Why Are We On Social Media?

Here’s our social media strategy — please hold us accountable to it.

WHY IS THE CENTER FOR HUMANE TECHNOLOGY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

We questioned whether we should do this at all, and have thought about it carefully. Ultimately, we believe that the odds of realigning tech with humanity’s best interests are increased by greater public understanding of the problem and of the solutions we’re working towards. To do that, we need to meet people where they are. Because so many people do spend time on social media, we believe we can do more to change these platforms by being on them, than by abstaining from them.

We’d like to share our approach to social media with you and invite you to hold us accountable to it. There will of course be mistakes made — we’re only human — but we hope to participate in a way that’s thoughtful and substantive to you. As we discover where this document falls short, we will update it and our behavior accordingly.

SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

Inform & Educate (Phase 1)

1. Celebrate wins by our movement, such as when products change in favor of humanity.

2. Provide our own thoughtful commentary on industry events.

  • We will take our time in commenting (~1 week)
  • The news industry demands faster responses, but speed and thoughtfulness are at odds and we choose thoughtfulness.
  • Re-share content from a select few individuals when they accomplish the above more quickly (e.g., Tristan Harris, Guillaume Chaslot, & Renee DiResta)
  • Be a source you can trust in this space, as an org steered by care for humanity and not the need for traffic or engagement.

3. Periodically let people know what the Center for Humane Technology team is working on and how they can help.

4. Circulate job opportunities that push our collective mission forward.

5. Remind you to breathe, and to put this thing down when you don’t mean to be here.

6. Be a hub/channel for tech insiders who worked on exploitive design to peel back the curtain and arm people with tools to fight it.

7. Encourage and create offline conversation.

8. Share media/articles that we feel truly stand out from the crowd, are worth your time, and elevate conversation on these issues.

What We’re NOT Going to Do

  1. Manipulate
  2. Use misleading headlines for the sake of getting attention
  3. Change the stories we tell based on “what works” in the algorithm
  4. Share clickbait articles
  5. Optimize for comments/shares/likes/clicks
  6. Be driven by quotas of posts to make in any particular week

What We ARE Going to Do

  1. Only post content that meets the above standards
  2. Be sensitive that we’re asking for attention in a world where attention-grabbing is causing disastrous results. we’ll seek to invite the people who care into deeper conversation rather than trying to grab the attention of people who don’t.
  • Share WHY we are posting what we post and explain each time how a particular post connects to our shared mission.
  • If we’re uncertain if there’s a real “Why” behind our post, we don’t post.

3. We will seek to promote hope and understanding over fear and outrage.

4. Give an estimated read or watch time for everything we share.

5. As human beings, we’re going to make mistakes. When we do, we’ll own up to them, and use them to improve and build consensus. This strategy will evolve, and we’ll continue to update it as it does.

Policy:

  1. We will be blocking any content that uses language that makes civil conversation extremely challenging.
  2. We will check-in with the person managing this page (Gail Barnes) to make sure she’s not in a state of social media overwhelm from working on it.