I don't think this is the right target to blame. The much deeper reason is people ARE stupid, while think they are clever and correct. You, me, all the others included. And at the same time, the education once applied to us, failed. Simply put, it's not a technology problem, it's a sociology problem.
Around the year 2002, when I was connected to the Internet for the first time, I thought it was a magic place where you can discuss with people on a topic until the truth emerges and learned, then everybody come to a conclusion and live happily ever after.
That thought was the very first few which been destroyed. Because I instead found people are more likely to turn discussion into a "clan war" and mob each other instead. And that was long before Twitter or even Google is a thing.
Here is a book that many people may already read, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind: https://www.amazon.com/Crowd-Study-Popular-Mind/dp/143410055...
The only semi-surprise was the move to mobile devices opening the internet up to people who are almost too stupid to live. Not just tribal, not just willing to fight for their version of reality, but dumb as rocks. There used to at least be a filter (which steadily widened) of needing to know how to use a computer and get online. That is just gone now, and we’re in the true agora.
It is not fun, and all of which is to say it is as you say, a sociology problem. BJT it exists in this form because of powerful and ubiquitous technology. It’s also true that the underlying sociological problem has been ruthlessly capitalized on by people who realized we warring primates could be readily exploited for attention and therefore, revenue. It was always going to be messy, but instead of people trying to fight against then current, some of the richest, most powerful and brightest people are actively trying to sweep people away for money.
Nobody looking at a BBS could anticipate why BBSes would eventually vanish, while Instagram is truly here to stay.
Commodore and DEC went under, but Apple and Microsoft will probably bury us both.
Facebook, via both its main site and also WhatsApp and Instagram, seems to be solidifying its position.
Google's already there.
Twitter: hard to say, they're the ones most likely to go under in my opinion.
Because of the advertising revenue, or something eles?
For contrast, I just figure BBS died due to eternal September on the hardware scaling side - the rate at which people became computers users increased much faster than the rate at which people became sysadmins and moderators.
So, the internet became unmoderated, un-administered.
This is a big part of the problem IMO. General loss of moral values. I'm not religious at all, and criticize religions all the time, but one has to admit that when Christianity was the driving force in the western world, there were at least some values that were kind of universally accepted. Yes, there was lots of hypocrisy, and people acted against said values routinely, but at the very least most would feel bad about it or fear for their public image, and try to not be needlessly extreme at breaking them.
Now, Christianity has been replaced by ruthless capitalism, and people don't even have to pretend that they care about anything else than making piles of money. And if a company is criticized for using manipulative or exploitative techniques to make more money, regular people will even jump to defend it. I see it everyday on the Internet (e.g. forums for free games with monetizing techniques that border on inducing gambling addiction). They have accepted making money as the supreme value.
These capitalist morals that place money in the center of everything must die and be replaced by something else, or we are headed for dystopia.
Point being that Christianity is not some bastion of past hope and glory but is a mutable set of morals that have radically changed in their 2000+ years of exsistance.
Perhaps the point of Jesus dying on the cross was to try to give some push back in the world against how truly horrifying things were two millennia ago, but it wasn't that long ago that personal duels were socially acceptable in the US and even more recently lynchings of people of color were a thing.
I'm not convinced that there is actually some lost golden age of wonderful morality somewhere in our past. I'm highly skeptical of such claims.
Francisco de Quevedo, some 400 years ago: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/poderoso-caballero-es-don-din...
that's my takeaway of Jaron's points in his Tavis Smiley interview. (The transcript seems to not be there anymore)
edit:payback has the transcript (click to show)
Also notice, I'm not saying people are stupid so don't blame the business model.
I rather going to say: Go blame the business model, and while you at it, don't forget to also notify people that maybe they should be more wiser when posting stuff.
If your social media experience is "awful" I think that's a reflection of you rather than something inherent in the system. My social media experience is pretty positive, because that's what I engage with and respond to.
So then you are in the much more difficult place of deciding how they are characterizing the feed and how that lines up with what they are putting into it and so on.