In other words, Pariser has spent most of his professional life obsessing over how to harness the power of the internet for good, particularly when it comes to positive community building. In a new TED Talk (below), he takes an almost anthropological approach to solving the many, many issues faced by major social media companies right now. It’s a useful and insightful perspective, particularly for a time when Facebook is cowering under the pressure of conservative conspiracy theorists, while Twitter took the approach and ended up empowering oil companies by throttling climate activists.
I think there’s something to be said about building online communities in the same way we build urban ones. As much as people might long for the peace and quiet of a nice home in the suburbs, it also changes your relationship to the people around you. Look at cars, for example—they’re a necessity in most places, and undeniably convenient, but they also isolate us in our commuter bubbles. By contrast, public transportation forces you to interact with other kinds of people who you might otherwise not cross paths with. That can help create empathic bonds (even if that bond is built upon complaints about public transportation). This is not to say that one is necessarily better than the other; in his speech, Pariser also cites the community meetings he attended growing up in a small town in Maine as one model for building mutual respect, even when people are being obnoxious.
Twitter, where Donald Trump posted 123 bonkers tweets today and Nazis and psyops bots roam free, is rolling out a pop-up feature that lets users add an emoji reaction to a Direct Message, kind of like a similar feature that exists in iOS iMessage. So fancy!
Trump seemed awfully uptight today, didn’t he. Can it be the impeachment trial? By 4:25 PM today in Washington, DonaldTrump broke his own previous record of 123 tweets in a single day, a milestone he set just over one month ago, according to Factba.se, ‘a service that compiles and analyzes data on Trump’s presidency.’
Former Vice President and current 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden says U.S. Section 230 should be immediately revoked for Facebook and other social media platforms, and that Mark Zuckerberg should be submitted to civil liability.
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