This will be an experiment in social media that is quite unlike anything that you will find elsewhere.
First I think it is helpful to ask why yet another social media platform would be required. There certainly are many to choose from currently, so what could possibly be the appeal or motivation for yet another?
Modern social media has come under criticism for a few very good reasons.
- Inaccuracies and outright falsehoods are quite common
- There is either no accountability for spreading misinformation, or the consequences are insignificant compared with the potential rewards
- Discussion forums more resemble some sort of stream of consciousness rather than any organized coherent method of analysis and discussion.
- Most social media websites have as their primary basic objective the maximization of advertising revenue. From this it follows that they actually benefit from increasing emotions and radicalization rather than co-operation and deliberation.
- Social media sites are usually centrallized in the hands of large corporations that then have the ability to decide unilaterally to prohibit discussion, individuals, or organziations for any reason whatsoever.
- The same social media businesses also have an incentive to spy on their own users whether at the behest of advertisers, government, or anyone with sufficent funds.
- Since privacy is never a realistic expectation in these relationships encryption is seldom a priority.
So looking at that laundry list, which is far from exhaustive, what features would an alternative model have?
- A built-in mechanism for challenging and/or supporting statements and ranking the accuracy of statements
- A mechanism for rewarding people for making statements that are deemed truthful or otherwise within community guidelines and discouraging people from making false statements or those outside the community guidelines.
- Alternative distribution methods that promote reflective consideration
- Both an advertiser and a consumer bill of rights that allows advertisers to get to their potential clients without pestering a wide swath of uninterested people endlessly and also allow clients to ensure that the ads they get are relevant, not intrusive, and that their personal information is not compromised in any way.
- Confidentiality and privacy as pre-eminant design considerations.
- A mechanism to maintain all of the above in a thoroughly decentralized manner so that anyone anywhere can start up their own server at any time with all of these features automatically and irrevocaly available without the need to acquire permission from any government or corporate entity.
Neither of these lists are comprehensive, and if you have any suggestion, by all means forward them to me. For now, it is a good start. I have a plan to implement all of these things but for now getting the webserver a bit more functional is the most important step.
More to come ... soon.
- The Data Architect A website devoted to the discussion of data and database architecture. If you know the difference between those two things, you will want to pop by. ;)
- Open Nest This is going to be a social media platform unlike any of the platforms that are currently available. Warning! No dopamine hits are likely.
- Northwestern Ontario Environmental Science Education Research Community This is an attempt to create a sustainable, science-based life in northwestern Ontario. If successful, this model will have wide ranging impacts and should be adoptable by communities anywhere.
- TGrall This is an attempt to build a webserver whose guiding principles are ease of use, high performance, massively distributable, and secure.
- Brad Neufeld In so much as he has time, this is where you will find information about Brad Neufeld, the eccentric bushman that operates these endeavours.