Social media’s turning point

5 steps needed now, no turning back

Anne Collier
Digital Diplomacy

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We’re feeling the urgency, right? Maybe it’s just that we’re facing more than we ever have, amid a pandemic, nationwide protests against social injustice and a fraught election year. But all of a sudden, small, incremental, single-platform fixes seem like “band-aids,” symptom treatments.

An example is the Oversight Board that Facebook started. Now its own organization and with its first 20 members, it’s only Facebook’s brainchild, not its baby. It’s about appealing content decisions on just one (admittedly planet-spanning) social media platform. When I first heard and wrote about it, I saw it as an important social experiment. I still do but, now, because it’s “only” addressing content decisions — though that’s a massive topic — it’s far from enough to make real headway into fixing platform abuse and its ensuing social problems all over the world. It’s time: Social media needs to be for the social good.

5 needed steps

Before I go any further, first: Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying social media is the problem. In fact, it’s a reality of our media environment and everyday lives now. So much good happens in social media, but the good rarely cuts through our brains’ negativity bias in a dark time and it rarely makes the news, because the definition of…

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Anne Collier
Digital Diplomacy

Youth advocate; blogger, NetFamilyNews.org; founder, The Net Safety Collaborative