Social News Sharing: historical trends in communications media, owners, beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries

Fig 1: learners connecting with each other on different topics online, all rights reserved

Social news sharing is giving a certain type of information to individuals like students, family, friends, and business clients through the use of internet-based sites. It is purposefully used for either business or social relationships (Andrejevic, 2014). The new sharing process is done through sites such as, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Tinder. On the other hand, social media are platforms in the computer incorporated technologies where interactions and sharing information occur through virtual communities. To access social media services, one has to be connected through a smartphone, desktop, or apps based on the webs. Some of the common social media sources include traditional media such as magazines, newspapers, TV broadcasting today modern websites include, Facebook with an inclusive (Facebook Messenger), TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, with millions of users (Haigh, 2010).

Social media has its roots back in the year 1960 where the University of Illinois, invented the PLATO system that provided early forms of social sharing features that led to internet development. This network linked learners to lectures at the university. PLATO became the central place where multiplayer games were conceived and today, they have become virtual gurus. It had features such as Notes, a message forum application, Talkomatic, the ever first online chat platform for a news report, an Online newspaper, and a blog in the year 1965 the United States military via US Defense Departments Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) with its network known as ARPAnet created several accounts. Its main aim was to become a decentralized network where information could be re-routed in the occurrence of war cases by connecting t research computers and link information between the computers. In 1974 an international research team worked together from different universities such as the University of Sussex, Oslo, and Tohoku and created a TCP/IP Protocol that becomes famous in exchange for business ideas and social communication.

Another form of online sharing network in early history is the France Minitel, a video-text network invented in Brittany in 1978. It was funded by the government up to 2012 and it enabled individuals to access online news, gaming tickets, and bill paying services. Its recognition started as people began to look for ways of making money online.

Lastly was the Six Degrees the first contemporary social sharing network that has spread today? Named after the six degrees of separation and enabled users to name family an friend. External contacts were occasionally asked to join the site. After the 1990s other networking social sites such as MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook took over the websites (Moon, 2014).

The recent Yellow Social Media Report released in June last year discovered that nearly 89% of Australians engage in social new sharing. This has led to an increase in social media platforms. Most traditional media are owned by the government or individuals while the modern sites are owned by individuals. For Example, Mark Zuckerberg owns Facebook which owns other downloaded apps including, WhatsApp, Instagram, and messenger. Other individuals own sites including LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube which are used in sharing news online. However, With the rise of social media, there have been many threats to individuals because of the kind of information shared in the media. This includes misuse of people’s names, site compromised by malicious code as well as leakage of private information (Arslan, 2017). This has led to the increase of media guidelines that control social media content. In 2018, the Australian government launched the Electoral Integrity Assurance Taskforce with different agencies (IT organizations like Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube) and government representatives to protect Australians from malicious cybercrimes, racist, and online xenophobic speech. They agreed to penalize those who abused the internet. Besides app owners have also taken the responsibility of protecting their user’s rights.

The advantages that come with the transformation in the social media sharing sector have benefitted all the sectors, which are the social, political, and economical (Haigh, 2010). The political news media initiate the creation, exchange, and dissemination of political information on different social platforms. The new media have continued to grow over the past few years facilitating collaboration and interaction within the political class. Online news sharing has a great impact on a country’s demographic state (Biju, 2016). Public engagement in politics, how different arms of government operate, how leaders express their views, and how elections are conducted have been influenced by the rise of new social media. The social platforms act as watchdog checking all actions of the government.

Socially networking has brought people close who could have never met, research shows almost70% of people use the internet. Through this, they can exchange different ideas, improve creativity as well as creating social awareness (Perse&Lambe, 2016). People can exchange and learn different cultures through media news sharing, for instance, learning of foreign languages. An individual can express her feelings and concern about a certain topic without her physical presence. Media news sharing also play an important role in the education sector, it provides students with a lot of learning information, and associate with another student. Students’ way of learning has improved through the use of many social network features. Learners can make learning research and also wise decisions on their career with the help of media networking (Andrejevic, 2014).

Fig 1: learners connecting with each other on different topics online, all rights reserved


The health sector also benefits from social new sharing since most of the health staff depend on online information to carry out most of their medical activities. This includes drug administration, treatments, and surgeries.

The economic class has been given a large platform to advertise and make sales through social media. Almost 80% of marketers have increased their profits and expand the exposure of their business by sharing their information online (Lubbe, 2011). Besides, business people can source information on what their clients want and can also source the products their selling easily.

Fig2: an online app advertising its services, all rights reserved 

An example of social news sharing business is the Glow app that uses the internet to make money by sharing reproductive and sexual information where you pay to access the information (Felizi& Varon, 2016).  “Glow tracks sexual activity and the menstrual cycle, for fertility, Nurture, for pregnancy, and for the Baby, to follow the development of the baby. Its propaganda promises that the sexual and reproductive health, of the mother and the child, is demystified through data analysis. The company is an arm of HvF Labs, a big data project incubator created by Glow owner Max Levchin. According to the HVF website, it aims to harness the potential of low-cost sensors, the gradual expansion of broadband access, and the high storage capacity to collect and explore data mining.  The pro version of the application promises success in attempts to get pregnant within 10 months. In case of failure, the company agrees to pay for fertility treatments”. 

      Despite its many advantages, social media sharing comes with its limitations. It has led to the degradation of morals by users because of the availability of a lot of unnecessary content, families no longer spent quality time together as most people prefer sitting Infront of social media platforms sharing content. The youth are in great danger since social media are very addictive most of them end up lazing around without looking for employment, individuals have lost creativity since social media platforms diminish creativity. Understanding each other feelings have become difficult since through media platforms people are not emotionally attached. the politicians use this platform to spread inciteful speeches, tribalism, hatred, and even facilitating violence during general elections. Most people doing business online are exposed to fraud and end up losing their money. Many scammers have created many fake accounts where they transact fake business (Haigh, 2010). Cyberbullying is a major threat to the youths, 25% of teenagers are exposed to bullying where they receive or send intimidating messages. Most young people end up with psychological and emotional distress experiencing fear, anxiety, rejection, and depression (Walker, 2009).



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Walker, A. (2009). Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age–By Robin M. Kowalski, Susan P. Limber, and Patricia W. Agatston. Support for Learning, 24(4), 207-207.