Facebook PixelHow would you change the social networking algorithm to avoid "the social dilemma"?
Brainstorming
Brainstorming
Brainstorming session

How would you change the social networking algorithm to avoid "the social dilemma"?

How would you change the social networking algorithm to avoid "the social dilemma"?

Image credit: Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

By Shubhankar Kulkarni on Sep 24, 2020

Creative contributions

Blockchain-based Internet Browsing and Access Through the Verified-Accounts Only

by Juran K. on Sep 24, 2020

Povilas S a month ago
Maybe I don't fully understand the system you have in mind, but at first glance, this doesn't seem to be very appealing from privacy perspective. And I don't think people would like this. This is the opposite of anonymity. You are forced to always show your true identity (to whoever can access that information). Now at least you can try to hide it. This would make zero efforts for the governments to trace your every step online. It's like walking around with your name, surname, and personal number tattooed on your forehead. I personally would envision something totally opposite - where everyone can be completely anonymous online unless they want to show their true identity. And it would be necessary to show it only when it's really necessary (logging in to a bank or pages with sensitive data, etc.).
Juran K. a month ago
I understand your worries and I will try to explain it better. I don´t like and support anonymity online or anywhere in public (and online is public). People act more carefully and thoughtfully when in public. Anonymity online would be like an unknown guy on the street wearing a hood. - I see it this way. Nowadays, app and website owners give us access to contents in exchange for our browsing history or private data. Later they sell it to marketing companies that bombard us with perfectly-tailored ads or use it in other freaky ways to enhance their businesses and earn money. You have two perspectives here. 1) The Internet is coming to you in a way that no boring and unspecified ads and contents appear – you save your time and get the things you want; somebody is giving you this opportunity and service, but they need to earn money somehow 2) The Internet is coming to you, spying you and you become a product; somebody earns money on you surfing the Internet and you don´t like being followed. - I am not saying there is the correct one, but I don´t see it as a privacy problem. You can stop using the Internet the same as you can stop going public (coffee shops, shopping centers, etc). You can also choose to block all cookies but then your Internet experience will be limited or you will not be able to use the services. One offline example: if you go to a bank, they will not work with you if you don´t give them your ID. Only then you can use their products, but you become a product, too. You often buy groceries in the shop nearby and pay with card and suddenly, a 20% discount on groceries arrives from the bank. All I am saying, it is everywhere. But if we want safe Internet, I think anonymity should be removed in order to stop online frauds and unwanted breaches/stealing of private data. I agree that private data policies should become more transparent. But it is an offline problem, too. We should rather take it as an opportunity. It would be best if you could have better Internet search accuracy and ad hits, targeting exactly what you want, but at the same time get a small percent of your personal data being sold. That would be nice – like a coupon for groceries.
Juran K. a month ago
In addition, if you think your privacy is endangered by regular browsing, anonymous browsing is supported by the DuckDuckGo search engine, but then you lose the specificity of the top hits and tailored marketing. Everything else is just like you described. They give you options, but it´s hard to give up the "care" they give us with a personalized approach.

Maybe the governments should step up

by Subash Chapagain on Oct 02, 2020

Shubhankar Kulkarni 24 days ago
I like the idea of governments stepping up. However, the kind of investments the tech giants deal with is hard to achieve for the governments. So, "active" regulation of the platform by the governments would not easily feasible. What the governments can do best is make amends to the justice system and modify laws and see to it that they are abided by. Also, there have arisen other technological movements that want to make social networking safer. These work by creating new technology. I want to focus, in this session, more on the technological developments that can make the online environment safer. We know for sure that social networking platforms are not going to stop/ take a step back. Therefore, newer, safer technology that counter/ keep these platforms in check needs to be implemented.

Enabling users to sort the feed

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 09, 2020

Disabling advertisements for premium users

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 09, 2020

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Povilas S a month ago
I think both 1 and 2 solutions would be extremely helpful, just it's not likely that this will happen. Removing marketing may make social networks paid. Solution to this could be donation-based social media which would probably be a better thing just because of that. Facebook used to be ad-free some.. I don't know but I think maybe 6 years ago? Or at least it wasn't full of them then. The number of users was already huge then, so I don't think it can't survive without ads. About "no long-term storage of user data" - I don't see a reason why it should be stored at all, except from tracking you.
Shubhankar Kulkarni a month ago
Short-term storage and use of the browsing data will be necessary to give the user a personalized experience. The browsing history tells the algorithm what content the user likes to view and can add related material to the feed. But I think you are right, if the user wants to follow a particular person, they can just click "follow". Similarly, if they wish to follow a certain topic, they can simply click and follow it. The algorithm just spoon-feeds the user with associated people and topics. From the point-of-view of the user, not much changes if the social networking site does not store any browsing data.