Fixing what broke the internet

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Of january riot That loss was shown in the US Capitol, resulting in millions believing that an election was stolen despite no evidence of widespread fraud.

The Election Integrity Partnership, a coalition of online information researchers, was published this week comprehensive analysis False story of presidential election and recommended ways to avoid repeating.

Internet companies were not solely to blame for the charge of the stolen election, but the report concluded that they were hubs where false narratives were alleged, reinforced and cemented. I am going to tell you here about three fascinating suggestions of the report that how companies like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter can help improve the health of information. About elections and everything else.

A broader point: One may realize that norms and people’s behavior online are irreversible and unavoidable, but they are not. Digital life is still relatively new, and what is good or toxic is the result of deliberate choice by companies and all of us. We can fix what is broken. And the like Another threat against the Capitol This week shows, it is necessary that we get this right.

1) A high bar for the highest impact and repeat offenders: Kim Kardashian can change your mind more than your dentist. And research about the 2020 election has shown that a relatively small number of major organizations and people, including President Donald Trump, Boycotted one Role in establishing the myth of a rigid view.

Currently, sites such as Facebook and YouTube mostly consider the message poster or the substance of the video when it is determined whether it violates their policies. World leaders More levees than the rest of us And sometimes other prominent people Get pass When they break the guidelines of companies.

It doesn’t make any sense.

If internet companies did nothing else, it would make a big difference to how they treated the influential people they were most responsible for if they changed. Spreading false facts – and motivated to do so again and again.

Researchers at EIP suggested three changes: create stricter rules for influential people; Prioritize rapid decision-making over key accounts that break rules; And enhancing results for habitual supersiders of bogus information.

YouTube has long had such “three attack” accounts that repeatedly break its rules and Twitter Recently adopted version For positions in this system that it makes misleading views about election or coronavirus vaccination.

However, the hard part is, it is not necessary to make policies. When doing so they can be applied so that a backlash can be triggered.

2) Internet companies should tell us what they are doing and why: Larger websites such as Facebook and Twitter have detailed guidelines as to what is not allowed – for example, violence to others or threats to sell drugs.

But Internet companies often enforce their policies inconsistently and do not always provide a clear reason when people’s posts are flagged or removed. The EIP report suggested that online companies do more to share evidence to inform people about their guidelines and support why a post broke the rules.

3) More visibility and accountability for decisions of Internet companies: News organizations have reported on Facebook’s own research that identifying methods for computer recommendations Take some steps to stabilize ideas And Made people more polarized. But Facebook and other internet companies are mostly Keep such analysis a secret.

Researchers at EIP suggested that Internet companies turn their research into misinformation and their assessment of efforts to counter it. It can improve people’s understanding of how these information systems work.

The report also suggested a change that journalists and researchers have long wanted: outsiders looking to post posts removed by Internet companies, or false. This will allow accountability for decisions that Internet companies make.

There are no easy fixes to build Americans’ trust in a shared set of facts, especially when internet sites enable lies to travel far and true from the truth. But the recommendations of the EIP show that we have options and a way out.



  • Amazon Big (ger) in New York: My colleagues Matthew Haig and Winnie Hu have written about Amazon Open more godowns For rapid delivery in New York neighborhoods and suburbs. Related to 2020 on Tech Newsletter: Why Amazon More package hubs are needed where people live.

  • Our homes are always looking: Law enforcement officials have demanded video from internet-connected doorbell cameras to help solve crimes, but the Washington Post writes that A. Cameras sometimes pose a threat to them, Too. In Florida, a man saw FBI agents coming through his home camera and opened fire, killing two people.

  • Square is buying Jay-Z’s streaming music service: Yes, the company that lets the flea market seller swipe your credit card Own a streaming music company. No, it makes no sense. (Squire said it’s about finding new ways for musicians to make money.)

a The kitty cat will not hit the roof of the train About two and a half hours in London. Are here Way too silly jokes About the train-surfing cat. (Or maybe just too happy?)


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