This article explores the discontent that people feel over social media tools such as Facebook, where individuals are required to use their real names.
Appropriate Subject Area(s):
Entrepreneurship, business management, human resources, social media marketing, innovation
Key Questions to Explore:
- How do advertisers benefit from social media?
Introduction to lesson and task:
The lesson will have students examine a site whose unusual business model offers no ads and does not sell user information to third parties.
Action (lesson plan and task):
- Survey the class to identify users of social media. Chart on the board the different social media used by students.
- Ask students how they feel about using their real identity on the social media tools.
- In small groups, have students answer the following:
- What are the benefits to the individual of using their real identity?
- What are the drawbacks to the individual of using their real identity?
- What are the benefits to the individual of using a pseudonym?
- What are the drawbacks to the individual of using a pseudonym?
- What are the benefits to the social media host of individuals using their real identity?
- What are the drawbacks to the social media host of individuals using a pseudonym?
- Have each group share their thinking on the responses to the above.
- Discuss as a class.
- Distribute the article for reading.
Consolidation of Learning:
- In small groups, have students brainstorm how a social media site such as Ello would be able to attract sufficient revenue to stay vibrant and continue to attract new users. Have them share the ideas with the class.
- Students understand the privacy issues related to using social media and the information they are indirectly sharing with advertisers.
- In a computer lab, ask students to visit three social media sites, including at least one such as Ello that allows users to use pseudonyms and compare and contrast how each of these sites operates from a privacy perspective. Post the results on a class share site or on the bulletin board in the classroom.