How do we make social media safe again?

The Guardian looks at recently highlighted negative use of social media and asks 10 experts in the field what we can do to prevent people from using social media as a tool to spread hate and misinformation. Below are 10 recommendations…

  1. Hire 10,000 librarians for the internet
  2. Fund training for teachers, our ‘informational first responders’. I’ll add that librarian learn how to teach information literacy. It was my favorite class when I was doing my Master’s in Library and Information Science.
  3. Understand the limitations of the first amendment …
  4. … and think beyond the US and Europe
  5. Protect the journalists and researchers who study platforms
  6. Change recommendation algorithms to promote accurate information – and reward those who fight online harms
  7. Implement strong rules against harassment, hate, and harm
  8. Enforce the rules platforms already have
  9. Address the ‘architectural exclusion’ of marginalized communities from platforms
  10. Reform tech’s liability shield to create accountability for the conduct – not speech – of users

I’m going to add more form the final point, since it gets discussed in tech forums already and the Guardian has a nice, succinct description…

Section 230 [the US law that shields tech platforms from liability for third-party content] allows powerful tech companies to invoke the laissez-faire principles of the first amendment to absolve themselves of responsibility for abuse and extremism that flourish on their platforms, undermining the concept of collective responsibility necessary for a functioning society, both online and off. Section 230 should be amended so that online platforms are no longer immunized from liability for the conduct, as opposed to speech, of their users, or when these platforms encourage, profit from, or demonstrate deliberate indifference to harmful content.

I could talk about this for hours – but I’ll let it sit. Making online work safe is as important as making the real world safe and we’ve

This entry was posted in New Media by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

2 thoughts on “How do we make social media safe again?

  1. Hi – can you repost the link to the original Guardian article. The one in the post is a deadlink and I can’t find the exact article via search. Thanks!

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