Linked – What If the Next Big Social Media App Is … Nothing?
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Linked – What If the Next Big Social Media App Is … Nothing?

At some point, everyone who wants to have an Instagram account has an Instagram account and is using it as often as they want to. You can’t have huge growth spurts. You can only play around the edges and manipulate users to stay online to grow and that’s not a winning strategy. Yet it’s what shareholders and venture funds require. They’ve created a world where growing less than 20% per year might as well be failing. It’s sure going to look like failing when you start cutting jobs and doing stock buybacks. Those used to be desperate measures, but now they’re just a Tuesday at the office.

Congressional Think Tank Sees the Problem with Age Verification – Members Not so Much
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Congressional Think Tank Sees the Problem with Age Verification – Members Not so Much

Proving your identity and your age eliminates the ability for anyone to remain anonymous. You might argue that is a good thing, but I’ll take the opposite side. There are plenty of reasons for someone to remain anonymous online, and why we’d be worse off eliminating that. Whistleblowers, political dissidents of fascist governments, victims of childhood and spousal abuse, people dealing with mental health issues, women, the LGBTQ community, and many others have legitimate reasons to fear being identified. Do we want to eliminate them all from the public space?

Reviews Elsewhere – Foolproof: Why Misinformation Infects Our Minds and How to Build Immunity

Reviews Elsewhere – Foolproof: Why Misinformation Infects Our Minds and How to Build Immunity

There are a handful of cultural issues that I don’t think are overblown by media attention. This is one of them. It is simply impossible not to be exposed to misinformation in 2023. We all need better critical thinking skills.

Linked – Social Media Is Dying
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Linked – Social Media Is Dying

While I would love to end this with a condemnation of venture capitalists and hedge fund managers, I think it’s important to point out that many of us are complicit. Fund managers seeking the best short-term profits for their investments run funds whose shareholders include most of us. When we log in and look at our IRA or 401(k) accounts, we look for how much the value has increased, not what makes the most sense for society. Our account balance looks a little nicer when a company lays off 10,000 employees and the stock price increases.

It’s all entwined. To paraphrase Michael Corleone – “We’re all part of the same hypocrisy.”

Quick Thought – The Data Isn’t Safe – Bake in Privacy and Security
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Quick Thought – The Data Isn’t Safe – Bake in Privacy and Security

Of course, when we create new laws or tools, we focus on the problem in front of us. Whether that be, in this case, trying to enforce an age restriction or requiring identity verification in some odd attempt at making it more difficult for people to engage in anonymous speech, we too often forget the details of how that would work exactly.