Breaking that incentive structure is tough. It would mean substantially re-building the company, perhaps down to its business model, corporate organization and management. (It almost certainly requires breaking WhatsApp and Instagram off as separate companies.)
Fixed a couple typos.
To be literal though, I agree with your point but I find a massive irony in News having the same inherent flaws as social media while also leading the charge against Facebook etc. It's all rotten.
News is broadcast, i.e. few to many. If the New York Times or Wall Street Journal or RT say something insidious, everyone has a chance to call them out on it.
Social media is closer to P2P. Content is selectively targeted over the social graph. Platforms' ad models further microtarget along ideological lines. This makes it difficult or even impossible to know what someone in another domain is seeing, which makes responding in a timely manner practically impossible.
(Also, mass media is nowhere close to social media when it comes to the prevalence and intensity of addiction.)
TL; DR The problems mass media has with addictiveness and hyperbole are amplified on ad-driven social media platforms.
That being said, the "public squares" in many big cities are almost exclusively the domain of scammers, pickpockets and the insane. So maybe the parallel does make sense.
"If you don't like it, leave." is more like a religious mantra than a serious normative argument at this point. Did we mention the trackers?
Personally, I just don't go, and so I miss out on the benefit I would get, but that is the price to pay at the moment.
In fact, this new social network will automatically request all your data, download it, and import it for you if you enter your Facebook credentials.
Double fact, this new social network runs on top of a blockchain and you keep the keys and from this point forward, you control access to your data and all future data added to the site.
If you control the keys, its your data. If you don't control the keys, its not your data.
I think Facebook understands that very well, or at least Zuckerberg does, and that's why they're taking that turn towards community, reflected in their new mission statement and new initiatives.
People don't give Facebook enough credit sometimes, and I'm saying that as someone who almost never uses their services. They know what an ideal social network would be. Now it remains to be seen if they can pivot the current behemoth into that ideal in a viable, profitable way. Short of that, they'll probably get "disrupted" sooner than later.
My turn for blockchain confusion: wouldn't that make it impossible for you to remove your data from the network? Although I suppose it'd all be hashed for the blocks. And then you'd overwrite it with nothingness. And the nothingness would be hashed. Then okay. But. Is the integrity provided by blockchain worth the overhead of the blockchain (which gets bigger and bigger and bigger)?
Looking at what seems like the other extreme, my favorite model of social media has been 4chan. So simple. So pure. So free. From a privacy standpoint, it's vastly superior to Facebook or Twitter. No accounts. (Well, traditionally.) Everyone automatically anonymous. You're your ideas in the moment, not an accountable, traceable, and politicized entity. You aggregate around common interests and talk. No karma-farming. No idea-shaming downvoting; the only thing that can diminish what someone said is someone else saying something in return or a mod banning. And, to minimize overhead and increase privacy further (although archiving bots diminish this), all threads are temporary. Everything I love about it stems from these features (it sure isn't most of the people on it), and everything I dislike about other social media sites stems from their features contrary to those.
There might be ways to "remove" data like your parent comment mentioned, but they would probably require making the sharing process a lot more convoluted.
It's still on Facebook - any privacy concerns being assuaged by throwing it in the safe would be useless.
> Looking at what seems like the other extreme, my favorite model of social media has been 4chan. So simple. So pure. So free. From a privacy standpoint, it's vastly superior to Facebook or Twitter.
That really depends on your goal with your social media account - if you have no desire to be identifiable or make connections, that works, but if you're trying to build a social circle that doesn't work at all. Really, it's all about goals, and why you're online.
That's true. I don't really use most social media sites (or... really, anything) for that.
Actually, though, it seems easier for me to do that on 4chan than, say, on HN. Think about it: we talk, we like each other (???), and we decide to form a more durable connection -- let's add each other on Discord. On 4chan, it would be Anonymous revealing their Discord handle to Anonymous. On HN, it would be shrimp_emoji revealing their Discord handle to SketchySeaBeast. I've just doxxed my Discord self to the entirety of HN, and I've also given my new friend, SketchySeaBeast, a window into of all of my historic opinions that I've posted on HN, which are neatly catalogued in my profile. Terrifying. (Although this is a non-problem if A.) either 4chan or HN allowed DMing or if B.) I used an intermediate, anonymous Discord account as a proxy to my real one, and the ease with which you can register such an account is a credit to Discord.)
Unless you mean, in the Facebook-cultural sense: I have this profile full of my posts and meal pictures, and a friend of a friend sees it and decides that they really like my posts and meal pictures and friend me and thus my network has been expanded. I find that kind of... passive, advertising-based connection-making repulsive and weird, so I didn't even consider that.
Cambridge Analytica created a quiz that users could take. That quiz asked for permissions from facebook like posting to your feed and seeing your friends list. The problem was that people 1) Don't pay attention to the permissions and 2) the friends list permission gave a LOT of information about your friends.
So if I gave the quiz permission, it also got lots of information from my 600 friends that might not want to give Cambridge Analytica that information.
Basically, with the CA quiz Facebook allowed you to export your data to another site or app so you wouldn't need to put it into that site as you're saying. If you were to instead just upload the entire Facebook archive that seems like you're opening up even more data about yourself to potential abusers as well as some friends data that's in there (I think at least name and phone number?).
the quiz asked the USER for permission. I know you already understand that, but its important not to muddle responsibility.
> Zuckerberg’s power seems quintessentially American to me and reveals the fundamental contradiction at the heart of our economic model: compete until you succeed, but if you succeed too much you’re being anti-competitive. Free-market fundamentalists should be rejoicing at the success of Facebook, Amazon and Google. They represent the holy grail at the end of the Darwinian quest. Isn’t this perfection? What could go wrong? There’s no better time to wake up and realize we’re in bed with the Devil. — Mark Holmes, Twain Harte, Calif.
This is what happens when deregulation is taken to the extreme. Facebook is a company that breaks laws, flagrantly violates our privacy, buys or clones all its competition, and offers mere tokens of recompense when people use it to influence elections or coordinate genocide — but also experiences virtually no repercussions for its actions, because it's making investors money.
That's why you need all kinds of checks and balances and regulations.
What if you take 200 million of their users off the platform? They still have north of 2 BILLION users. That's a huge number of consumers to contend with to get them to willing leave the network or band together to demand better privacy oversight on the platform. Even with additional oversight, nothing is going to happen, period. We are at the point where the only way to change FB is to destroy it completely or break it up into many, many, many smaller parts.
Lastly, the comment by Mark Holmes from California is right, this is capitalism at its best and at its worst. All three companies he mentions spend billions every year to avoid oversight and regulations to continue to monopolize and dominant their industries. Pay a few hundred million in fines? No problem. Come out of any number of privacy scandals unscathed? Sure, no problem.
All three companies should be way more regulated. You can have a free-market and still have sensible government oversight. Our economy shouldn't be untethered capitalism or the over use of government regulations to stifle competition either. There is a balance in there somewhere.