Discrimination and misinformation are ills in society. These ills have been amplified by social media platforms. These issues have to be addressed in many ways, but social media platforms are trying to step up against the problem. They’re taking some significant steps towards combating both issues, and hopefully, they see some success because their success is a win for everyone.
Various organizations and movements are trying to deal with discrimination, especially the smaller ones just starting. They need all the help they can get. Social media has been doing its part to amplify these voices. It gives these organizations and movements room to grow by amplifying their voices and messages. Everyone is online and is, at some point, exposed to the concepts and ideas coming from these types of organizations trying to fight racism. While their message can’t win every battle, they can make a difference. Movements like the Black Lives Matter movement owe much of their success to social media platforms. There are bound to be other movements and organizations that’ll benefit from the same platforms.
Simplifying Peer Monitoring
Social media platforms are trying to figure out how to fight some of these issues, like racism, but there’s no way they could ever thoroughly monitor everything that’s said or done on their platforms. Some of these platforms are trying to create tools to monitor their content better, but the reality is that at the moment, there’s nothing better than peer-to-peer monitoring. That’s what some social media platforms have realized. Some companies have created simple ways for folks to report racist and discriminatory comments so that they can be reviewed and removed, like recent Nextdoor updates aimed at avoiding discrimination and hate speech.
While most social media platforms allow trends to unfold organically, a few are starting to make a few changes. Some are doing it to advertise, but others are doing it to fight racism and misinformation. This is especially true about some of the largest social media platforms out there, like Twitter, highlighting only credible information about the current pandemic. There’s some misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine. It seems that platforms like this one are doing their best to highlight the information people need to see because it comes from reliable sources rather than from sources that haven’t been adequately vetted.
People on social media platforms can post whatever they want. That’s pretty much what social media gives folks, the power to share their thoughts using one of the loudest online speakers. For the most part, that’s how social media platforms continue to operate, but things started changing. As misinformation continued to spread, platforms started to see they couldn’t allow this to continue happening, especially with the rise of fake news. It was clear that something had to be done, but they also didn’t want to force change. This made some platforms use prompts to try to address this issue. In essence, a prompt pops up before folks share information asking them if they’ve thought about what they’re about to post. It gently suggests that they back up their claims and be conscious; it’s been working.
Misinformation has been hard to track, mainly because it wasn’t tracked. Social media platforms didn’t care about what was being spread as long as folks continued to interact with the platform, but this couldn’t continue. Some platforms have created systems to monitor news shared online using third-party organizations and fact-checking organizations. These platforms are now effectively flagging fake information and helping to elevate verified information as real news. The system is designed to review the entire post and even issue warnings if people continue to share false information.
Social media platforms control a lot of the discourse in this country. Understanding that reality makes it easy to see why many of these platforms have decided to take more direct action against discrimination and misinformation. Hopefully, this is just the start, and these platforms only get better.