Users of social media are attracted to platforms supporting free speech and open communication. The business motivations of social media are too, but for a different reason. A social media company’s valuation is largely driven by active user metrics, from which advertising and media value are derived. The free speech that users steadfastly value often turns out to be provoked, induced through controversy or cult phenomenon. Platform disruptors both large and small can help drive up user activity by provoking speech in such ways, which benefits the value of the platform. The more disruptors a platform has (and the more freedom they’re given), the more controversy and virality will exist to improve those metrics that drive valuation. The consequences, though, of designing a platform engendering controversy and virality can be seen in the obvious de-evolution of social norms online: civility is rare, cruelty is ever increasing, and understanding no longer has the currency it once had. Outrage pays.
Social media has amplified societal ills, and I find it odd that people persist with it “despite” its known flaws. We are spending less time for mindfulness (and understanding nuances). For this reason, I prefer to “read and write” to form ideas and act on them. Social media presence is automated to improve my workflows and save time for myself.
Good and recommended read.