# Should Social Media Be Tightly Regulated

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
One of many occurrences. Should the government control the media?

Does the f1st Amendemnt apply to private media platforms?

CNN —

Ryan Last received a message on a school night in February from someone he believed to be a girl.

Within hours, the 17-year-old, straight-A student and Boy Scout had died by suicide.

“Somebody reached out to him pretending to be a girl, and they started a conversation,” his mother, Pauline Stuart, told CNN, fighting back tears as she described what happened to her son days after she and Ryan had finished visiting several colleges he was considering attending after graduating high school.

The online conversation quickly grew intimate, and then turned criminal.

The scammer – posing as a young girl – sent Ryan a nude photo and then asked Ryan to share an explicit image of himself in return. Immediately after Ryan shared an intimate photo of his own, the cybercriminal demanded $5,000, threatening to make the photo public and send it to Ryan’s family and friends. #### zorq ##### Veteran Member Blackmail and extortion are already illegal everywhere. Slander and libel are illegal in most places. Fraud is illegal. Human communication is already highly regulated by governments. #### ZiprHead ##### Loony Running The Asylum Staff member ^^^ This. #### steve_bank ##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ... Something being illegal is one thing. Addressing a wide open venue for crime is another. #### SigmatheZeta ##### Senior Member One of many occurrences. Should the government control the media? Does the f1st Amendemnt apply to private media platforms? CNN — Ryan Last received a message on a school night in February from someone he believed to be a girl. Within hours, the 17-year-old, straight-A student and Boy Scout had died by suicide. “Somebody reached out to him pretending to be a girl, and they started a conversation,” his mother, Pauline Stuart, told CNN, fighting back tears as she described what happened to her son days after she and Ryan had finished visiting several colleges he was considering attending after graduating high school. The online conversation quickly grew intimate, and then turned criminal. The scammer – posing as a young girl – sent Ryan a nude photo and then asked Ryan to share an explicit image of himself in return. Immediately after Ryan shared an intimate photo of his own, the cybercriminal demanded$5,000, threatening to make the photo public and send it to Ryan’s family and friends.
Unfortunately, we are in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to trying to regulate social media. There are still some social outgroups in our society that need the privacy in order to feel comfortable reaching out to each other for support, but on the other hand, the same people can often be the victims of serious cybercrimes and other forms of terrorism. While I do think that there is a need to do something, then, I would not want to put that "something" in the hands of some FBI clodpoll, and while my relations with cops have never been especially negative, there is also only but so far that I trust cops, having grown up in a world where gay men and transgender women were frequently victims of police entrapment schemes in states where the sodomy laws were still in effect. I can never really trust police to have a sane sense of priorities because of that. With all due respect to the police, fuck the police.

If we are going to let social media be a large part of people's lives, then it would simply be lunatic to fail to educate people about the things they can do to keep themselves safe on the Internet and to protect their privacy. It is unrealistic to let such a powerful tool be a large part of people's existence without teaching them the means of keeping themselves out of danger.

There is nothing more dangerous than a good tool that nobody knows the right way to use.

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#### Loren Pechtel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Something being illegal is one thing. Addressing a wide open venue for crime is another.
And how do you propose making it not useful for criminals while remaining of any value to others?

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Something being illegal is one thing. Addressing a wide open venue for crime is another.
Social media is infrastructure. People use it for a plethora of things, (including but certainly not limited to) crime.

The Pacific Motorway offers a fast escape route across the state border that criminals have frequently exploited for their getaways. Should we close it for that reason? If bring used for crime is a justification for eliminating infrastructure, then we should close down social media and tear up the interstate highway network.

Or we could just investigate and prosecute fraud, abuse, and other crimes that happen to use this infrastructure, while leaving the infrastructure in place for the benefit of the law abiding majority.

#### Patooka

##### Veteran Member
I'm not sure what we're meant to be discussing here. What exactly are we expecting the government to do?

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
I'm not sure what we're meant to be discussing here. What exactly are we expecting the government to do?
Tear up any Interstate highway that has been used by criminals.

Apparently.

#### Gun Nut

##### Veteran Member
One of many occurrences. Should the government control the media?

Does the f1st Amendemnt apply to private media platforms?

CNN —

Ryan Last received a message on a school night in February from someone he believed to be a girl.

Within hours, the 17-year-old, straight-A student and Boy Scout had died by suicide.

“Somebody reached out to him pretending to be a girl, and they started a conversation,” his mother, Pauline Stuart, told CNN, fighting back tears as she described what happened to her son days after she and Ryan had finished visiting several colleges he was considering attending after graduating high school.

The online conversation quickly grew intimate, and then turned criminal.

The scammer – posing as a young girl – sent Ryan a nude photo and then asked Ryan to share an explicit image of himself in return. Immediately after Ryan shared an intimate photo of his own, the cybercriminal demanded \$5,000, threatening to make the photo public and send it to Ryan’s family and friends.
There is nothing "private" about the "public" internet. It is precisely identical in every single way as there being nothing "private" about the public airwaves. These "broadcasting networks" are, and always have been, accountable for what they choose to broadcast. That their business model and technology allow for far more "contributors" than they are competent to appropriately self-regulate within these laws, is entirely their fucking problem to solve all on their own without an inch of legal room for "sorry, these protections for society hurt our potential profit".

#### Gun Nut

##### Veteran Member
I'm not sure what we're meant to be discussing here. What exactly are we expecting the government to do?
Simply treat "Facebook" like ABC, NBC, CBS, and every other public broadcaster. The intricacies of making money this way while ensuring they stay within the law is their fucking problem.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Free speech is when you are on public property.

A store is aprivately owned public place but you do not have a right to campaogn in the store without permission.

Social media is a private busyness and they can regulate speech. Free speech does ot mean you can say whatever you like anywhere any time.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
I'm not sure what we're meant to be discussing here. What exactly are we expecting the government to do?
That is the question s it not?

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Could someone explain exactly how the government could have stopped the situation in the OP?

#### TV and credit cards

##### Veteran Member
Could someone explain exactly how the government could have stopped the situation in the OP?
Treat social media like the harmful substance it is.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
Free speech is when you are on public property.

A store is aprivately owned public place but you do not have a right to campaogn in the store without permission.

Social media is a private busyness and they can regulate speech. Free speech does ot mean you can say whatever you like anywhere any time.
That depends on whether you choose to treat free speech as a legal technicality, which would make it ultimately meaningless, or as a pervasive cultural norm that guides how we think and act.

People that engage interrorism or harassment against people they disagree with are really acting antithetically to that cultural norm. That is a better argument.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Could someone explain exactly how the government could have stopped the situation in the OP?
Treat social media like the harmful substance it is.
That's a pretty non-specific answer to "exactly".

#### TomC

##### Celestial Highness
Could someone explain exactly how the government could have stopped the situation in the OP?
Treat social media like the harmful substance it is.
That's a pretty non-specific answer to "exactly".

To me, this is the problem. There aren't any specific remedies that aren't nearly as bad or worse than the ill effects of social media itself. At least not that I know about.

The internet, including social media, isn't inherently good or bad. It's powerful. It amplifies human tendencies, both the good and the bad.

And it's overwhelmed many of our old cultural norms. Is Twitter a private space, or is it the modern town square? Does free speech extend to demanding an electronic megaphone? Does private communications become public domain when posted on the internet? How far does plausible deniability protect people who post flat out lies, for personal gain, to an audience of millions of selected people? It's extremely easy to use that excellent form of lying, the partial truth, on the internet.

We've already opened the Pandora's Box of digital media. Now what?
Tom

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
I think in some respects the user base of a platform ought have some control of the platform.
Could someone explain exactly how the government could have stopped the situation in the OP?
Treat social media like the harmful substance it is.
That's a pretty non-specific answer to "exactly".

To me, this is the problem. There aren't any specific remedies that aren't nearly as bad or worse than the ill effects of social media itself. At least not that I know about.

The internet, including social media, isn't inherently good or bad. It's powerful. It amplifies human tendencies, both the good and the bad.

And it's overwhelmed many of our old cultural norms. Is Twitter a private space, or is it the modern town square? Does free speech extend to demanding an electronic megaphone? Does private communications become public domain when posted on the internet? How far does plausible deniability protect people who post flat out lies, for personal gain, to an audience of millions of selected people? It's extremely easy to use that excellent form of lying, the partial truth, on the internet.

We've already opened the Pandora's Box of digital media. Now what?
Tom
I would say doing away with curation of content within followed content except explicitly as requested, by publicly listed and personally implemented curation model should do it.

The primary negative function of social media is in targeting and "curation" of content.

Essentially if we were to take away a company's ability to directly and invisibly mutate our media feeds around narratives, but left those feeds either raw or even allowed to subscribe to their own content curation models, the company would lose leverage over what bubbles and behaviors that their platform drives among the user base.

This at the very least would remove the central power over manipulation.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Free speech is when you are on public property.

A store is aprivately owned public place but you do not have a right to campaogn in the store without permission.

Social media is a private busyness and they can regulate speech. Free speech does ot mean you can say whatever you like anywhere any time.
Yes, they can.

So why would the government need to be involved?

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Free speech is when you are on public property.

A store is aprivately owned public place but you do not have a right to campaogn in the store without permission.

Social media is a private busyness and they can regulate speech. Free speech does ot mean you can say whatever you like anywhere any time.
That depends on whether you choose to treat free speech as a legal technicality, which would make it ultimately meaningless, or as a pervasive cultural norm that guides how we think and act.

People that engage interrorism or harassment against people they disagree with are really acting antithetically to that cultural norm. That is a better argument.
Indeed. And we have some laws to prevent this, and arguably need more such laws. But they ought to be platform neutral - If saying something harmful to or about someone is to be illegal, then it should be illegal whether it’s in the street, in a newspaper, or on social media.

Social media is the medium, not the message. The message may need regulation, but to regulate the medium is pointless - it will just move the problem elsewhere, rather than addressing it.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
Free speech is when you are on public property.

A store is aprivately owned public place but you do not have a right to campaogn in the store without permission.

Social media is a private busyness and they can regulate speech. Free speech does ot mean you can say whatever you like anywhere any time.
That depends on whether you choose to treat free speech as a legal technicality, which would make it ultimately meaningless, or as a pervasive cultural norm that guides how we think and act.

People that engage interrorism or harassment against people they disagree with are really acting antithetically to that cultural norm. That is a better argument.
Indeed. And we have some laws to prevent this, and arguably need more such laws. But they ought to be platform neutral - If saying something harmful to or about someone is to be illegal, then it should be illegal whether it’s in the street, in a newspaper, or on social media.

Social media is the medium, not the message. The message may need regulation, but to regulate the medium is pointless - it will just move the problem elsewhere, rather than addressing it.
I am not really sure about using the government directly at all.

Like I said, I am not sure that I would be enthusiastic about putting an intervention in the hands of some FBI clodpoll or the cops. I realize that those agencies can be necessary as a last resort, but in America, we are in the habit of turning to them too often, which has led to us having an inordinately high incarceration rate. We are really the most authoritarian countries in the world if you judge by the incarceration rate.

However, I am a strong believer in the power of the education system. I think we can use the education system to teach young people an idea of free speech that is not just a legal technicality but just how we live. We could grow up knowing that if you use divisive racist speech, that leads to you silencing or devaluing someone else's voice, and maybe that someone does not even disagree with you on the essentials. We could grow up knowing that if you refuse to support someone's gender identity, you could really be interfering in that person's freedom of self-expression. We could recognize that an important part of free speech is believing that it is safe to speak and to be heard. Rather than seeing it as something to be enforced by law, we could see it as something to be enforced by custom, aesthetics, and just a generally accepted idea of what is right. We could grow up with an understanding of free speech, in its many subtle dimensions, not simply as a legal right but as just what is right and part of what defines us as a people.

I think that this would ultimately be stronger than sending goons after people and putting more money into the prison-industrial complex.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
I guess that one way to phrase my views would be that I would seek out a happy synthesis between critical theory and the concept of freedom of speech.

In a way, critical theory can come across as authoritarian, but this is because the people attempting to explain it are not going through what I believe should be an initial step of correcting the assumptions of an authoritarian society. In the country that has the world's highest incarceration rate, attempting to explain that racism is wrong can lead to some people immediately turning to police and prisons to punish it and other people being angry for the same reason, which is why we now have a lot of panicky dipshits running around like Chicken Little crying, "white genocide!" because they do not understand that critical theory does not really propose a "crime and punishment" model for the kinds of problems it points out.

Therefore, let's add an additional discussion to critical theory and thereby to both queer theory and critical race theory. Let us take the approach of focusing on how both racism and queerphobia can result in making it harder for anybody, even straight white people, afraid to say what they really think. In the kind of hostile, tense, and paranoid environment that is caused by injustice, people tend to be less open-minded, and they tend to be more prone to taking a bad faith perspective on anything that you say. When some people in the room believe that the discussion is rigged against them, then that makes them distrustful, and that distrust tends to make them prone to shutting down any point-of-view that they were not already convinced of at the start of the discussion.

In other words, you end the conversation without really having said anything at all, and if you cannot really say what you think, even due to people being too defensive to listen, are you really free?

Well, if you can prove that you genuinely believe in fairness and that you have empathy for the injustices that make it harder for others to succeed, you establish trust right away, and if you establish that trust right off the bat, you end up really saying a lot more, in the sense that some people in your audience listened and understood and cared what you really had to say.

This kind of thinking could influence what types of social media we tended to prefer using. If our social media were not set up in a manner that corresponded with our accepted notions about what made someone free, such as by creating a tense and paranoid environment where people in echo-chambers were obsessed with shutting down anybody they did not agree with and acted like maniacs, we would tend to see those systems as binding. We would see remarks that were shutting people down, and we would see that as distasteful.

Better systems would thereby become more dominant simply as a consequence of the fact that those systems corresponded more closely with how we thought about the world. They would be more competitive because they would match with how we preferred to think.

And maybe some nice scientists could create a system of social media that was tailored to train young people to think in this way. I think we ought to think of this as a generational achievement, not just as something to do on an impulse. We ought to make this like sending a mission to Mars. We ought to rank it right up there. Instead of only wanting to send a mission to Mars, we should also want to create a competitive system of social media that genuinely induces international unity and creates the kind of social environment that can lead to us sticking together, as a species, as we expand throughout the solar system. If we are going to eventually settle Luna and Mars and Titan, we should be thinking very soberly about the possibility that interplanetary war, in our future, could reduce some or all of our habitable worlds to flinders in only a few hours if our society were to break down into barbarism and tyranny for too long.

It is going to be a very long time before we can escape from the orbit of little Sol, and I do not really think that escaping from its orbit is going to be a thing that happens within most people's lifetimes. As long as we are stuck here, it is imperative that we find a way to prevent ourselves from coming down with mass cabin fever, just in the name of the survival of our species, so perhaps we can finally reach out far enough into our galaxy to truly break Fermi's Paradox.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
I guess that one way to phrase my views would be that I would seek out a happy synthesis between critical theory and the concept of freedom of speech.

In a way, critical theory can come across as authoritarian, but this is because the people attempting to explain it are not going through what I believe should be an initial step of correcting the assumptions of an authoritarian society. In the country that has the world's highest incarceration rate, attempting to explain that racism is wrong can lead to some people immediately turning to police and prisons to punish it and other people being angry for the same reason, which is why we now have a lot of panicky dipshits running around like Chicken Little crying, "white genocide!" because they do not understand that critical theory does not really propose a "crime and punishment" model for the kinds of problems it points out.

Therefore, let's add an additional discussion to critical theory and thereby to both queer theory and critical race theory. Let us take the approach of focusing on how both racism and queerphobia can result in making it harder for anybody, even straight white people, afraid to say what they really think. In the kind of hostile, tense, and paranoid environment that is caused by injustice, people tend to be less open-minded, and they tend to be more prone to taking a bad faith perspective on anything that you say. When some people in the room believe that the discussion is rigged against them, then that makes them distrustful, and that distrust tends to make them prone to shutting down any point-of-view that they were not already convinced of at the start of the discussion.

In other words, you end the conversation without really having said anything at all, and if you cannot really say what you think, even due to people being too defensive to listen, are you really free?

Well, if you can prove that you genuinely believe in fairness and that you have empathy for the injustices that make it harder for others to succeed, you establish trust right away, and if you establish that trust right off the bat, you end up really saying a lot more, in the sense that some people in your audience listened and understood and cared what you really had to say.

This kind of thinking could influence what types of social media we tended to prefer using. If our social media were not set up in a manner that corresponded with our accepted notions about what made someone free, such as by creating a tense and paranoid environment where people in echo-chambers were obsessed with shutting down anybody they did not agree with and acted like maniacs, we would tend to see those systems as binding. We would see remarks that were shutting people down, and we would see that as distasteful.

Better systems would thereby become more dominant simply as a consequence of the fact that those systems corresponded more closely with how we thought about the world. They would be more competitive because they would match with how we preferred to think.

And maybe some nice scientists could create a system of social media that was tailored to train young people to think in this way. I think we ought to think of this as a generational achievement, not just as something to do on an impulse. We ought to make this like sending a mission to Mars. We ought to rank it right up there. Instead of only wanting to send a mission to Mars, we should also want to create a competitive system of social media that genuinely induces international unity and creates the kind of social environment that can lead to us sticking together, as a species, as we expand throughout the solar system. If we are going to eventually settle Luna and Mars and Titan, we should be thinking very soberly about the possibility that interplanetary war, in our future, could reduce some or all of our habitable worlds to flinders in only a few hours if our society were to break down into barbarism and tyranny for too long.

It is going to be a very long time before we can escape from the orbit of little Sol, and I do not really think that escaping from its orbit is going to be a thing that happens within most people's lifetimes. As long as we are stuck here, it is imperative that we find a way to prevent ourselves from coming down with mass cabin fever, just in the name of the survival of our species, so perhaps we can finally reach out far enough into our galaxy to truly break Fermi's Paradox.
The issue with this that I see is that social media is a drug, and it is a toxic one.

Between the desire to be seen, the fact that everyone has this desire, and the fact that any person only has so much time and interest in seeing others...

The platform itself, as a private system, has two goals in curation of content: to make the user generate content by making them feel unseen; to make the user engage with content and generate more by directing the user to the things others are posting which they apparently want to be seen.

This is only disrupted when you rip away the platform's filter bubble, allow people to see content without only being presented "the best, since your last click", and the indoctrination can only be prevented by allowing folks to be able to see stuff that is not being directed.

We need to outlaw black-box content filters, from black box ad models to black box sorting algorithms, and make all such processes opt-in only.

Does it throw a wrench into the ad model?

Lol, don't care.

#### rousseau

##### Contributor
Social media is giving political parties an avenue for mass, finely targeted propaganda.. so I'd say yes, it should be tightly regulated.

Politicians don't even understand how Facebook makes revenue, though, so I'm not hopeful.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Something being illegal is one thing. Addressing a wide open venue for crime is another.
And how do you propose making it not useful for criminals while remaining of any value to others?
The only mitigation to it, which isn't a solution, would be to end the anonymity and people need eID to interact on the web. But ultimately, that probably just opens things up to making Identity Theft easier.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Could someone explain exactly how the government could have stopped the situation in the OP?
Treat social media like the harmful substance it is.
That's a pretty non-specific answer to "exactly".
But I think it is the right answer. Social media is a drug of sorts and we need to teach people how to use it and how to not become a victim of it.

This wouldn't mean monitoring or speech limits. It'd mean a new type of "stranger danger" (for kids and adults) and for teens, "what goes on the web is forever on the web".

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
I guess that one way to phrase my views would be that I would seek out a happy synthesis between critical theory and the concept of freedom of speech.

In a way, critical theory can come across as authoritarian, but this is because the people attempting to explain it are not going through what I believe should be an initial step of correcting the assumptions of an authoritarian society. In the country that has the world's highest incarceration rate, attempting to explain that racism is wrong can lead to some people immediately turning to police and prisons to punish it and other people being angry for the same reason, which is why we now have a lot of panicky dipshits running around like Chicken Little crying, "white genocide!" because they do not understand that critical theory does not really propose a "crime and punishment" model for the kinds of problems it points out.

Therefore, let's add an additional discussion to critical theory and thereby to both queer theory and critical race theory. Let us take the approach of focusing on how both racism and queerphobia can result in making it harder for anybody, even straight white people, afraid to say what they really think. In the kind of hostile, tense, and paranoid environment that is caused by injustice, people tend to be less open-minded, and they tend to be more prone to taking a bad faith perspective on anything that you say. When some people in the room believe that the discussion is rigged against them, then that makes them distrustful, and that distrust tends to make them prone to shutting down any point-of-view that they were not already convinced of at the start of the discussion.

In other words, you end the conversation without really having said anything at all, and if you cannot really say what you think, even due to people being too defensive to listen, are you really free?

Well, if you can prove that you genuinely believe in fairness and that you have empathy for the injustices that make it harder for others to succeed, you establish trust right away, and if you establish that trust right off the bat, you end up really saying a lot more, in the sense that some people in your audience listened and understood and cared what you really had to say.

This kind of thinking could influence what types of social media we tended to prefer using. If our social media were not set up in a manner that corresponded with our accepted notions about what made someone free, such as by creating a tense and paranoid environment where people in echo-chambers were obsessed with shutting down anybody they did not agree with and acted like maniacs, we would tend to see those systems as binding. We would see remarks that were shutting people down, and we would see that as distasteful.

Better systems would thereby become more dominant simply as a consequence of the fact that those systems corresponded more closely with how we thought about the world. They would be more competitive because they would match with how we preferred to think.

And maybe some nice scientists could create a system of social media that was tailored to train young people to think in this way. I think we ought to think of this as a generational achievement, not just as something to do on an impulse. We ought to make this like sending a mission to Mars. We ought to rank it right up there. Instead of only wanting to send a mission to Mars, we should also want to create a competitive system of social media that genuinely induces international unity and creates the kind of social environment that can lead to us sticking together, as a species, as we expand throughout the solar system. If we are going to eventually settle Luna and Mars and Titan, we should be thinking very soberly about the possibility that interplanetary war, in our future, could reduce some or all of our habitable worlds to flinders in only a few hours if our society were to break down into barbarism and tyranny for too long.

It is going to be a very long time before we can escape from the orbit of little Sol, and I do not really think that escaping from its orbit is going to be a thing that happens within most people's lifetimes. As long as we are stuck here, it is imperative that we find a way to prevent ourselves from coming down with mass cabin fever, just in the name of the survival of our species, so perhaps we can finally reach out far enough into our galaxy to truly break Fermi's Paradox.
The issue with this that I see is that social media is a drug, and it is a toxic one.

Between the desire to be seen, the fact that everyone has this desire, and the fact that any person only has so much time and interest in seeing others...

The platform itself, as a private system, has two goals in curation of content: to make the user generate content by making them feel unseen; to make the user engage with content and generate more by directing the user to the things others are posting which they apparently want to be seen.

This is only disrupted when you rip away the platform's filter bubble, allow people to see content without only being presented "the best, since your last click", and the indoctrination can only be prevented by allowing folks to be able to see stuff that is not being directed.

We need to outlaw black-box content filters, from black box ad models to black box sorting algorithms, and make all such processes opt-in only.

Does it throw a wrench into the ad model?

Lol, don't care.
If social media is a drug, then we should legalize other drugs and thereby provide competition.

#### Gun Nut

##### Veteran Member
I'm not sure what we're meant to be discussing here. What exactly are we expecting the government to do?
Tear up any Interstate highway that has been used by criminals.

Apparently.
Your analogy is terrible. You use your finger to pull triggers. You use your finger to point... therefore, pointing is the same as murder. This is identical to your "not a slippery slope at all" argument. The internet is like a road as the flow of electricity is like a pipe of water - they are similar in a uselessly general way... like how something "the public" uses is identical to everything the public uses.
The quality of your analogy would be better if it was the case that if a thief gets on the road, every single car crashes on every road everywhere. Then being concerned with who gets on the road can be a thing.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
I guess that one way to phrase my views would be that I would seek out a happy synthesis between critical theory and the concept of freedom of speech.

In a way, critical theory can come across as authoritarian, but this is because the people attempting to explain it are not going through what I believe should be an initial step of correcting the assumptions of an authoritarian society. In the country that has the world's highest incarceration rate, attempting to explain that racism is wrong can lead to some people immediately turning to police and prisons to punish it and other people being angry for the same reason, which is why we now have a lot of panicky dipshits running around like Chicken Little crying, "white genocide!" because they do not understand that critical theory does not really propose a "crime and punishment" model for the kinds of problems it points out.

Therefore, let's add an additional discussion to critical theory and thereby to both queer theory and critical race theory. Let us take the approach of focusing on how both racism and queerphobia can result in making it harder for anybody, even straight white people, afraid to say what they really think. In the kind of hostile, tense, and paranoid environment that is caused by injustice, people tend to be less open-minded, and they tend to be more prone to taking a bad faith perspective on anything that you say. When some people in the room believe that the discussion is rigged against them, then that makes them distrustful, and that distrust tends to make them prone to shutting down any point-of-view that they were not already convinced of at the start of the discussion.

In other words, you end the conversation without really having said anything at all, and if you cannot really say what you think, even due to people being too defensive to listen, are you really free?

Well, if you can prove that you genuinely believe in fairness and that you have empathy for the injustices that make it harder for others to succeed, you establish trust right away, and if you establish that trust right off the bat, you end up really saying a lot more, in the sense that some people in your audience listened and understood and cared what you really had to say.

This kind of thinking could influence what types of social media we tended to prefer using. If our social media were not set up in a manner that corresponded with our accepted notions about what made someone free, such as by creating a tense and paranoid environment where people in echo-chambers were obsessed with shutting down anybody they did not agree with and acted like maniacs, we would tend to see those systems as binding. We would see remarks that were shutting people down, and we would see that as distasteful.

Better systems would thereby become more dominant simply as a consequence of the fact that those systems corresponded more closely with how we thought about the world. They would be more competitive because they would match with how we preferred to think.

And maybe some nice scientists could create a system of social media that was tailored to train young people to think in this way. I think we ought to think of this as a generational achievement, not just as something to do on an impulse. We ought to make this like sending a mission to Mars. We ought to rank it right up there. Instead of only wanting to send a mission to Mars, we should also want to create a competitive system of social media that genuinely induces international unity and creates the kind of social environment that can lead to us sticking together, as a species, as we expand throughout the solar system. If we are going to eventually settle Luna and Mars and Titan, we should be thinking very soberly about the possibility that interplanetary war, in our future, could reduce some or all of our habitable worlds to flinders in only a few hours if our society were to break down into barbarism and tyranny for too long.

It is going to be a very long time before we can escape from the orbit of little Sol, and I do not really think that escaping from its orbit is going to be a thing that happens within most people's lifetimes. As long as we are stuck here, it is imperative that we find a way to prevent ourselves from coming down with mass cabin fever, just in the name of the survival of our species, so perhaps we can finally reach out far enough into our galaxy to truly break Fermi's Paradox.
The issue with this that I see is that social media is a drug, and it is a toxic one.

Between the desire to be seen, the fact that everyone has this desire, and the fact that any person only has so much time and interest in seeing others...

The platform itself, as a private system, has two goals in curation of content: to make the user generate content by making them feel unseen; to make the user engage with content and generate more by directing the user to the things others are posting which they apparently want to be seen.

This is only disrupted when you rip away the platform's filter bubble, allow people to see content without only being presented "the best, since your last click", and the indoctrination can only be prevented by allowing folks to be able to see stuff that is not being directed.

We need to outlaw black-box content filters, from black box ad models to black box sorting algorithms, and make all such processes opt-in only.

Does it throw a wrench into the ad model?

Lol, don't care.
If social media is a drug, then we should legalize other drugs and thereby provide competition.
Rather, I am arguing that... How do I put this...

Think about the difference between an apple and an apple flavored apple-sized lump of sugar.

One is clearly not as terrible for you as the other, generally.

Social media is like.. if the grocery store replaced all their apples with those confectionary monstrosities. Or all their fruits.

People would still want the taste, but now their only model for it is to take an addictive, fairly toxic drug to get it at all.

In some ways this ends up that the damage, the harm is in the refinement of all the negative qualities for the sake of generating addiction, at the expense of all the other complexities of social communications.

So instead of my family members on the cusp of adulthood seeing Facebook feed that discusses the realities of drug use, the complexities of the need to vote, or the realities of how to be safe online...

Instead they saw the occasional political meme, or more likely didn't see my content at all!

The reality here is that the content filtration and sorting model, being inescapable, is ubiquitously turning the platform into a propaganda engine.

And it is inescapable: there is no platform which allows users to simply exist among the raw feed of social messages... Other than places like this...

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Most people online haven't committed suicide or been victim of fraud. So the analogy is a bit tighter.

#### SigmatheZeta

##### Senior Member
I guess that one way to phrase my views would be that I would seek out a happy synthesis between critical theory and the concept of freedom of speech.

In a way, critical theory can come across as authoritarian, but this is because the people attempting to explain it are not going through what I believe should be an initial step of correcting the assumptions of an authoritarian society. In the country that has the world's highest incarceration rate, attempting to explain that racism is wrong can lead to some people immediately turning to police and prisons to punish it and other people being angry for the same reason, which is why we now have a lot of panicky dipshits running around like Chicken Little crying, "white genocide!" because they do not understand that critical theory does not really propose a "crime and punishment" model for the kinds of problems it points out.

Therefore, let's add an additional discussion to critical theory and thereby to both queer theory and critical race theory. Let us take the approach of focusing on how both racism and queerphobia can result in making it harder for anybody, even straight white people, afraid to say what they really think. In the kind of hostile, tense, and paranoid environment that is caused by injustice, people tend to be less open-minded, and they tend to be more prone to taking a bad faith perspective on anything that you say. When some people in the room believe that the discussion is rigged against them, then that makes them distrustful, and that distrust tends to make them prone to shutting down any point-of-view that they were not already convinced of at the start of the discussion.

In other words, you end the conversation without really having said anything at all, and if you cannot really say what you think, even due to people being too defensive to listen, are you really free?

Well, if you can prove that you genuinely believe in fairness and that you have empathy for the injustices that make it harder for others to succeed, you establish trust right away, and if you establish that trust right off the bat, you end up really saying a lot more, in the sense that some people in your audience listened and understood and cared what you really had to say.

This kind of thinking could influence what types of social media we tended to prefer using. If our social media were not set up in a manner that corresponded with our accepted notions about what made someone free, such as by creating a tense and paranoid environment where people in echo-chambers were obsessed with shutting down anybody they did not agree with and acted like maniacs, we would tend to see those systems as binding. We would see remarks that were shutting people down, and we would see that as distasteful.

Better systems would thereby become more dominant simply as a consequence of the fact that those systems corresponded more closely with how we thought about the world. They would be more competitive because they would match with how we preferred to think.

And maybe some nice scientists could create a system of social media that was tailored to train young people to think in this way. I think we ought to think of this as a generational achievement, not just as something to do on an impulse. We ought to make this like sending a mission to Mars. We ought to rank it right up there. Instead of only wanting to send a mission to Mars, we should also want to create a competitive system of social media that genuinely induces international unity and creates the kind of social environment that can lead to us sticking together, as a species, as we expand throughout the solar system. If we are going to eventually settle Luna and Mars and Titan, we should be thinking very soberly about the possibility that interplanetary war, in our future, could reduce some or all of our habitable worlds to flinders in only a few hours if our society were to break down into barbarism and tyranny for too long.

It is going to be a very long time before we can escape from the orbit of little Sol, and I do not really think that escaping from its orbit is going to be a thing that happens within most people's lifetimes. As long as we are stuck here, it is imperative that we find a way to prevent ourselves from coming down with mass cabin fever, just in the name of the survival of our species, so perhaps we can finally reach out far enough into our galaxy to truly break Fermi's Paradox.
The issue with this that I see is that social media is a drug, and it is a toxic one.

Between the desire to be seen, the fact that everyone has this desire, and the fact that any person only has so much time and interest in seeing others...

The platform itself, as a private system, has two goals in curation of content: to make the user generate content by making them feel unseen; to make the user engage with content and generate more by directing the user to the things others are posting which they apparently want to be seen.

This is only disrupted when you rip away the platform's filter bubble, allow people to see content without only being presented "the best, since your last click", and the indoctrination can only be prevented by allowing folks to be able to see stuff that is not being directed.

We need to outlaw black-box content filters, from black box ad models to black box sorting algorithms, and make all such processes opt-in only.

Does it throw a wrench into the ad model?

Lol, don't care.
If social media is a drug, then we should legalize other drugs and thereby provide competition.
Rather, I am arguing that... How do I put this...

Think about the difference between an apple and an apple flavored apple-sized lump of sugar.

One is clearly not as terrible for you as the other, generally.

Social media is like.. if the grocery store replaced all their apples with those confectionary monstrosities. Or all their fruits.

People would still want the taste, but now their only model for it is to take an addictive, fairly toxic drug to get it at all.

In some ways this ends up that the damage, the harm is in the refinement of all the negative qualities for the sake of generating addiction, at the expense of all the other complexities of social communications.

So instead of my family members on the cusp of adulthood seeing Facebook feed that discusses the realities of drug use, the complexities of the need to vote, or the realities of how to be safe online...

Instead they saw the occasional political meme, or more likely didn't see my content at all!

The reality here is that the content filtration and sorting model, being inescapable, is ubiquitously turning the platform into a propaganda engine.

And it is inescapable: there is no platform which allows users to simply exist among the raw feed of social messages... Other than places like this...
I think we ought to legalize the use of cocaine and then spend however much money we need to on treating the addiction whenever it becomes a problem. If people want to have their experience at getting hooked on a dumb drug, then they can, for all that I care, but I also think that the government would spend less money, in the long-run, on cleaning them out than it would spend on keeping them in prisons where they would just get exposed to a greater variety and quantity of drugs.

As for how to pay for it, I dunno, make the rich pay for it. I'm tapped-out.

We could treat social media addiction in the same way. Tax it, and give people therapy to recover from the addiction. If the social media companies get tired of paying taxes, then they can get smarter about preventing people from getting addicted, to begin with.

The strategy has worked wonders for reining in tobacco.