Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Reverse the “Nuance Destruction Machine!”

Techonomy has just published my latest article on our social media disaster, Don’t Swim Against the Tide of “Nuance Destruction”
Social media is “a nuance destruction machine,” as Jeff Bezos concisely put it in his recent widely reported Congressional testimony.
...As long as social media’s financial incentives favor engagement (or “enragement”) over quality, its filtering algorithms will be designed to be favorable to messages of hate and fear. As long as that happens at Internet speed, bolted-on efforts to add back nuance and limit conflict will be futile. We will waste time and resources with little result, and democracy may drown in the undertow.
The article explains a two-part solution:
  1. Change the incentives.
  2. That will motivate platforms to redesign algorithms to filter for nuance — and against incivility and hate speech.
To go beyond the brief outline in the article, see this list of Selected Items.