Posted on May 2, 2018 by Chad Birch (Deimos)
Online communities are in a precarious and unhealthy state right now.
Major internet platforms are exhibiting a wide range of issues: they collect our personal data and fail to protect it; amplify outrage and encourage mob harassment; spread false information and radicalize viewpoints; and allow racism and hate speech to propagate. These are all incredibly serious issues, yet they’re still only a small sample of the problems that are becoming apparent.
The companies behind the platforms know their products cause these negative effects, but they’ve decided to treat them as acceptable costs instead of taking decisive action to address the issues. Only legal or public pressure seem to produce meaningful responses.
Why is this happening?
I believe that almost all issues with internet platforms trace back to two root causes:
Dependence on venture capital and the expectation of massive returns for their investors
Business models based around