Social media platforms helped radicalize the crowd that stormed the Capitol, banning Trump won't solve the bigger problem
"calling for beheading was not a violation of rules sufficient to merit a permanent ban on the platform."
I got a seven-day ban for saying "Okay, plague rat" to an anti-masker.
thank you for this concise guide of talking points about tech regulation!
do you have thoughts about now being the time to ban the Confederate flag, as well as the Trump flag?
The Knight Institute has a lot of good content on ways Congress could fix the system.
On idea that I am particularly fond of is breaking up Facebook and Google’s control of both ad networks and distribution platforms.
I’m less in favor of hard content moderation for a lot of reasons the usual criticisms of content moderation: humans are fallible, line-drawing hard, and treating similarly situated people is the hardest, particularly when exceptions are made for politicians who can cut off access to markets for Facebook.
Congress needs to change the incentive structure for Big Tech.
My 2¢: establish that no in-office official, elected or appointed, can have a social media account. How have we profited from 280 character messages, or FB posts? Can anyone remember a meaningful tweet from President Obama, or President Bush?
This leaves the matter of reining in disinformation from other sources – and as you point out, Dan, the platforms' recent bans just happen to coincide with an obvious momentum to regulate them far beyond what they've enjoyed so far – which will be no small task, but eliminating official voices spouting spin, and worse, lies, would go a long way in removing prime instigators of misinformation, and I'm not referring only to Trump.
I love this whole argument. And I find myself also being in the Chomsky camp which right now is kind of how Marcy Wheeler looks to me. Which feels a little confusing to me. Marcy retweeted this article in TechDirt about the Trump ban: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210108/17022646023/not-easy-not-unreasonable-not-censorship-decision-to-ban-trump-twitter.shtml - Quote: "A few years back, we took a room full of content moderation experts and asked them to make content moderation decisions on eight cases -- none of which I'd argue are anywhere near as difficult as deciding what to do with the President of the United States. And we couldn't get these experts to agree on anything. " what I would LOVE would be for you to talk with Dr Emptywheel about this tension. I bet other people would love this, too.
off topic, but something I have wondered about since Wednesday....can you address the role speech writers have in speeches like Trump's on Wednesday? Do we know who wrote those words? At the end of the day, Trump owns them, but we know he can't string 2 words together on his own...Was this a Stephen Miller special?
Thank you, Dan - especially for (as is your calling and custom) providing ways for us to be involved. Here's my burning question of the moment, though, as I worry about the next 10 days in particular: Now that the inciter-in-chief and his "special people" are flocking to other social media platforms, are those outlets as easily monitored for information about plans for other violent attacks?
Why can't moderation feed into the algorithm that disseminates tweets, FB shares, etc? Every lie and incitement would make the sender less visible. Flagged messages would be unshareable.
As always, thanks Dan for a great article.
Would PSA consider having folks mentioned in the 2018 Kevin Roose article linked above on one of your podcasts? And by “folks” I mean the people behind BreadTube, like Destiny. I don’t watch YouTube, but if my eyeballs on their videos can have some sort of impact on the algorithm I’ll do it. And if you guys have them on and even a fraction of the PSA audience subscribes to their channels, that would be a big deal, right?
What do you think about a reform to the liability shield these internet companies have that allows people who are harmed to sue companies if their algorithms amplify the harmful speech? In other words, if they just display all your friends' comments in chronological order, no liability, but if they push harmful content with their algorithm to get more eyeballs and money, they face liability. So if your dad joins a radical group and heads to the capitol because Facebook suggested the group or his whacko cousin radicalized him through posts Facebook pushed to the top of his newsfeed, someone harmed by rad dad could sue Facebook, no section 230 liability.
What are the odds that #45 will pardon everyone who is arrested for the capitol invasion? Could this be a reason to delay prosecution for 9 more days?
Thanks for giving us suggestions to help stop the hate on these sites. Empowerment feels better than outrage. Thanks for all you do.
Quick question Dan: what do you think of this? I'm not sure what I think...anyone else? "House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Sunday that the House plans to vote this week to impeach President Trump — but that the chamber may wait a few months to submit the articles of impeachment to the Senate." Senate Majority in 10 days, but still....will waiting diminish the absolute NECESSITY of doing this??? Tangle Joe Biden up in it? Don't know what to think.
Another helpful post--Thank you.
I just wanted to let you know that I didn't receive the usual email notification that you had a new post.
(Luckily, twitter filled that void)
What method do we use to get social media to be more accountable when we know that their only real goal is to make $? Also, I agree that anyone who believes that Facebook suddenly "saw the light" right after it was certain Republicans didn't control the WH or Congress is delusional.
This is a bit off-topic but why do so many people quote poll info. when snap polls are notoriously unreliable? Why are so many decisions being made by polling info. which is in fact just a by-product of recent social media posts? Again it comes back to your well-made point, Dan, that something needs to be done on social media policy more than just banning the worst of the worst periodically when it is politically expedient.