Social norms

social networks

Open social networks are a terrible idea. You’re basically telling people that they can say and do whatever they want in the name of freedom of speech. Then you have some vague community guidelines that are subjectively maintained. These guidelines then become more nuanced over time and hence more difficult to understand or implement.

A social network that offers freedom without any repercussions for abusing said freedom is purely toxic. Facebook said that it would be able to control this toxicity by ensuring people used real names. Instead bots started using human like names with DPs copied over. Regular people who followed through had some pains; bots however continued to rampage through.

It would be better is if there is a check on the virality of a social media entry. If a certain post is going too viral or if a news link is getting a lot of clicks, the item and the site it links to, should be checked automatically for eliminating low effort propaganda and fake news.

Then there is the issue of out right lies from established players and personalities. Social networks can again downgrade their reach based on known violation of truth norms.

I also believe that social networks should not be scared to create a strict list of phrases that are banned from being used, because getting AI to understand context and sarcasm at scale is still a research area.

Surprised Pikachu face

Yes, banning something is bad, but not doing so can be worse. It should be the last measure of course, but it should exist. That said, the process cannot be like that of website bans in India. It has to be completely transparent with a proper explanation for the post being removed.

Photo credit: Arms Studio

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