The Hidden Cost of Social Media: Part 2

Click here to read part one Human trafficking is a growing crime that is part of an estimated $150 billion dollar industry. While the victims of human trafficking recruited through social media are only a small portion of the 16,000 estimated human trafficking victims in the U.S. every year, the number of victims recruited through social media is probably much higher than the confirmed cases. This is due to human trafficking victims’ unwillingness to report to authorities. Unfortunately, human traffickers are using social media not only as a recruitment method but also as a way to distribute explicit content from Continue reading The Hidden Cost of Social Media: Part 2

The Hidden Cost of Social Media: Part One

The world has never been more connected than it is now. With over 3.7 billion users of social media, so many functions of the world that used to take place in person have shifted online. Through social media, users find community, build relationships with virtual strangers, and obtain jobs. In fact, social media is so widely used that it has become a popular tool for human traffickers. Social media is not authentic. Instead, social media allows users to present any version of themselves to the world, no matter how false that presentation is. Because social media allows users to hide Continue reading The Hidden Cost of Social Media: Part One

Advertisers and Social Media: The Endless Struggle

Facebook is under considerable scrutiny from angry companies that use its platform to advertise to its users. What has them upset is Facebook’s two-year long deliberate embellishment of the reported length their users spend watching ads. By not counting video views of less than three seconds, Facebook’s metric overestimated how long users watched ads on the site. This allowed Facebook to charge firms more to advertise on its platform than it otherwise could have en route to generating $5.2 billion in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2016. Companies are understandably upset because the length viewers watch ads on Continue reading Advertisers and Social Media: The Endless Struggle

Economics in social media

As an academic blog, Sound Economics is our way, as students and faculty of economics, to explore economic ideas publicly, engage in debate, and exchange reactions to and analyses of current events. These forums have played an increasing role in economics in recent years. As further evidence of the expansion of economic discussions online, last week former Fed chair Ben Bernanke announced his new blog, hosted at the Brookings Institution. In his own words, Now that I’m a civilian again, I can once more comment on economic and financial issues without my words being put under the microscope by Fed watchers. I look Continue reading Economics in social media