Social media and harmful content
Social media is neither bad nor good. This is something that has already been proven many times. If you surround yourself with the right group of users, the experience and benefits they offer can be enormous. Like, for example, contacts when it comes to getting new jobs, learning things that otherwise would have been difficult to find or simply enjoying and having fun with the content they publish.
However, they can also be the opposite if for some reason only fake news, hate messages and all that other content is given visibility that does nothing more than polarize society. Something that, in part, we saw and showed quite well The Network Dilemma, one of the latest documentaries released by Netflix that tells precisely all this.
The said documentary at the end you are left with the idea that users are responsible for the content, although social networks must also do their part to prevent harmful content from swarming freely on their platforms. And that’s what Vanessa Pappas, acting director of TikTok in the United States, wants to achieve.
Vanessa Pappas has sent a letter to nine of the most important social networks today. Thus, it has been received by Sundar Pichai (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Adam Mosseri (Instagram), Emmett Shear (Twitch), Ben Silbermann (Pinterest), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Evan Spiegel (Snapchat), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube) and Steve Huffman (Reddit). In it, Pappas’ proposal is focused on fix the problem of harmful content through a coalition.
In other words, it wants all platforms to find a mechanism to work as one when there is some type of content that could be harmful to users. A recent example of this would be the suicide video that sadly spread like wildfire on TikTok. Extremely violent images were seen in the video and, as you can imagine, it is neither allowed content nor the one that users should see.
Well, cases like these want to solve and for this it is true that all platforms must act together. With effective tools that allow not only to delete any publication within their platforms but also to alert the rest almost instantly to avoid propagation. Because it has already been seen many times that something starts on one platform, but ends up exploding on another.
A proposal that is already late
This would be something like Captain a posteriori, but this initiative that they propose from TikTok is something that now seems so obvious that I should have already been going. But it is not like that, so we hope that it will come to fruition and that will happen. That each and every one of the social platforms, especially those that generate the greatest number of users and content on a daily basis, be able to work together so that all this is reduced to a minimum.
If not, if they are not able to find mechanisms that effectively fight harmful content, we can say that social networks will have to be reinvented or directly disappear.