Which Emerged from the Internet On Its Own.
Facebook, Twitter, and all the other places where all people can, and do, go to ‘get together’ and swap stories and ideas has devolved into a cesspool made strangely of a combination of good and healthy human intercourse which is naturally productive, AND also, sadly, morbid and deadly mistruths which are eating away the basic underpinnings of our social order.
More and more people are becoming aware of this, as well as many institutions that make up our world.
There is a rapidly growing sense that this problem needs to be addressed.
Standing in the way is a mistaken belief that ‘freedom of speech’ makes it impossible to do anything.
There is not, and never has been a First Amendment right to propagate mistruths, lies, and slanders about events and people. That social media makes its bread and butter from such vitriol is a fundamental problem for what used to be a solidly sensible society.
Up until now our world has had a reasonable way of self-policing way such distortions, so that they could/would not destroy the foundations of our world. The best example is the editorial processes of news organizations.
The Internet brought the means to amplify and magnify wrong stuff with little resistance; cell phones ensured the reach became immediate and limitless.
How can we counter that situation, before it destroys our foundational truths and any hope of a shared reality?
It should not be necessary to kill social media (tempting as it may be).
Yet, we need government to create a system that can intervene and judge when social media has allowed/enabled untruth and unreality to go to extremes which threaten the basic reality fabric of society itself.
That system would basically use its power to scan and review all information that enters the system before publication and compare it to well-established known truths (such algorithms are already used to flag posts that end up with warning labels or hidden behind disclaimers). A post or comment that didn’t offend the truth would continue on to be published without interruption.
Those flagged as possible offenders would be diverted into a review process by which the post and unbiased contextual information would be sent to teams of moderators, assigned by proven neutral Commissioners, for a recommendation which the Commissioners would then send to the people on both sides of the factual debate.
If the matter can be settled at that point, all to the good.
If not, the Commissioners would have the power to order the offending content withheld and, if appropriate, assess a stiff penalty against the offender.
In the event of a repetitive pattern of abuse, the Commissioners would have the power to fine the social media organization, in a meaningful way, if they do not deny the use of their system to such abusers.
And, if the social media organization refuses to obey the Commissioners, they would have the power and authority to shut down that platform.
The above is obviously only a rough way of creating an overall process, yet to be invented.
But something like that must be discovered and invented.
There is nothing inherently wrong with Facebook and Twitter except their susceptibility to gross misuse.
They seem not to want to or feel they cannot do anything about that.
Thus, the time has arrived that it must be forced on them!