Is it really the Social Media company’s responsibility to moderate our behaviour?
Short answer – No.
In truth, the human race on social media it would seem, is basically a mixture of depressed, sexually repressed, gender denying, religious zealots that don’t have a care for any other human being other than themselves and their immediate bubble of angry and discontented ‘friends’.
The social mediums that I frequent are.
Twitter: full of people telling us they are having a bad day, a good day, transphobia, homophobia, bullies from all sides and a rhetoric that says, if you don’t agree with me – you are wrong!
Facebook: is full of racist, misogynistic, covid deniers, sexist and politically and religiously naïve commentary along with cats, dogs, what people ate last night (I do food), Happy Birthday messages (because it is easier) and all other kinds of junk advertising, I am being inundated with Golf Trousers/pants at the moment because I dared to look at some on a website and got pixeled :/
Reddit: is similar as are all the other social mediums.
TikTok – don’t even go there! Well, the comedy is good, right?
The one contributing factor to all of this, is Human Beings – obvious I know but, it is as it has always been. Human Beings are, it would seem, idiots!
Political leaders brandishing metaphorical swords. Presidents and prime ministers telling us we are the greatest country in the World and political ‘activists trying to blow us up, either metaphorically or in the real.
Every single day there are Smack My Head moments, some posts are beyond the pale, some posts are educational, funny, endearing and heart-breaking.
Social media helps us keep in touch with our friends, family and our leanings. It also shows us that our World is not as happy as it could be. Constant wars, constant berating of individuals, calling out rights, wrongs and everything in between.
So, what do we do – do we hold the social media companies responsible rather than address our own inadequacies? We say, you started this, so you must moderate this – ok, who is going to moderate the moderators – they are humans too – or do we rely on AI? No thank you, AI is nowhere near good enough to spot a sarcastic remark, nowhere near seeing that a person has an issue, and a helping hand needs to be extended.
I have a part of an answer, it won’t go down well, it will be lambasted and it will be denied but, it will do something to at least curb the n’er do wells because they can at least, be identified.
Charge for access, it doesn’t have to be much, but it will need a full address, a full credit/debit card payment and it will make self-identification mandatory. You can have different scales. £1.00 a month and you get to see all of the adverts; £5.00 a month and you get to opt out of all the adverts and sign up to a code of conduct – make it a legal contract. Be nicer or lose access. I know, I know. Money is tight, you also don’t want to be identified, you want to have your privacy protected and you want to rant under a pseudonym because, well, you just do.
Of course, the Social Mediums will rail against this as well. Their model is free forever, their model is – the advertisers will pay us so much more for advertising access but, a Billion people paying for access to any social media, well, that is a lot of money – so make it affordable, make it mandatory and at least the moderators will know who you are and you will know that they know who you are and it may go some way to moderating your own behaviour. It may also get rid of the people that don’t want to pay because they don’t want to be identifiable – that, would be a good thing.
Of course, not everyone is a mad keyboard warrior or a racist, or a sexist or a gender denier and not everyone is an idiot. But, there are millions that are so, make them pay and make them behave in a better, more acceptable way.
Education is also key. Governments need to stop telling people they are living in the best country in the world, that their country is top of the pile and will BEAT other countries in wars, commerce and betterness of all kinds. Schools need to have a better educational value towards positive interaction, bullying and social awareness. Religion and politicians need to wake up to the 21st century and realise that our bodies are our own and what we do with them is our choice.
Freedom is about choice and yes, charging for access to social mediums is and would be a choice but, they have always been free so why change now?
Simply put, Social Media is basically out of control, it has been since its inception. For someone to be able to make hateful comments on such a massive platform, push their values down others throats with venom, threats and every form of bullying there is from why don’t you use a pro noun in your profile to, why are you using a pro noun in your profile to shouting at people just because they cook a steak differently or even the fact that they are eating a dead animal, to criticising you because you do or don’t believe in one of a thousand deities. People are people and sometimes, people cannot control the urge to be nasty, creepy, stalky and all things abhorrent on the internet.
So, people, control yourselves better, be nicer and be as good a human as you can be and your social medium of choice won’t disappear because a government somewhere fines them so much money, breaks them up or worse, bans them altogether.
I get that charging for social medium access is a biggy, it would be hard to control as there will always be the company that would say, join this SM as its free forever. My views on this are flexible. Maybe don’t charge but make it a condition that you identify yourself via a forma ID. I know there are people out there that don’t want a formal ID card, which in my view is nonsense, you need a social security number in every single country I have visited (it’s been a few) so what’s the issue there then?
I also hear you say, If you don’t like social media, get off them – ok, I will but my business would suffer, my friends would not know what I ate last night and my family – which is extensive and across the world would miss out on my updates 😉
I don’t want the social mediums to close down. I want all of us to be better, I am far from perfect and have had some social media interaction that I am not proud of but, having basically spent most of the last 10 years, moderating groups, commenting on comments and interacting with the good and the bad – especially through Lockdowns. I want social media to succeed, I want better, and more appropriate conversations and interactions and I want a better world. Let us see if we can fix this.