How important social media policy is for a better democracy

Human usually feels powerful enough to think they can make great decisions. Since our social media platforms are overwhelming us with ads and trends, it only gets harder to figure out what our essential needs and our beliefs are. The issue does not seem that of a big deal when you make a bad decision about buying a pair of shoes you don’t need, but it gets quite disturbing if it influences the political decisions of people.

What’s the issue?

That ethical consideration did not stop Donald Trump from violating Twitter’s guidelines and making false claims about election fraud, especially about Mail-in-Ballots. One of the main differences between traditional media and social media is that your behaviours on social media platforms will determine what you see and can lead you to extremist content since you don’t have complete control on what you consume. Also, a set of producers with executives are validating content promoted on traditional media in opposite to social media platforms that offer millions of accounts with great variety of content.

Example of chaos

With the messages Donald Trump was sharing, a gathering that turned into a riot was organized at the Capitol and led to a risk of further incitement of violence. On the other hand, some people thought that banning Donald Trump from twitter and Facebook was going against the right to freedom of opinion. Therefore, in order to suggest a functional system of democracy, social media policy is needed.

Solutions

Platform governance usually applies the policies in place to influence how information is filtered. A new era of social media regulation should be enforced: the past incident proved that there was still a lack of regulation in place in order to protect the consumers. Twitter decided to ban Donlad Trump, accounts associated with conspiracy theory group and any content that was considered as violence-inciting. In addition, the U.S. government is reviewing the section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which is the federal law that provides immunity from liability for internet services and users for content posted on the internet. The way regulators of social media act today will therefore shape the political environment of tomorrow.

Sources: 

Ciligot, C. (2020, January 24). What is platform governance and why is it a big deal? Learning Hub. From: https://learn.g2.com/platform-governance

Ghosh, D. (2021, January 14). Are we entering a new era of social media regulation? Harvard Business review. From:

https://hbr.org/2021/01/are-we-entering-a-new-era-of-social-media-regulation

Howard, J. (2021, January 19). Opinion: Twitter was right to suspend Trump. But no one should be banned forever. The Washington Post, Global opinions. From: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/19/twitter-was-right-suspend-trump-no-one-should-be-banned-forever/