Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Social Media and Bad Apples

It's an odd week to talk about social media trends and changes in light of (yet another) round of mass shootings by young white men in the US because the one thing social media does really well is rally for a cause...whether that cause is a good thing or a bad thing is quixotic and often in the eye of the beholder. The sad truth of human behavior is where there are many gathered, so too will the bad apples gather to spread their rot.

In a tiny flicker of hope for humanity, while mainstream social media is rightly outraged at US federal ineptitude, the CEO of the company providing website security for an alt-right group encouraging community violence yanked their support, thus forcing the hate group to join their kith on a different provider, who then had their services yanked in a beautiful move called "deplatforming." TechCrunch has a great article on how it went down and how much privately-owned companies actually can control (contrary to what Zuck or Jack want Congress to believe).

Speaking of those big companies, it seems like every week we have another example of their flagrant privacy abuses enabled by revenue-blinders that allow them to ignore the ethical, social, political, and community impacts of pay-to-play participants. A year away from our next Big Election, and we're no closer to ending the dissemination of Propaganda that misinforms the public and sways their opinion all the way to the voting booth. Because the majority of lawmakers don't understand the technology, they're incapable of crafting legislation that protects the citizenry rather than the corporation. They're willfully passing the buck on blocking foreign interference because of rampant corruption.

An entirely different and unrelated kerfuffle is happening on Artist Twitter wherein mainstream social platforms are casting out artists' babies with the TOS revision bathwater. The artists are looking for a new home to connect with other artists around the globe where their art is copyright protected and interaction spaces are coupled with strong individual empowerment tools. Seems like a simple request, and yet...

When will any of this change? When will we see the next-gen of Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc?  When there's an evolution in technology with mainstream adoption. My money's on VR, think Ender's Game. When will regulations change to protect the individual? When corporations are no longer counted as citizens and when Congress is no longer for sale--aka, not in my lifetime. Alas.

Now, this grumpy old broad is going to go write a chapter or two about overthrowing the {fictional} government...







4 comments:

  1. Fascinating article - thanks for sharing!

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    1. So often the question "why doesn't *someone* kick them offline/take away their website" comes up, and that article did a nice job of describing the layers of providers involved in such decisions.

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  2. Very interesting, I haven't been on social much and missed this. Usually I don't like change, but we could sure use some big changes right about now.

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    1. Right? ATM, I'd settle for the playground rules being consistently applied.

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