Online social experiments is not a new thing. They have been taking place since the beginning of social media. What better way can psychologists study human behavior in online settings than in an online setting?
One of the most known experiments involved MIT’s 2018 study that allowed people to control others actions online. The users were able to control a real world person as he or she attempted to defeat an evil artificial intelligence agent. The experiment was streamed live. If you would like to know more about this experiment, do your research and Google: “MIT Halloween Experiment.”
Of course the MIT experiment is not the only one. In August 2022, Google created an anti disinformation campaign for obvious reasons. Misinformation can be harmful in many ways. There are many online social studies available for your reading pleasure. Take the time to Google using keywords like “online social experiments” and see what you find.
As someone who is familiar with talent scouting…yes this is a real thing. A talent scout is someone who looks for talent either to work with personally or to refer to a management team and/or sponsors. So, as a talent scout a bit of social experimentation can be involved in this work. It is important that the talent is “tested” in regards to their character, truth-worthiness, response to various situations, leadership skills, etc. The people investing in the talent want to know WHO they are dealing with in regards to genuine characteristics before making the investment. On the other hand, everyone does not need a scout. Some people are talented, charismatic, and savvy enough to build their own brand. This is especially true with un-watered down so called “truthers” and “conspiracy theorists” because many sponsors do not want to sponsor that type of information.
There is a show on Netflix titled The Circle. It is an online social experiment in which the winner gets $100,000. The contestants can enter the game as themselves or be a catfish. They spend their time isolated and chatting online. They create profiles and interact with the other contestants fully via chat. The game involves strategy and trust.
How many “circles” are going on online? There are odd spaces all over the net. Whose to say some of them were not created as an experiment and the prize is some “unknown” success that was sought after by the winner. If you really evaluate the beginning of some online personalities, you can see a possible connection.
For example, there is a YouTuber who created what some refer to as a cult following. Her “content” is mukbangs, which (in my opinion) is exploitative and destructive. However, she was consistent, dedicated, and trustworthy which might be one reason why she received big sponsorships and is now in the millionaire status. Click here for more of that story.
On the other hand, there are online personalities who are informative and genuine with content that is actually helpful and productive. They do not have large sponsorships. There is no scandal or fraudulent behavior surrounding their name/brand, but they still somehow finish last when it comes to the online race to that highly sought after.
When you think of yourself as an entrepreneur or brand, you understand the importance of building and maintaining relationships. When it comes to the internet, you do not really know who you are interacting with or how they can help you.
Do you think there are pockets of social experiments happening in online platforms unbeknownst to the audience and personality?
Post your thoughts in the comment section…
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