The is exactly like Big Tobacco and Big Oil.
Yeah, it’s a similar model.
deleted by creator
The Social Dilemma contains interviews with Facebook engineers, and the Center for Humane Technology’s podcast is one of the best resources I’ve found for learning more. They have dozens of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Netflix, etc… engineers come on and talk about engineering solutions to the societal problems that social media platforms create. A few of the interventions they talk about are visible on Prosocial Design Network’s page, but what they have listed is merely the tip of the iceberg.
There are solutions to the problems caused by tech companies and social media platforms, many of those solutions have already been engineered and tested, but they are deliberately not implemented. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, et. al. make more money the longer a user stays on their site, therefore they are incentivized to literally addict people to their services. Although it would be healthier for the users if these companies made their platforms less addictive it would also devastate their bottom lines and as public companies all the big social media platforms have a legal responsibility to not tank their share price. Seriously, it is potentially illegal for these companies to fix their problems.
Twitter is trying to think outside the box with their project bluesky, which is an attempt to rebuild the internet in a distributed / federated way and they are researching blockchains / cryptocurrency to offer alternative revenue models. Twitter will never be profitable under their current model, so they are trying to invent a new internet to be more profitable, more decentralized, and more healthy.
Commercial aspect of these platforms is directly at odds with the interest of the users because the platforms treat users as a resource for making profit. I think that the solution has to come from open source platforms that are operated as a public service. It’s the only way to avoid having a conflict of interest.
Personally, I agree. The for-profit model is a rabbit hole of ethical grey areas, conflicts of interest, and unscrupulous incentives.
However, if Facebook hypothetically began offering a secure, private, and digitally healthy version of their platform for a monthly fee that might significantly diminish the current conflict of interest. A move like that would incite a whole host of other ethical concerns, but it would not be a conflict of interest between the interests of the business and the interest of those customers who can afford to pay extra.
For sure, it would be vastly better if the business model was such that the users were seen as customers as opposed to a product.
The link to project bluesky points to the same page as Prosocial Design Network’s page link. Is that intentional? I suppose that is just a copy error. Where was the project bluesky supposed to point to?
oops, thanks for pointing that out! This is the project I meant to link to:
Thank you. I was not sure if I found the right sites when I was looking for the project myself.
Subscribe to see more stories about technology on your homepage