Social Media Is Broken: MIT Report Suggests Solutions to Fix It


Vast powers concentrated within the palms of some companies, the unfold of faux info and information, threats to privateness, election course of and democracy have been among the key points researchers, policymakers, and customers within the US underscored in regards to the social media ecosystem just lately. The Social Media Summit at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had consultants who mentioned not simply points but in addition a spread of potential options. The 17-page report discusses intimately all the problems regarding social media and their options.

Here are a number of highlights from the MIT report:

Fake News And Misinformation

Did you realize {that a} examine discovered that faux information and false info travelled “farther, quicker, deeper, and extra broadly than the reality?” Not just that, such information is also 70 percent more likely to be retweeted as compared to the truth. It’s further aided by social media algorithms. Clint Watts, a research fellow with the Foreign Policy Institute, suggested one of the ways to address this is to crack down on prolific offenders. “We know about them, and [enforcement] needs to focus there for maximum impact,” Watts said.  

User Privacy And Platform Transparency Balance

MIT Sloan professor Sinan Aral, who led the event, said that social media poses a “transparency paradox.” And therefore she added that not just researchers but even the public had the right to know how these platforms were accessing and using our data. Kate Starbird, an associate professor at the University of Washington, said that algorithmic transparency, that allows researchers to examine peer-to-peer information sharing without sharing personal information would enable greater understanding about malicious use and how to prevent it. 


Independent oversight is a necessity, said Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Facebook, adding the world was way beyond the debate of whether or not we needed new rules. He, however, isn’t in favour of different rules for different parts of the world. This, Clegg said, may “balkanise” the Internet and due to this fact the US and EU wanted to work collectively and produce India into the fold.

Business Model Is Not User Friendly

The social media mannequin, consultants stated, is designed on consideration financial system, that means the platforms promote your consideration to the advertisers, including what will get consideration is not all the time good for customers or the society at giant. Hence, a revision of the enterprise fashions in a method that takes it from the eye financial system might assist. Scott Galloway, an adjunct professor of selling at New York University, instructed subscription-based fashions, untied to promoting, might be another. The concern, although, is what if the most effective, fact-checked info is all the time behind the paywall. 

Algorithms additional bias, racism, and polarisation

Safiya Noble, the co-founder of the Center for Critical Internet Inquiry at UCLA, stated that individuals organise and entry info via social media platforms and serps. However, she famous that firms operating these platforms aren’t all the time ruled by the rules of democracy and human rights and generally the most well-liked, worthwhile speech promotes racism, misinformation, and polarisation.

Renée Richardson Gosline, a principal analysis scientist at MIT Sloan, stated that part of the issue is frictionless techniques that permit customers to simply retweet and share this sort of info.


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