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Some people believe that it is unacceptable for social networking sites to sell personal data. Others think otherwise, claiming that it is the trade-off we must make in order to maintain our online presence. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Thanks to the ever-evolving technological advances, human beings are given unfettered discretion to utilize social media platforms for different purposes. However, coupled with the advantages they engender, some people opine that social networking sites profiting from customers’ private information seem unethical while the opponents contend that so as to enjoy the wonders of social media, this is an inevitable trade people must make. This essay would elaborate on both sides as well as some personal perspectives.

On the one hand, that social media platforms generating revenue from personal data appears unacceptable as it not only poses ethical concerns but also entails far-fetching implications. To commence with, regarding ethical grounds, when bereft of users’ consent, the selling of confidential data is tantamount to nothing but a nefarious invasion of privacy and the violation of human rights. Additionally, when users’ data are purchased by third parties, namely advertising agencies, customers themselves may be bombarded with a huge number of advertisements on all digital platforms, thus engender inconvenient online experiences afterward. More seriously, should intimate details about people’s lives landed in the wrong hands of cyber-crime perpetrators, the situation might be more problematic. To exemplify, social media users may fall victim to blackmailing or safety problems, which is also detrimental to their mental well-being.

On the other hand, however, the opponents deem the selling of private data unescapable owing to several rationales. Firstly, since people are enjoying their services free of charge, it is understandable that users have to give out their data as payback in order to maintain their online experience. Secondly, the nature of social media sites is sharing information, thus contributing data including personal data is needed if users are in want of connecting to the rest of the world.

Personally speaking, although I posit that the opponents’ view to some degree, I hold a strong belief that the consequences of making a profit out of personal information should not be ignored. Also not to be passive, users themselves should make informed decisions about the information they disclose in cyberspace so as to avoid undesirable effects.

In conclusion, personal information breaches, while being a mandatory trade-off to enter the virtual world, are giving rise to a myriad of problems concerning ethical and safety grounds. Hence, it is advisable that, as a prudent user, one should harness social media sites cautiously with a view to averting their potential drawbacks.

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