HAGGART AND TUSIKOV: It’s time for a new way to regulate social media platforms

Blayne Haggart, Associate Professor of Political Science at Brock, co-wrote a piece recently published in The Conversation about the need for government regulation of social media platforms. The article was co-written with Natasha Tusikov, Assistant Professor of Criminology at York University.

Haggart and Tusikov write:

When it came to our online lives, 2018 was revealing in its dysfunction.

The just-expired year’s parade of scandals at Facebook alone was relentless — Cambridge Analytica, its inflation of video-viewing stats that have been credited with convincing legacy media companies to “pivot to video” and away from print, data breaches, playing fast and loose with users’ data and of course its role in enabling Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The company also stands accused by a United Nations agency of contributing to a genocide in Myanmar by failing to effectively police hate speech on its platform. Others have noted how radio played a similar role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Facebook is only the most obviously awful of the social-media platforms that have become so central to our social, economic and political lives. All of the major (for-profit, American) social media platforms have been tainted by scandals, from Instagram’s link to Russia’s 2016 U.S. presidential operation to YouTube’s algorithmic propensity to serve up neo-Nazi propaganda and Twitter’s ongoing failure to police white supremacists on its platform.

Continue reading the full article here.

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