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    • I can’t agree more with the opening line from the article…

      “Social media is broken. It has poisoned the way we communicate with each other and undermined the democratic process.”

      Although, I would add the web and even communication technology as a whole are broken. I even have to wonder how many times media technology (even from the days of the Gutenberg press) has undermined the democratic process. But this article is a great lens to take on the difficult question of where can we go from here because from this point forward all of media technology will be connected in some way or another so the overarching question is what are we to do about the connection? Social seems to be the canary in the coal mine so it is a great place to center this conversation around. (There are actually quite a few canaries these days)

      What is at the center of all of this then? The following quotes from the article says it all to me…..

      “The problem, as most people know by now, is that tech companies want to grab a ton of private data from their customers without telling anyone why they need it. And this, Ms. Hall says, is bad design for users. It leaves them vulnerable to abuses like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, or to hacks where their data is exposed.”

      “Outrage and deception capture our attention, and attention sells ads. “At a business model level, they are ad networks parasitic on human connection.”

      So how we communicate as an evolved species has turned into a business model to monetize the interests of the participants. This has become more and more apparent since the days of Web 2.0, has it not? With over half of the world’s population connected to the internet there are a lot of legs left on this beast if it is allowed to continue to maintain its course.

      What is the solution then? There are a few offered in the article.

      I wholeheartedly agree with the following sentiment…

      “Mr. Scalzi thinks we should turn the whole system on its head with “an intense emphasis on the value of curation.” It would be up to you to curate what you want to see. “

      I remember when the word curation was all the buzz back in the blogging heyday then social came along and started to do the heavy lifting for us. But I do have a problem with the notion of replacing AI with human curators and "slowing" down the exchange as posited in the article as I believe the cat is too far out of the bag for this to become a reality. Instead, I believe we should focus on decentralized AI outside the control of the providers within a decentralized connection. Decentralization is not a panacea but putting the controls of user experiences back in the hands of the users is a baseline to build more resonant experiences off of in my humble opinion.

      All in all, the only silos of significance should be our own where we allow or invite others into based on OUR interests. Ads could run in our silos but only on our terms and value could be exchanged. We could have app layers interact with our silos allowing us to mash up events with contacts with data with comments with passages from media, etc. And AI could help us tune these experiences to help us discover what serves us the best. Maybe this sounds fanciful but there are technologists working on this.

      Yes social media and the web is broken and WE need to fix it as the amount of untapped potential in the connection is what real progress could be made of. Curious to hear the thoughts of others on this.

    • A side note, but did you notice the way article unfolds? Cool. I just want to point out the fact that NYT is killing it when it comes to web programming. They really push the medium of online publication forward.

    • My son forwarded this article to me (A Socialist Plan to Fix the Internet) which I feel is an interesting take on some of the comments made by @mbravo on this subject. Especially in his observation on the term "Socialist" and the perceptions thereof. But I believe what is covered here does cut to some of the core concerns brought up in his commentary. I have been thinking quite a bit about his statements on the current fandom and capital attached to the quest for decentralizing the web and do see his point. In this article there are a number of ideas shared on the role of public ownership and cooperative ownership that speak to foundational ideas of how the user could be put back in control of social media and the web in general. So at the very least - interesting points to chew on. Maybe if the article was called "A Social Program to Fix the Internet" it would be more accessible by a larger set of readers but these are problems way beyond the scope of semantics in my estimation.

    • IMHO, the single largest issue with social media is anonymity. IMHO, we need to tie people to their comments directly. I think it would eliminate troll armies and prevent anonymous posts, which tend to be the most destructive/counterproductive.

      My solution is to propose a social media license, just like a license to drive, a license to fish or a license to have a dog. Once you tie people to their identity in a fashion that makes them accountable for their content, we'll see less and less of the kind of trolling we got from the Russians, and end to bullshit doxxing campaigns and the like and a big chunk of the mayhem people create when they can do so anonymously.

      Concerns about freedom of speech aren't part of this, since we're posting in owner supplied environments that are not subject to Freedom of Speech concerns.

      I'd also ensure that training for licensing includes things like recognizing being phished, recognizing being trolled and how to resist and what to do when attacked on line, at least for starters. There should be an age cutoff. You can't drive a car at 13, you shouldn't have a social media license until you're old enough to vote, either.

      If we leave social media as it is, we'll continue to have issues with agreement on demonstrable facts, foreign influence in our electoral process and all the other ills that come with an ability for people to post anonymously.