Twitter has changed its name to “X.” The way that change reverberated from newsrooms to dining rooms was revealing. It shows how dangerously dependent our society has become on this one, privately owned soapbox.
Meta has launched another social network, “Threads.” I signed up but already knew when I did that I wouldn’t be an active user. I hope many others will join me in not using it. I also hope it succeeds for the good of the Internet.
I’ve been on Facebook since 2006 and Twitter since 2009. I decidedly don’t quit social networks because I decide this or that moderation policy isn’t leaning in my political direction. But, as of a week ago, I joined the push for a relatively new alternative social network, Mastodon, and I hope you will too.
The AI revolution is a threat for artist and information gatherer alike. Like a speeding train, machine learning threatens to disrupt the work of a huge number of workers, and thus the “R” word has started to appear with increasing frequency: regulation. Such does not bode well for the futures of any of us.
Though we hardly ever call it by name, the “World Wide Web” is fantastic metaphor for what the Internet is meant to be: a vast, interconnected realm free of central government. In the social media era, unfortunately, we have willingly ceded that freedom to our detriment. It is time we reconsider the Faustian bargain we have made.
The pandemic has been a test tube for a rapidly developing process by which social media platforms – particularly the overwhelmingly dominant Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – plow ahead with the purging of false information. There is good reason for their efforts: they created platforms that make the spread of even the craziest ideas incredibly easy. Those who oppose these fringe ideas celebrate as the platforms shred ideas deemed dangerous, but have we genuinely considered the cost?