Publication Year

ISBN: 9781487008055-02

Categories: , , , ,


View more details about this title
on the publisher's website:

Toxic Addiction Machines


From: Reset


Chapter 2 examines the interplay between social media and social psychology. The job of social media engineers is to design their products in such a way as to capture and retain users’ interests. In order to do so, they draw on insights and methods from commercial advertising and behavioural psychology, and they refine their services’ features to tap into instincts and cognitive traits related to emotional and other reflexes. This dynamic means that social media’s algorithms tend to surface and privilege extreme and sensational content, which in turn degrades the overall quality of discourse on the platforms.



Ronald J. Deibert

Ronald J. Deibert is professor of Political Science and director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab undertakes interdisciplinary research at the intersection of global security, information and communications technologies, and human rights. The research outputs of the Citizen Lab are routinely covered in global media, including more than two dozen reports that received exclusive front-page coverage in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other global media over the past decade. Deibert is the author of Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet, as well as numerous books, chapters, articles, and reports on internet censorship, surveillance, and cybersecurity. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness, and security worldwide."