The Territory of the Social Internet and How we Defend it
There are not just some ‘social media’ sites now. All the information on the whole internet is socially networked, with varying degrees of connectivity. We are politically located on two levels of territory now, land and the social internet.
We cannot win this new kind of information war by fighting according to the same agenda as the enemy. An extension or deepening of the principle that to negate a framing is effectively to reinforce it is that authority is constructed from the way we frame values. Framing always at least implicitly involves both facts and values, and the implicit theory of the means and limits of knowledge embedded in our sets of frames, and what our social norms train us it means for something to be ‘true’, both essentially shape how authority is constructed and claimed.
We are politically located on two levels of territory now, land and the social internet.
How we win
If we can hope to eventually win without losing our values and moral identity, we must begin by making the higher level modules visible to people and facilitate people seeing where their information is actually coming from and who it’s associated with.
The quality of social information about the information we receive on the internet now is very poor, and very unlike the social environments we’re evolutionarily adapted to. Essentially, we have to make receiving information on the social internet more like meeting and listening to a person face to face, with much more social metadata about the quality of information about public issues, i.e. political information.
I believe in general that evolutionary transitions to the next emergent level of eusocial cooperation only occur when social parasitism and its exploitative manipulation of a social host has already emerged at that level of complexity or network modularity. The social control or resolution of intra-group conflicts that is necessary to stabilise the next emergent level of cooperative society only becomes worth its costs when exploitation has already emerged at that level; and now it has. That is both a huge crisis and an opportunity