reach a wide audience.

Essay on Social Media: Importance, Advantages, Disadvantages

Social media remains the most talked about thing these days. Many debates are going on regarding whether social media is good or bad. Many views are available to us, and it is up to us to read and understand them properly and reach a conclusion.

Importance of Social Media

Social media platforms help their users to connect, share and give information and content to millions of others. The importance of social media cannot be ignored since it plays a crucial role in our lives today.

  • Building a brand: Today, quality content, products, and services are easily accessible online. You can market your product online and build a brand.
  • Customer support: Customers can read reviews and feedback before buying a product or service and make a smart choice.
  • Social media is a great educational tool.
  • Through social media platforms, you can connect with your target audience.
  • It is also a great way to access quality information.
  • Social media can help you get the news and happenings in just a click.
  • Social media also helps you connect with friends and relatives and make new friends.

Advantages of Social Media

Social media comes with a lot of advantages. We can owe a substantial part of our society’s growth to social media. We have witnessed a blast of information and content in the last few years and cannot deny the power of social media in our lives.

Social media is widely used to create awareness for important causes in society. It can also help many noble causes run by NGOs and other social welfare societies. Social media can also aid the government in other agencies to spread awareness and fight crime. It is a strong tool for business promotion and marketing for many businesses. Many communities are built through social media platforms essential for our society’s growth.

Disadvantages of Social Media

Social media is considered one of the most harmful in our lives. Wrong use can lead to bad conclusions. There are many disadvantages of social media:

  • Cyberbullying: many children have become the victims of cyberbullying that has caused them a lot of harm.
  • Hacking: The loss of personal data can lead to security issues. Some crimes like identity theft and bank details theft can harm any individual.
  • Addiction: Prolonged use of social media can lead to addiction in youth. Addiction causes one to lose focus on other important things like studying etc. People get so absorbed that they get cut off from society and harm their personal lives.
  • Scams: Many predators are looking for vulnerable users that they can scam and make a profit off.
  • Relationship frauds: Honeytraps and MMS porn are the most caused fraud online. People are lured into relationships and love schemes and then cheated on.
  • Health issues: The excessive use of social media can affect your physical and mental health in a big way. People often complain of becoming lazy, fat, having itchy eyes, loss of vision, and stress issues after excessive use.
  • Loss of social and family life: Everyone being busy on the phone is one of the most common sites in a family gathering nowadays.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is social media in 5 lines.

Social media is an online platform or digital technology that enables users to create, share, and interact with content and connect with others globally.

What are 10 points social media?

Ten points about social media could include: a) It facilitates communication and networking, b) Allows sharing of information, news, and opinions, c) Offers a platform for businesses to promote their products and services, d) Provides opportunities for entertainment and content consumption, e) Can be a tool for social activism and raising awareness, f) Enhances personal branding and self-expression, g) Enables real-time updates and engagement, h) Can be addictive and time-consuming, i) Raises concerns about privacy and data security, and j) Requires responsible usage and digital literacy.

What are the 4 main social media?

The four main social media platforms commonly referred to are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, the social media landscape is vast and continually evolving, with many other platforms gaining popularity.

What is called social media?

Social media refers to the digital tools and platforms that allow individuals and organizations to create, share, and interact with content, as well as connect with others virtually.

Is social media helpful?

Social media can be both helpful and detrimental depending on its usage. It can facilitate communication, information sharing, and networking. However, it can also contribute to issues like misinformation, cyberbullying, privacy concerns, and addiction.

How social media affects our life?

Social media can affect our lives in various ways. It can impact our relationships, self-esteem, mental health, and time management. It can also shape public opinion, influence behavior, and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.

What are benefits of social media?

Some benefits of social media include: a) Facilitating communication and staying connected with friends, family, and communities, b) Providing a platform for sharing ideas, creativity, and talents, c) Offering networking opportunities for personal and professional growth, d) Enabling access to information, news, and resources, e) Supporting social causes and activism, f) Facilitating business promotion and marketing, and g) Fostering global connections and cultural exchang

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Essay on Social Media for Students & Children in 1000+ Words

Essay on Social Media for Students & Children in 1000+ Words

Here, you will read an Essay on Social Media for students and children in 1000+ Words and its impact on youth in 1100 Words. This satire essay also includes the positive and negative impact of social media on society and youth.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Essay on Social Media)

Social media is an online platform for online social interaction. It is also called as Social networking websites or apps. Some top social media companies are on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

Means online interaction and communication between different age groups of people. It may be in any form like a web application, website, or smartphone application.

Most of the people also use it for regular communication with their families, relatives, consumers, clients, and some for fun chatting. Most of the youth of all over the world use any kind of social media to interact with their friends and colleagues.

Social media is the most prominent means of communication in today’s era. It has also become a crucial part of the daily life of today’s human beings. This is an essential means of keeping people engaged with each other.

Uses of Social media

Lots of people use social media for business purposes. Almost every brand has their own social media pages. People follow them and the brands advertise to get more and more sales.

Some people use it to become popular. They create good videos and images to attract users, and then people follow them.

But in today’s world, social media is now a morning snack. Almost every person wakes up in the morning and first sees what are recent updates in his or her social media account.

Social networking sites and apps are the cheapest communication service in this world. Just, you have an internet service plan. You can make video calls, message and send documents and do more. So, anyone can talk with his or her relatives or family persons in anywhere in world.

Social media helps us to reach an event happening in our country and abroad immediately. We can use social media using any means of a computer , mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.

WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube are leading social media platforms. Through this, any news can be spread all over the country and abroad momentarily.

Social media has now become the fastest communication medium in the world. Its popularity is also increasing in people. Nowadays, every age group is using social networking websites.

Just as there are two sides of a coin, meaning that anything has positive and negative effects, so there are many types of positive and negative effects of social media too. Social media is suitable for work, but now people are using it to do the wrong things.

Positive effects of Social media

Social media is used to perform various types of tasks. Through this, any urgent news sent to millions of people throughout the moment and information provided to them immediately with the help of text, image, and video posts or presentation.

Today technology has increased so much that we can sit in the corner of a country and talk to each other of our family members or friends living in other countries and can interact with each other via text messages and video conferencing.

Nowadays, peoples are running many types of knowledgeable video channels on YouTube for education and knowledge , through which any person can acquire knowledge of any kind and share their knowledge among others. Nowadays, through this, any person can quickly learn any work sitting at home.

Through this, any person can quickly fill up a form, send money, send or receive messages, talk to peoples all over the world. In the past, when there was no Internet and social media, people received many information months later or too late.

In the event of an incident, people used to send letters to them; then the information was received by the other person, which took much time.

People share their business through social media, and people also get the opportunity to earn money online through this. Nowadays, social media likes children and teachers more because children can learn a lot while sitting at home, and teachers can access their information through social media and can earn some money through them. People can also do social work by sharing their knowledge online, which makes them an entrepreneur and a famous person on social media.

Nowadays all people show their talents on social media and earn money from them . Also, to get someone’s photos, videos, etc., can be easily accessed through social media.

Social media has become a new entertainment tool for all people nowadays. People connect with their family relatives and take advantage of it.

Negative effects of Social media

What is not enjoying social media is getting worse nowadays? It also hurts people. Children of today who are showing much interest in social media, their time is being wasted on social media, not in studies.

They spend most of their time on social networking site on chatting and video calls. Because people have used social media a lot since then, diseases have also increased in people. It is because people sit in front of their computer and mobile phone for many hours.

Lack of exercise , playing, and physical activities peoples face different health issues . It also causes significant damage to the eyes of the people and also makes a difference in their intelligence.

Many people do cybercrime through social media. As people steal someone’s password, take their personal information from them, or steal their mobile photos and videos. Recently we also have seen some Ransomware attacks all over the world.

Hackers make people fool. Many people do not have the right and complete information about social media. They come into the trap of someone else so that all their money stolen from their account.

Also, people are blackmailed by hacking their things. There are several types of such sites, and links that are sent through social media which are very tempting to people and people are trapped in it. Do not open unknown sites and links.

We can say stop using social media for fun. We have to use social media only for contacting our relatives and for business purposes. Social media is not a place to enjoy.

Also, set Privacy option seen for “only to your me and friends” because sharing your information on the internet is no more safe in this century. Last tips always contact with various clients only via business social profiles.

If you like this Essay on Social media and find this useful, please don’t hesitate to like and share this article. If you have some more suggestions, send us a message on the contact us page.

4 thoughts on “Essay on Social Media for Students & Children in 1000+ Words”

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social media today essay

West Bengal: Images of Class 10 English question papers circulate on social media

Alleged images of class 10 english question papers circulate on social media in west bengal. the board has taken swift action..

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West Bengal: Images of Class 10 English question papers circulate on social media

Following the commencement of Class 10 board exams in West Bengal, purported images of English question papers surfaced on social media, mirroring a similar incident with Bengali papers the day before. Ramanuj Ganguly, President of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Examinations, revealed that after scrutinising the shared English question papers and confirming their authenticity, punitive actions were taken against 12 candidates.

The implicated candidates, from Enayetpur High School, Gayeswari Piyaribhusan Bidyaniketan in Malda district, and Amguri Rammohan High School in Jalpaiguri district, have been prohibited from participating in the remaining examinations. Additionally, their Bengali papers from the previous day were cancelled. Two more candidates faced similar consequences for photographing Bengali question papers on Friday.

Ganguly clarified that although the images emerged after the exam's commencement, they don't qualify as a leak. The students were found taking photos inside examination centres and sharing them on WhatsApp. While the board aims to address the issue firmly, no legal charges will be pressed against the students to avoid jeopardising their future.

Ganguly urged against using children to undermine the state government and disrupt exams, emphasising the need for responsible actions. Education Minister Bratya Basu echoed these sentiments, denouncing a "sinister effort" to disrupt the examination process and discredit the state government. He asserted that such attempts would fail, and those behind them would be exposed.

Presidents Day 2024 is coming up—here's how to enjoy the long weekend

Plus, everything to know about the holiday.

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Updated February 16, 2024

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When is presidents day 2024.

Presidents Day is observed annually on the third Monday of February. This year, it falls on Monday, February 19 . Since the latest date a third Monday of February can fall on is the 21st, ironically, Presidents Day is never observed on the day it commemorates, which is George Washington's birthday on February 22.

What is Presidents Day?

In moving the date away from George Washington’s birthday, many have begun using the day to honor other presidents as well, including Abraham Lincoln, in particular, whose February 12th birthday can actually fall on Presidents Day. This push to use the day to observe both presidents' birthdays is where the colloquial name "Presidents Day" comes from.

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Learn about presidents of the past.

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