Week 2 Reading Discussion
Nothing Lasts Forever — Not Even on the Internet – Annalee Newitz
  • In a society where the majority have grown up with fast updates and the ability to post within seconds, do you think the idea of a slow, human regulated system would be possible to get adjusted to? Do you think it would be a positive change as technology and social media today is the cause of anxiety for many? 
  • The article states that “Ms. Shane’s neural network makes it obvious why media run by algorithms is doomed to fail.” and that “We need humans to maintain and curate the digital public spaces we actually want.” But to do so, we would still be sacrificing the privacy of our data and interests. Which is more important to maintain, our privacy or better curated content? 
  • Many professionals believe that because of the authoritarian algorithm controlling social media platforms the people who grew up with the internet will desire a new algorithm where they are aware of the the content sources. Could this possibly solve the issue of false media?
  • One of the arguably great things about social media is that it opens up discussions to the global public. As a result, it gives people an insight into the different opinions and views of people around the world. How can a curated digital platform maintain this? How can people still be challenged in their beliefs and have open discussions if they limit what they see online?
  • Google Drive replaced Microsoft Word in the same way that Myspace was replaced by Facebook, which was replaced by Instagram, etc. Changing platforms isn’t new, and there aren’t any illusions among us that anything we use regularly is permanent. The only thing that has changed is the general public’s knowledge of the internet and it’s inner workings. Could a society better educated about computers and online privacy be a better solution to internet scams and fake media than slowing down the entire process? 
  • The article states “People who aren’t willing to meet up in person, no matter how persuasive their online personas, simply won’t be trusted. She imagines a version of what happened with #yourslipisshowing, where people who share virtual spaces will alert one another to possible fakes. “ Will this resolve an issue of false identities and online “scamming”? 
  • Mr Scalzi thinks that we should turn social media on its head and that “It would be up to you to curate what you want to see. Your online profiles would begin with everything and everyone blocked by default” This way news and other media would only reach you after you opted into them. In theory this seems like a good method for people to avoid content and advertisements they deem unimportant. Could this be a viable option for a new wave of social media or would it leave people out of the loop and uneducated because they are only subscribing to things they already know and care about?
  • Another prediction for a future social media model is delaying users uploads by a week so that it can reviewed by moderators. The goal of this was to limit useless content and to “slow down” users activity. Right now, some think there is an overwhelming amount of content that serves no purpose, along with content that falls into the fake news category/triggering content etc. Many social media sites moderate this kind of content already, but with addictive and obsessive behavior around social media, do you see the idea of slowing down or delaying posts being beneficial? Do you see this more intense type of post moderation invasive / too much surveillance?
   In regards to Ms. Noble’s idea of “slow media”, she said, “It might help accomplish privacy goals,     or give consumers better control.”Isn’t everything on the internet essentially public? What would     these privacy goals protect specifically? 
Newitz and Erica Hall claim that “when” the social media age is over that digital public spaces will be implemented for people to meet, anonymously debate/socialize, and not be forced to share personal information. In this hypothetical, how would credibility be given to those who lead discussions or choose to share opinions? Newitz says it would be easier to control who comes into our private lives since it is real life, but it would be creating an underlying motive of proving worthiness to everyone around you - which is essentially what social media does anyway. 
  • The article states that “Ms. Noble imagines a counterintuitive and elegantly simple solution to the algorithm problem. She calls it ‘slow media.’” Would this benefit or hinder the use of internet? Since the internet is known for it’s fast pace communication, would people still like using it if it becomes “slow?”
How do you think “slow media” will be introduced and accepted by a generation that is so used to instant gratification? 
  • Newitz describes an idea of a “better internet” in which humans are more in control of what they see and the algorithms are replaced instead with individual curation, in an effort to bring safety and truth to what we see. But do people really want safety and truth in their internet, or do they use the internet for for discovery and entertainment?