Linked: Because Vulnerable People Need Section 230, The Copia Institute Filed This Amicus Brief At The Eleventh Circuit
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Linked: Because Vulnerable People Need Section 230, The Copia Institute Filed This Amicus Brief At The Eleventh Circuit

The reason I added anonymity above is that is the other suggestion I see often about how to “clean up” social media. The theory is that if everyone had to use their real name and prove who they are, they’d behave better.

If you’ve looked at Facebook or even LinkedIn lately, you might look at that suggestion with some skepticism. You’d be right to.

But, more importantly, as they say above, vulnerable people need not only the freedom to speak, but the freedom to do it anonymously.

Linked: Data From Fake Legal Requests Used to Sexually Extort Minors
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Linked: Data From Fake Legal Requests Used to Sexually Extort Minors

In this case, we have an emergency process. There are good reasons to have that process, if someone is threatening violence to themselves on social media, it’s useful for the tech company to share some information with law enforcement so they can be reached. But, having the ability to get that kind of response from tech companies is also an invitation to hackers. If they can create a fake emergency request they can collect personal information about any user. They can then use that information to target that individual.

When you create that kind of system, the request needs to be coming from a safe, verified, source. When the source is compromised, and the receiver doesn’t have an excellent validation process, bad things are going to happen.

Because when you have that kind of data, people will try and do bad things with it.

LinkedIn Cringe and Getting More of What You Measure

LinkedIn Cringe and Getting More of What You Measure

It can be very easy to lose sight of this on Social Media but it can also be easy to lose sight of this in the workplace or in our own careers as well. When we reward certain measurements people respond by doing more of that thing. This makes sense if your goal is to simply attract more attention to yourself. For social media maybe that is your goal. If you are representing a brand on social media, yeah that is probably what you want. However, as an individual, I think you have to ask yourself if getting more eyeballs this way causes you to actually undermine your own goals.

Linked: Spotify’s Rogan problem is a cautionary tale for other tech platforms
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Linked: Spotify’s Rogan problem is a cautionary tale for other tech platforms

The article below points out that many of the platforms that exist today may find themselves in a similar situation and face a similar temptation. As shareholders start demanding more “growth” of a platform they are going to have a hard time providing that. There isn’t a large group of people clamoring to get Twitter or Facebook accounts that don’t currently have one. Eventually, they may be tempted to provide some kind of content exclusively on their platform. This pushes them into being publishing and media companies as opposed to tech companies. (We could argue that many of these platforms have started to dabble in being media companies but that haven’t quite taken the step that Spotify did and buy exclusive rights to podcasts.)

Linked: The Metaverse Via Oculus Is Awkward if You’re a Woman. And Beware of Griefers
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Linked: The Metaverse Via Oculus Is Awkward if You’re a Woman. And Beware of Griefers

Why it’s almost as if trolls will be trolls, creeps will be creeps, and people will continue to be everything they are on social media or yes, even in person. Because while those who seem to think that the virtual reality and presence of a real voice will somehow dim the hate and harassment that comes from a network where you can be anonymous, we can see plenty of real-life examples where being identifiable didn’t stop anyone from acting this way. I mean, half the folks who took part in Jan. 6 bragged about it on social media for days. Do you really think a little VR is going to make them suddenly self-conscious?

It’s a humanity issue, not a tech issue. No “new” tech that allows people to interact in real-time is going to be without it.

Social Media Has Everyone Using Fear and Outrage to Get Attention, even the NY Times

Social Media Has Everyone Using Fear and Outrage to Get Attention, even the NY Times

I’m making an example of the Times because they like to consider themselves America’s “Paper of Record”, and even they are now using fear and outrage to gain attention, no better than a Twitter or Facebook troll, but it’s happening everywhere. It’s also no surprise that it’s becoming popular among all media outlets because it works. If we’ve learned anything from fake news sites, biased cable channels, YouTube “experts” and social media influencers it’s that you will never lose an audience by making people afraid. You will get their attention, you will stimulate a fear-based response that causes their brain to kick into survival mode and become hyperalert to dangers, which you are happy to continue to feed them.