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Oppi

What are social networks lacking?

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What do you think major social networks are lacking or how can they be improved?

Personally, two major things I feel need to be amended are privacy and data control (i.e. if you want remove data from the website it's removed from the server, total control over who can see what, and user data isn't sold).

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I agree with the part about data not being sold, but not so much about removing things. In general I tend to think that if you don't want something online then you shouldn't post it in the first place.

I think social networking websites would be better if they encouraged more open dialogue and free speech. The likes of Facebook, YouTube, and more specifically Twitter a terrible track record that shows they are often times incredibly biased against content that goes against left-leaning narratives. Criticise Islam? Say goodbye to making money on your YouTube videos. Maybe you'll even get a 24 hour Facebook ban.

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Actually,I feel social networks need to remind people they are businesses more often. Unpopular opinion ahead.

Depending on the political stance the way the companies deal with things can be quite bias. The only time I see someone right leaning get banned is when a fuss is made but in my circles I've seen people banned for less who are left leaning. If social networks are going to do take this type of stance, then they need to be clearer that they're a business and what they say goes while using their business and if you don't like it move on to something new.

I realise this can be quite dictator like but people like to think freedom of speech should extend to social networks and the way I see it is if you are being a dickhead you get removed, like you would any other business, because you are not free from the consequences of your words and actions.

For that reason if social networks are going to continue to ban people for opinions that don't fit, they need to make it clearer that first and foremost they are a business and second they're a social network and let people decide if this is the site they want to join.

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2 minutes ago, EndangeredShark said:

Actually,I feel social networks need to remind people they are businesses more often. Unpopular opinion ahead.

Depending on the political stance the way the companies deal with things can be quite bias. The only time I see someone right leaning get banned is when a fuss is made but in my circles I've seen people banned for less who are left leaning. If social networks are going to do take this type of stance, then they need to be clearer that they're a business and what they say goes while using their business and if you don't like it move on to something new.

I realise this can be quite dictator like but people like to think freedom of speech should extend to social networks and the way I see it is if you are being a dickhead you get removed, like you would any other business, because you are not free from the consequences of your words and actions.

For that reason if social networks are going to continue to ban people for opinions that don't fit, they need to make it clearer that first and foremost they are a business and second they're a social network and let people decide if this is the site they want to join.

People of all political viewpoints get banned from social networks for dumb reasons. However, it is almost exclusively a Conservative/right wing issue to be banned or censored for speaking about an affiliated viewpoint. The majority of social networking companies are run by mainly ultra liberals, so obviously they're not going to ban people for expressing liberal opinions. It tends to be more when right wing folks (or anyone else who maybe isn't right wing) express traditionally right wing views on Islam. Critisising Islam is not hate speech, it is not Islamophobia, and it is most certainly not racist. But for some reason most left wing individuals will defend Islam forever, yet they have no issue with bashing Christianity. Critisising Islam is something that will get you a temporary ban from Facebook, and will always ensure that your YouTube videos are demonitised and marked as not advertiser friendly. There are no traditional left wing view points (to my knowledge) that will get you in trouble/banned from a social network if you express them, and that's because these places are run by left wingers. Left wingers get banned, obviously, they just don't get banned for expressing left wing viewpoints, whereas right wingers do often get banned for expressing right wing view points. I'm not saying that the right is better or anything, in fact, I'm quite sure that if these sites were run by right wingers, then left wing people would be getting bans for supporting abortions or perhaps bashing Christianity. It's just that that is not what is currently happening. What is currently happening is that right wing people are being banned for expressing certain political viewpoints, and left wing people aren't.

In theory, yes, businesses have the right to choose what is and is not allowed on their platforms. Free speech does not need to exist if they don't want it to. The problem is, however, that websites such as Facebook are so popular, and are so ingrained in people's lives that it's something more than just a business. Rightly or wrongly, most people get their news from Facebook these days. Yes, Facebook has the right to dictate what news is allowed on their website, but there's just something deeply wrong about them not allowing certain types of news or promoting some types but not others. Facebook shapes the minds of so many people, and most of them don't even realise it. I don't want to quite say that Facebook is a necessity, but it almost is these days. It's too hard to just say "Don't like it? Don't use it" when you're talking about Facebook. Sure, that line works for small businesses or even the likes of something like Instagram, but with Facebook it just isn't a practical stance to take anymore because so much of our society is linked up to Facebook. Even the TV shows and movies we watch are ingrained into Facebook. Facebook has gone from being a social networking business to being something that is much much more than that. Facebook has become almost an extension of the real world for many many people, and when you look it it from that perspective, you have to admit that it is wrong for Facebook to censor people, and it is wrong for Facebook to promote certain view points over others.

But yes, in general social media companies are just that... companies. But when you're talking about something like Facebook, it is something that has become more of an essential service than just a business, so the same rules cannot be applied. If you treat Facebook as just a regular business then it will have far too much power. Facebook is too powerful to treat that way. Facebook has more influence than any other company in the world, probably even more so than most governments.

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The first thing I'd do is require a layman's explanation for their privacy and datamining policies easily accessible for users (you obviously need the legalese ToS for obvious reasons, I'm thinking more of an additional TL;DR or ELI5 write-up that clearly spells out exactly how they're allowed to use your data.) This is most important in regards to the big five for the following reasons:

Facebook is (no tinfoil hat seriously) colluding with government akin to a de facto NSA.

Instagram has terms of service which allows them to use and monetize whatever photos you decide to upload, without paying you a cent.

LinkedIn has terms of service which allows them to do pretty much whatever they want with everything posted on the platform.

Twitter is skewing results to favour certain views and ideas over others (most platforms do this, but the nature of Twitter and the way they go about it is especially sinister)

Google (YouTube) is pretty much set for world domination.

 

... But I digress. If anything, I wish people would mass migrate to other platforms (Ello, anyone?) but that doesn't seem plausible any time soon.

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37 minutes ago, Seeker said:

The first thing I'd do is require a layman's explanation for their privacy and datamining policies easily accessible for users (you obviously need the legalese ToS for obvious reasons, I'm thinking more of an additional TL;DR or ELI5 write-up that clearly spells out exactly how they're allowed to use your data.) This is most important in regards to the big five for the following reasons:

Facebook is (no tinfoil hat seriously) colluding with government akin to a de facto NSA.

Instagram has terms of service which allows them to use and monetize whatever photos you decide to upload, without paying you a cent.

LinkedIn has terms of service which allows them to do pretty much whatever they want with everything posted on the platform.

Twitter is skewing results to favour certain views and ideas over others (most platforms do this, but the nature of Twitter and the way they go about it is especially sinister)

Google (YouTube) is pretty much set for world domination.

 

... But I digress. If anything, I wish people would mass migrate to other platforms (Ello, anyone?) but that doesn't seem plausible any time soon.

What's Ello? Also, yeah, I agree with everything you said. But sites like Facebook just have too much money and too much fame for anything else to overtake them.

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53 minutes ago, ragreynolds said:

What's Ello? Also, yeah, I agree with everything you said. But sites like Facebook just have too much money and too much fame for anything else to overtake them.

Ello is like a fusion of Tumblr and Facebook with a strict no datamining policy.

Well, MySpace was blown out of the water by Facebook way back, so there may still be hope.

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2 minutes ago, Seeker said:

Ello is like a fusion of Tumblr and Facebook with a strict no datamining policy.

Well, MySpace was blown out of the water by Facebook way back, so there may still be hope.

MySpace was never on the same level as Facebook. Facebook dominates everything, companies even have Facebook logos and links on business cards and in their buildings. When you watch sport events the athletes/teams Facebook and Twitter profiles are displayed on screen for you to keep up with them. Facebook is literally everywhere, MySpace was never even close to being on the same level, especially when you start to consider the amount of money Facebook has in comparison. 

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8 hours ago, ragreynolds said:

I agree with the part about data not being sold, but not so much about removing things. In general I tend to think that if you don't want something online then you shouldn't post it in the first place.

I think social networking websites would be better if they encouraged more open dialogue and free speech. The likes of Facebook, YouTube, and more specifically Twitter a terrible track record that shows they are often times incredibly biased against content that goes against left-leaning narratives. Criticise Islam? Say goodbye to making money on your YouTube videos. Maybe you'll even get a 24 hour Facebook ban.

The way YouTube handles ads is ridiculous, the whole "advertiser friendly" thing is stupid. Give advertisers their own special accounts for managing their ads on the website, and if say Pepsi decides it doesn't want it's videos on dark humor videos for example, they can simply opt out of that video and other ads will be shown instead. That's how I would design it, at least.

4 hours ago, EndangeredShark said:

Actually,I feel social networks need to remind people they are businesses more often. Unpopular opinion ahead.

Depending on the political stance the way the companies deal with things can be quite bias. The only time I see someone right leaning get banned is when a fuss is made but in my circles I've seen people banned for less who are left leaning. If social networks are going to do take this type of stance, then they need to be clearer that they're a business and what they say goes while using their business and if you don't like it move on to something new.

I realise this can be quite dictator like but people like to think freedom of speech should extend to social networks and the way I see it is if you are being a dickhead you get removed, like you would any other business, because you are not free from the consequences of your words and actions.

For that reason if social networks are going to continue to ban people for opinions that don't fit, they need to make it clearer that first and foremost they are a business and second they're a social network and let people decide if this is the site they want to join.

While I do think that being a general use social network (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube; the kind where your audience spans many systems of belief whether it be politically, religiously, socially, etc.) do have a right to ban people for whatever reasons they choose and to not adhere to free speech, I find it abhorrent that they would do so and I agree that if they do so, they should be transparent about it.

2 hours ago, Seeker said:

The first thing I'd do is require a layman's explanation for their privacy and datamining policies easily accessible for users (you obviously need the legalese ToS for obvious reasons, I'm thinking more of an additional TL;DR or ELI5 write-up that clearly spells out exactly how they're allowed to use your data.) This is most important in regards to the big five for the following reasons:

Facebook is (no tinfoil hat seriously) colluding with government akin to a de facto NSA.

Instagram has terms of service which allows them to use and monetize whatever photos you decide to upload, without paying you a cent.

LinkedIn has terms of service which allows them to do pretty much whatever they want with everything posted on the platform.

Twitter is skewing results to favour certain views and ideas over others (most platforms do this, but the nature of Twitter and the way they go about it is especially sinister)

Google (YouTube) is pretty much set for world domination.

 

... But I digress. If anything, I wish people would mass migrate to other platforms (Ello, anyone?) but that doesn't seem plausible any time soon.

I definitely agree that there needs to be a more easily digestible ToS and privacy policy. The reason people don't read them in the first place is because they're long and difficult to understand by most people's standards. I'm actually in the planning process for creating my own social network now (that's the entire reason for this thread, as people here come from a variety of belief systems and also because I know @ragreynolds is an advocate for free speech/anti-censorship, which will be one of the core driving beliefs for the network, along with user privacy as mentioned in OP. While I certainly like the way Ello handles user data, I feel like the reason it's not more widely used is because it targets itself at a specific niche group (i.e. content creators) as opposed to general use, and it also has a UI that is vastly different from that of major social networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you want to take their audience, you have to play their game. People don't like change, so if you want to create a rival network, you have to keep that in mind.

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34 minutes ago, Oppi said:

I definitely agree that there needs to be a more easily digestible ToS and privacy policy. The reason people don't read them in the first place is because they're long and difficult to understand by most people's standards. I'm actually in the planning process for creating my own social network now (that's the entire reason for this thread, as people here come from a variety of belief systems and also because I know @ragreynolds is an advocate for free speech/anti-censorship, which will be one of the core driving beliefs for the network, along with user privacy as mentioned in OP. While I certainly like the way Ello handles user data, I feel like the reason it's not more widely used is because it targets itself at a specific niche group (i.e. content creators) as opposed to general use, and it also has a UI that is vastly different from that of major social networks like Facebook and Twitter. If you want to take their audience, you have to play their game. People don't like change, so if you want to create a rival network, you have to keep that in mind.

Sounds like quite the project - I'd love to hear you out or help in some capacity. The world needs an alternative - either one that goes the Ello route or one that's much more benevolent with their mined data (Discord comes to mind.)

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2 minutes ago, Seeker said:

Sounds like quite the project - I'd love to hear you out or help in some capacity. The world needs an alternative - either one that goes the Ello route or one that's much more benevolent with their mined data (Discord comes to mind.)

Still very early in the planning processes and waiting for my friend to get out of school before we dive head first into it, but we'll definitely be putting a lot of time into it. For now, I'm making a mock-up design in photoshop, I'll definitely upload it here once it's complete to ask for opinions and if you have any ideas feel free to suggest them.

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