The proliferation of bogus information and news, risks to privacy, the electoral process, and democracy are just a few of the main problems that scholars, politicians, and users in the United States have lately highlighted concerning the social media ecosystem. Experts spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Social Media Summit about a variety of challenges as well as potential solutions. The 17-page study goes through all of the problems with social media and how to solve them.
Here are a few highlights from the MIT report:
Fake News And Misinformation
Did you know that a study found that fake news and false information traveled “farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth?” Not only that, but false information is 70 percent more likely to be retweeted than true information. Algorithms on social media help it even more. One solution, according to Clint Watts, a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute, is to tighten down on repeat violators. Watts stated, “We know about them, and [police] has to focus there for greatest impact.”
User Privacy And Platform Transparency Balance
The event’s organizer, MIT Sloan professor Sinan Aral, described social media as posing a “transparency dilemma.” As a result, she went on to say that not only researchers but also the general public had a right to know how these platforms accessed and used our data. According to Kate Starbird, an associate professor at the University of Washington, algorithmic transparency, which allows researchers to analyze peer-to-peer information sharing without disclosing personal information, would help academics better understand harmful usage and how to avoid it.
Independent monitoring is essential, according to Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, who added that the world had moved on from the discussion over whether or not new regulations were required. He, on the other hand, is opposed to having distinct regulations for various regions of the world. According to Clegg, this may “balkanize” the Internet, and the US and EU must work together to bring India into the fold.
Business Model Is Not User Friendly
According to analysts, the social media business is based on an attention economy, which means that platforms sell your attention to advertisers. However, what draws attention isn’t necessarily healthy for users or society as a whole. As a result, a modification of business models away from the attention economy may be beneficial. Subscription-based models that aren’t connected to advertising, according to Scott Galloway, an adjunct professor of marketing at New York University, might be an option. However, what if the greatest, fact-checked information is constantly hidden behind a paywall?
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