Tech Giants Still Stumbling in the Social World They Created
NEW YORK - Who knew connecting the world could get so complicated? Perhaps some of technology's brightest minds should…
So that was cool.
It was only a quote and a couple of paraphrased lines. Here’s the relevant sections:
“If you go back a decade or so, the whole idea of speech on social media was seen as highly positive light,” said Tim Cigelske, who teaches social media at Marquette University in Wisconsin. There was the Arab Spring. There were stories of gay, lesbian and transgender teens from small towns finding support online.
At the same time, of course, the companies were racing to build the largest audiences possible, slice and dice their user data and make big profits by turning that information into lucrative targeted advertisements…
But it’s particularly difficult for huge tech companies to balance public goods such free speech with the need to protect their users from harassment, abuse, fake news and manipulation. Especially given that their business models require them to alienate as few of their users as possible, lest they put the flood of advertising money at risk.
That was a condensed version of what we talked about in 30 minutes. As a former reporter, I know that’s how it goes— gotta hear both sides. I thought the reporter did a great job of boiling down the main points into cohesive sound bites.
But here on Medium, I’m not limited by a word count! If you want my expanded thoughts on social media, “censorship” and free speech, here you go.