1. The world's best reading app

    Great articles, no ads. Get started for free.

    The AtlanticAdrienne LaFrance12/15/2023 min
    5 reads3 comments
    10
    The Atlantic
    5 reads
    10
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScout
      9 months ago

      If the age of reason was, in part, a reaction to the existence of the printing press, and 1960s futurism was a reaction to the atomic bomb, we need a new philosophical and moral framework for living with the social web—a new Enlightenment for the information age, and one that will carry us back to shared reality and empiricism.

      Andrew Bosworth, one of Facebook’s longtime executives, has compared Facebook to sugar—in that it is “delicious” but best enjoyed in moderation. In a memo originally posted to Facebook’s internal network last year, he argued for a philosophy of personal responsibility. “My grandfather took such a stance towards bacon and I admired him for it,” Bosworth wrote. “And social media is likely much less fatal than bacon.”

      Anyone who is serious about mitigating the damage done to humankind by the social web should, of course, consider quitting Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and any other algorithmically distorted informational environments that manipulate people. But we need to adopt a broader view of what it will take to fix the brokenness of the social web.

      And, finally, OH MY GOD, YESSS:

      The web’s existing logic tells us that social platforms are free in exchange for a feast of user data; that major networks are necessarily global and centralized; that moderators make the rules. None of that need be the case. We need people who dismantle these notions by building alternatives. And we need enough people to care about these other alternatives to break the spell of venture capital and mass attention that fuels megascale and creates fatalism about the web as it is now.

      • dsak9 months ago

        YES!

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScout
          9 months ago

          Woot!