Again, what we need is slowness


Again, what we need is slowness /img/hate-speech.jpg

Benedict Evans just asked whether content moderation is a dead end, in a way that strengthens a proposal of mine to deal with fake news, hate speech, online abuses of all sorts, and sociopolitical polarization in general.

It often seems, writes Evans, that “content moderation is a Sisyphean task, where we can certainly reduce the problem, but almost by definition cannot solve it."

“The internet is people: all of society is online now, and so all of society’s problems are expressed, amplified and channeled in new ways by the internet."

Here comes what, for me, is the important part of that post:

“I wonder how far the answers to our problems with social media are not more moderators, just as the answer to PC security was not virus scanners, but to change the model - to remove whole layers of mechanics that enable abuse."

This is, to me, a confirmation of what I first proposed two years ago. There is, indeed, a “whole layer of mechanics” that we should remove from today’s social media. A layer that is both one of the most toxic ones, but also one that would be very easy to remove.

That layer is instantness, at least for “broadcast” communications, be they on public platforms like Twitter, or secret groups on WhatsApp or similar services.

Think about it. What if we:

That would solve a lot of the “content moderation” problems we have today, in the fairest possible way, and without any censorship. Don’t you agree?