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balrog66
#1 Oct 23 2020 08:31am
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So I just watched the Social Dilemma, and whilst it isn't as magnificent as some people make it out to be (pretty hamfisted at points), I thought it'd be a good place to start a debate from. It's a decent watch and it's not very long, so if you're interested at all, see it.

Primarily focused on these points (and I'd like you to give your own viewpoints!):


  • Do you believe that these social media companies are primarily responsible for the increase in polarization?
  • How do we deal with the behavioral changes that big tech companies are (un)willingly enforcing?
  • How should big tech deal with filter bubbles?
  • Is there a way to create a business model for these companies that is still free use but leaves out the toxic aspects?
  • Do we need separate legislation for children, and how do we enforce that?


If people have other talking points pertaining to this topic, feel free to add them.

I personally think that we should start by limiting content for children. Child accounts should be time gated (per time zone). Child accounts should have zero advertising. No data gathering should be allowed to model the viewing behaviour of children. And I do believe that social media has a heavy hand in the modern state of polarized politics. Honestly, one of the reasons I'm even still on here is that this is more or less a filter-less environment. Regardless of how much I disagree with people here, there are at least people here with differing opinions from me.

As far as the creation of a healthy business model, I think that's a really hard one. Ofc costs go down for these companies if they no longer have to store that much data. But I do like some of it, my Youtube recommendations are actually pretty great now that I've trimmed it down to purely my hobbies and interests. Maybe a subscription based, ad-free model only? I know that due to EU GDPR I can request these companies to destroy all data they have on me, which I think is something that should 100% be implemented worldwide. You have the right to be unknown.

The current algorithm is toxic due to it only focusing on maximizing advertising revenue (which loves the positive feedback loops). But I don't know how to fix that algorithm into something that will take away the positive feedback loops but also stay impartial.

Anyway, more than enough food for thought.

thesnipa
#2 Oct 23 2020 08:42am
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i tend not to blame social media giants for the same reason i dont personally take blame as an automation employee. if it wasnt me it would be someone else.

facebook, twitter, youtube, myspace even. they all made advancements, but its not like the Social Network suggests, Zuckerberg wasn't like 30 years ahead of his peers. He was a guy who had a smart idea building off of Myspace which was a smart idea building off of forums, which build off of message boards, etc. if it wasn't for the zuck some other lizard man would have come along and connected rednecks in Maine with rednecks in Arkansas so they can share memes about how the Confederate flag is about history and Obama is a muslim.

there's a lot of ways to make a whiskey sour, but they all need whiskey. the internet is the whiskey, the common denominator in all of mankinds modern woes. and whiskey can turn a 5 into an 8 for a night but over a lifetime it eats your liver.
duffman316
#3 Oct 23 2020 02:01pm
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The problem is people are weak, companies making products that cater to people is not the problem
Kayeto
#4 Oct 23 2020 03:36pm
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i feel that things need to take the same route as alcohol.

Our country's overuse of alcohol got so bad that we had to ban it. Then after banning it we realized there were some problems with that as well. In the end, we found some middleground whole alcoholism is still causing some problems in our society yet the risks are something everybody knows and talks about. Warning labels on everything, sympathy to loved one who have a problem, shunning of the drunk driving culture (that used to be rampant).

Likewise, society needs a chance to find it's bearings regarding social media use. We haven't even seen the depths of the problems it can cause yet because we haven't seen a full generation grow up in a world in which they never knew anything besides digital socialization. That generation is just being born now and it will be another 60 years until we can take stock of the problems thhey experienced and therefore have a productive conversation about how to handle them.
EndlessSky
#5 Oct 23 2020 06:34pm
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The easiest solution is to just add political party as a part of the civil rights act. Then you can jail the tech CEO's for discrimination.

This post was edited by EndlessSky on Oct 23 2020 06:34pm
proccy
#6 Oct 23 2020 06:45pm
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just unplug zuck's battery charging station and he will power down forever
Black XistenZ
#7 Oct 23 2020 07:35pm
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Quote (balrog66 @ 23 Oct 2020 16:31)
So I just watched the Social Dilemma, and whilst it isn't as magnificent as some people make it out to be (pretty hamfisted at points), I thought it'd be a good place to start a debate from. It's a decent watch and it's not very long, so if you're interested at all, see it.

Primarily focused on these points (and I'd like you to give your own viewpoints!):

  • Do you believe that these social media companies are primarily responsible for the increase in polarization?
  • How do we deal with the behavioral changes that big tech companies are (un)willingly enforcing?
  • How should big tech deal with filter bubbles?
  • Is there a way to create a business model for these companies that is still free use but leaves out the toxic aspects?
  • Do we need separate legislation for children, and how do we enforce that?


If people have other talking points pertaining to this topic, feel free to add them.

I personally think that we should start by limiting content for children. Child accounts should be time gated (per time zone). Child accounts should have zero advertising. No data gathering should be allowed to model the viewing behaviour of children. And I do believe that social media has a heavy hand in the modern state of polarized politics. Honestly, one of the reasons I'm even still on here is that this is more or less a filter-less environment. Regardless of how much I disagree with people here, there are at least people here with differing opinions from me.

As far as the creation of a healthy business model, I think that's a really hard one. Ofc costs go down for these companies if they no longer have to store that much data. But I do like some of it, my Youtube recommendations are actually pretty great now that I've trimmed it down to purely my hobbies and interests. Maybe a subscription based, ad-free model only? I know that due to EU GDPR I can request these companies to destroy all data they have on me, which I think is something that should 100% be implemented worldwide. You have the right to be unknown.

The current algorithm is toxic due to it only focusing on maximizing advertising revenue (which loves the positive feedback loops). But I don't know how to fix that algorithm into something that will take away the positive feedback loops but also stay impartial.

Anyway, more than enough food for thought.


Regarding the bolded part: this would only be possible if account creation required hard physical proof for a user's identity. I strongly disagree with the notion that the internet would be a better place if we got rid of anonymity. On the contrary, it would only open the door even further for censorship, digital surveillance and the atomization of the digital sphere into filter bubbles (because people only dare to reveal their true opinions to others they know to be sharing the same views).



Basically, duff nailed it when he says that social media gives us the option to the let the worst in us come out. No amount of regulation of the internet or big tech will be able to replace a lack of self-discipline on the users' part. Fully solving this issue while keeping the internet free is impossible. And when forced to choose, I firmly stand behind a free internet.

We should, however, outlaw advertisement practices which are based on catering to our worst impulses and bringing them out. So I see arguments in favor of some legal restrictions on the search and recommend algorithms, so that they have to include some random results which are not based on the user's preferences. If, say, 20% of results/recommendations had to be chosen randomly, this would prevent feedback loops and filter bubble effects from getting totally out of hand.



Regarding political polarization: a lot of it has to do with the internet taking away power from the mainstream media. Before everyone was online, big news channels and newspapers had a much larger ability to steer the public discourse, to set the agenda, to push or suppress a certain narrative. The malleable, unideological center of the electorate was largely kept in lockstep by the mainstream media. So in this sense, I feel as if social media and alternative, online news sites have not only caused extra polarization, they also unveiled quite a bit of pre-existing polarization which was hidden in earlier times.

Additionally, I think that there simply exists more polarization these days than a couple of decades ago because of forces like globalization, neoliberalism, overpopulation and so on. Competition for resources and a good life has become tougher, more people are left behind, so it seems logical to me when polarization and radicalism increase.

This post was edited by Black XistenZ on Oct 23 2020 07:41pm
inkanddagger
#8 Oct 23 2020 09:09pm
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The social media companies should be nationalized and you should have to have a microchip embedded into your right wrist or forehead that contains your citizenship and national voter ID information, your social media credentials, and your nationalized Federal Reserve bank account information which allows you to buy and sell within the American economy to ensure people aren't able to boycott Israel or purchase goods that aren't favored by the American government.

This post was edited by inkanddagger on Oct 23 2020 09:09pm
Handcuffs
#9 Oct 24 2020 12:59am
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I think the polarization is likely a multifaceted phenomenon that includes Internet algorithms that create echo chambers, but that there's also more cultural pieces that fuel this. Increasingly, I find it unfortunate that civics classes aren't a mandatory class in the K-12 system and that there's little conversation around media literacy. Instead, cultural tribalism runs rampant and people navigate political conversations in very reductionist ways and through a "good/bad" or "left/right" binary.

One must be very intentional about their Internet usage so as to not fall into echo chambers, and similar to other posters already, I resonate with the sentiment that it's in-part why I still find myself coming around PaRD as the years go by. The community here is really small, which makes keeping up with threads pretty easy. In addition, although PaRD skews to the right, it doesn't do so in a major way, so there's generally a good balance despite the skew.

The only bummer is that PaRD isn't the most high-quality of discussions, but I suppose that's be expected on a dead game's political subforum. Most people, myself included, are posting facetiously or trolling. Every once in a while though a full-on gem of a conversation comes up. Some years ago I think Santara and Bard attempted to do like 1v1 debate threads in PaRD, which I think sounds like a really interesting idea. I don't think they've ever sincerely taken often though or manifested into much.

This post was edited by Handcuffs on Oct 24 2020 01:04am
addone
#10 Oct 24 2020 02:47am
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i think if you get so easily influenced by the media your probably deserve it.
Too many children sheltered early and they don't develop an immunity. When they come of age life catches up and they exposed to the big scary world and they cant handle it. These band aid solutions will just make them more susceptible later in life.
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