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  • The Social Dilemma

    I thought I saw someone else bring this up somewhere on the site already, but after a quick look, I couldn't find anything (if it has, let me know). But I still think this deserves its own topic.

    I watched this last night, and while some of the acting in the scenario parts was kinda hokey, the interviews of the tech folks and experts was really quite compelling and, frankly, more than a little disturbing. After watching this, it's really no wonder that society seems to be coming apart at the seams, and I think it all traces back to Silicon Valley.

    This documentary from Jeff Orlowski explores how addiction and privacy breaches are features, not bugs, of social media platforms.

  • #2
    Haven't watched yet, but will soon.

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    • #3
      I think that social media in general is the spawn of the Devil. It lets lunatics of all types connect with each other, which reinforces their lunacy. They think it gives them standing, and their thoughts are more main stream. It also has given people a command, control and communications system that is unparalleled in the civilian world. From what i read the looting in Chicago was coordinated via Facebook and other platforms. Orders/suggestions were made and people went to those areas. I also read where small town police forces are being well outgunned by milita groups. They show up after being notified that there is a BLM protest in small town A and they head there.

      Yes, I have a FB account. I have an elderly relative who likes to use it and I have a level of responsibility for that person. It is a way to stay in touch. I haven't posted anything in a few years.

      My answer is they should be treated as publishers, not platforms. You publish BS and you get to deal with it in court. I'm afraid that cat is long since out of the bag.

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      • #4
        Agreed on the publisher part.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LifestyleJayhawk View Post
          My answer is they should be treated as publishers, not platforms. You publish BS and you get to deal with it in court. I'm afraid that cat is long since out of the bag.
          The more I roll this idea around in my head the more it seems like you'd just force social media sites overseas, likely onto sketchy Russian- and Chinese-owned websites and other places where they don't face the same liability. I don't think holding publishers responsible for what users post is realistic. I don't think outright banning it is realistic (even if it looks more and more appealing to me).

          I think you could unwind 90% of the damage if it wasn't ad-driven, but I don't know if you can legislate that. I imagine there are some 1st amendment issues with banning a site from having ads.

          You could count on the market to demand a privacy-centric ad-free platform, but again, I don't think it's realistic. Facebook makes $150/yr per North American, and still growing. No way is paying $150/yr to use Facebook going to get adoption.

          Edit - looking at that $150/yr number, I don't know, maybe it is realistic to expect them to moderate literally everything that gets posted. But if you think conservatives feel censored now then hold onto your butts...

          Edit 2 - who's going to be liable for wtw posts? I nominate JoeNorris.
          Last edited by LARPHawk; 09-15-20, 03:13 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LARPHawk View Post

            The more I roll this idea around in my head the more it seems like you'd just force social media sites overseas, likely onto sketchy Russian- and Chinese-owned websites and other places where they don't face the same liability. I don't think holding publishers responsible for what users post is realistic. I don't think outright banning it is realistic (even if it looks more and more appealing to me).

            I think you could unwind 90% of the damage if it wasn't ad-driven, but I don't know if you can legislate that. I imagine there are some 1st amendment issues with banning a site from having ads.

            You could count on the market to demand a privacy-centric ad-free platform, but again, I don't think it's realistic. Facebook makes something like $200/yr per North American. No way is paying $200/yr to use Facebook going to get adoption.

            Edit - looking at that $200/yr number, I don't know, maybe it is realistic to expect them to moderate literally everything that gets posted. But if you think conservatives feel censored now then hold onto your butts...
            You could regulate the content of advertising without running afoul of the First Amendment. Commercial speech is less protected. It used to be illegal for attorneys to advertise their services. An outright ban was found to be unconstitutional, but every state still has pretty stringent advertising restrictions.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EasyDisease View Post

              You could regulate the content of advertising without running afoul of the First Amendment. Commercial speech is less protected. It used to be illegal for attorneys to advertise their services. An outright ban was found to be unconstitutional, but every state still has pretty stringent advertising restrictions.
              Interesting. Unfortunately, I think regulating the content does very little. No doubt there's some shady-ass shit running in FB ads, but overall they're pretty strict with paid ads compared to the content in general.

              The problem is with the revenue model itself. As the link blurb above alludes to it creates very large, very powerful organizations that operate on invading privacy, getting users addicted, and using constant experimentation to manipulate their behavior.

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              • #8
                Fro is part of Silicon Valley. He is in no position to contribute to this topic. I don't trust him or his social medias.

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                • #9
                  I read this article a couple of weeks ago. Good read but probably nothing very new for anyone reading here.

                  Tech oracle Jaron Lanier saw the evils of social media platforms before anyone else. Now he talks about whether Twitter activism really works, how to fix Facebook, and why he won't be joining Silicon Valley's overlords in New Zealand.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LARPHawk View Post
                    I read this article a couple of weeks ago. Good read but probably nothing very new for anyone reading here.
                    Haven't read it yet. But I do find it a bit "back in my day" when legacy media criticizes new media. Radio broadcasters used to claim television rotted our brains too. and so on and so on.

                    However, I do think social media is way different.

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                    • #11
                      I just started watching the Netflix show Fro noted. Early on, Jaron Lanier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaron_Lanier) makes an interesting observation when he notes that it's not even your attention that is the product even though we often think that way. Instead, what’s really being sold by social media companies is the ability to incrementally manipulate human behavior. We know that advertising can work because it's existed far before the internet. Now, these companies have extremely big data about each of us and the advertising that can target with me in more effective ways than ever before. Ever, ever before.

                      So, I now see that LARP posted a link about Lanier . . . I hadn't seen that when I wrote the previous paragraph. Perhaps his link says the same thing I just wrote??? I'll get to his link later, but I want to address LARP's earlier discussion with ED. To me, the issue that needs to be controlled is not the paid advertisements. If B&H Photo and Video knows that I buy camera equipment and visit photo sites, and getting into my feed helps me think about and make an additional purchase from them, then more power to them. If they start using bait and switch then I drop them and move to another company. It's the way capitalism works. They provide value to me and I provide money to them. I am more concerned with the kinds ads that are not paid for traditionally. For example, we had a recent discussion in another topic about a woman who left Facebook. That story was about fake accounts being created by governments or others to manipulate the populace. As the person who worked at Facebook noted, there was so much happening with these fake accounts that she couldn't keep her eye on the prize and sometimes these fake accounts led to uprisings that resulted in death. From fake accounts that want to see division in a populace then people die. What about advertising that is trying to control a population through misinformation and has no accountability? Accountability is what is lacking. A lack of accountability can sell people a story about Comet Ping Pong Pizza and little children in the basement and a guy shows up and shoots up the place and there is no basement, but he still believes the conspiracy that was sold to him. In a sense, he is is benefitting from the belief he chooses, so that makes this difficult to separate from the paid advertsing that I earlier was okay with. But going and shooting up a place is crazy and QAnon has no accountability. How do fake accounts and pages peddling fake information get counteracted?

                      As my discussion in the Swamp that got at Conspiracies noted, these fake stories get spread so much faster than the truth. People are bored of the truth. Most pedophilia happens in the home. And, 1/3 is from another child. That's terrible but nobody cares to push that narrative. Instead, social media lights up with news about Wayfair furniture that is expensive actually representing children being sold or that Tom Hanks faked covid while he was locked up for pedophilia. That's where social media is failing us. I don't know the solution. Facebook (or any social media) could have a verification process for accounts that requires an actual person and require names to be legal. That gets complicated for social media sites, sure. But when one small country's gov't could create roughly 10 million fake accounts to be pro gov't in very short order then that seems problematic. Hmmm.

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                      • #12
                        Okay, I am now 2/3 of the way through the show. I just watched a segment that is sort of making the argument I just posted and I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise on this topic of social media. But the segment also draws from my Conspiracy topic that I reference . . . even to the point that the main ethicist guy is pulling out the same data that I presented in that thread. They also reference the Pizzagate stuff from the Conspiracy thread that I just posted above again. It's like they read our Conspiracy topic when making this show. Heh.

                        But seriously, they address what I just posted while also providing other real world damage caused by misinformation and conspiracies including mass deaths and refugees in Myanmar from Facebook. Facebook profits (as do all social media, I suppose) from being able to sell misinformation. For example, most people who bought into Pizzagate didn't go onto Fb looking for it. Instead, they might have had a profile similar to 100 people who joined a flat Earth group, or an anti-vaxx group, so the Pizzagate peddlers bought an audience that looked like the people already buying into conspiracy theories knowing that others were likely to buy into this same kind of misinformation if they were just exposed to it. Fb wins because the behavior of these individuals changes and they can sell more advertising with proof that it works. Facebook has no incentive to not sell misinformation.

                        Why?

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                        • #13
                          IMO instead of working with these giant social media companies, our government should be doing the job of protecting it's citizens and shut them the fuck down. But that will never happen.

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                          • #14
                            AFter watching this last night. I now whole heartedly agree with myself on my above post. It also makes me glad I never joined facebook/insta/snap/tiktok etc. The only one I'm guilty of is Youtube. Twitter for a while, but I realized in about 1 year how toxic it was and dropped it cold turkey.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LARPHawk View Post

                              The more I roll this idea around in my head the more it seems like you'd just force social media sites overseas, likely onto sketchy Russian- and Chinese-owned websites and other places where they don't face the same liability. I don't think holding publishers responsible for what users post is realistic. I don't think outright banning it is realistic (even if it looks more and more appealing to me).

                              I think you could unwind 90% of the damage if it wasn't ad-driven, but I don't know if you can legislate that. I imagine there are some 1st amendment issues with banning a site from having ads.

                              You could count on the market to demand a privacy-centric ad-free platform, but again, I don't think it's realistic. Facebook makes $150/yr per North American, and still growing. No way is paying $150/yr to use Facebook going to get adoption.

                              Edit - looking at that $150/yr number, I don't know, maybe it is realistic to expect them to moderate literally everything that gets posted. But if you think conservatives feel censored now then hold onto your butts...

                              Edit 2 - who's going to be liable for wtw posts? I nominate JoeNorris.
                              Agree 100%. Although people don't care about their privacy as much I once thought. They have no issue being data-mined and tracked in exchange for access to things like social media.

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