Safe Social Media Network
So, what is
a "safe" social media network? Can social media be un-safe, or even dangerous?
- just look at all the bullying, fake-news, conspiracy theories and anti-social behaviour on the world's major social media sites. Just look at how people are hooked on it, how these networks foster disinformation and misdirection.
Just look at the way their users' data was used to build informational, mind-bending, influence campaigns to help get Donald Trump elected and get Brits to vote for Brexit ... [references
So yeah, you bet social networks can be dangerous. And when their owners will not take down offensive content because their
owners, the share-holders, are only in it for the advertising money, the social media space can become very unhealthy indeed. [references
So, again, what is
social media network?
Enter, Coms Communicator
There are several practical moves app-developers can make to avoid the harms caused by the relentless pursuit of the greenback. First of all, we have to care more about people.
People's behaviours are affected by the cultures they live in: for example, 30% of Americans (about 70 million people) own guns, and vigorously defend their right to do so, and 300 or so million Europeans think that they're all mad! That's because those social cultures are very different and people influence each other in different ways.
Think of a social network as a cultural space where people interact and there develops a mood, a tone, an atmosphere which inevitably influences people's feelings and outlooks. The social-app developer needs to decide whether s/he's building a mad house or a coffee house, or maybe just a money machine.
is like a coffee house whose management fosters a pleasant atmosphere, conducive to enriching interactions.
Offensive content is proactively countered
No reasonable person wants to be cursed at, insulted, aggresively put down or shown disturbing images. Ugliness is ugliness, it's not funny, it's not pleasant. Therefore, Coms' filters and moderators censor it or remove it, or prevent it being posted in the first place.
Fake news, conspiracy theories and disinformation presented as factual are treated the same way. Coms' intention is to discourage anti-social input, to elevate standards and to foster social mindfullness.
No algorithmic influencing of members' minds
Unethical social media technology employs algorithms which monitor and analyze users' clicks and pauses, posts and messages. Users are presented with "relevant" content to keep them onsite, and push notifications are designed to bring users back onsite.
Several design techniques are used to support toxic narcissism, to amplify positive feedback and to cause users to feel dependent on the network for feelings of affirmation and wellbeing. It's all intended to keep eyes glued to the page where advertisers can take advantage of people's attention.
Coms does none of this. Conversely, we speak of our members, not "our users", we avoid advertising and members are given effective filtering, blocking and reporting tools that they manage themselves.
Cultivate mindfull social cohesion
By doing our best to eliminate the negative and support the positive, Coms aspires to cultivate social cohesion in a community of reasonable, mindfull and well-intentioned people - a safe zone where free-expression can be encouraged and where criticisms are expected to be helpful.
Members are also required to be witty, to dig rock 'n' roll, to at least try to appreciate opera, to applaud each other's football teams and to love their children
To provide deeper insight into Coms
' position on social networking, we offer and recommend the following links:
Center for Humane Technology
Tristan Harris on YouTube
Jaron Lanier explains the addiction
... and two enlightening documentaries available on Netflix:
The Great Hack
2019 documentary film about the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data-mining scandal
The Social Dilemma
2020 docu-drama about big-data, behaviour manipulation and the degradation of democracy.