Mozilla: Here’s how to proactively manage social media bad actors, including politicians

Mozilla offices

In the aftermath of the deplatforming of Donald Trump, Mozilla offers concrete advice on how to best deal with bad actors — including heads of states and politicians — on social media platforms, beyond just suspending or permanently removing them.

“Donald Trump is certainly not the first politician to exploit the architecture of the internet in this way, and he won’t be the last,” writes Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker. “We need solutions that don’t start after untold damage has been done.

Mozilla recommendations:

Reveal who is paying for advertisements, how much they are paying and who is being targeted.

Commit to meaningful transparency of platform algorithms so we know how and what content is being amplified, to whom, and the associated impact.

Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation.

Work with independent researchers to facilitate in-depth studies of the platforms’ impact on people and our societies, and what we can do to improve things.

We need more than deplatforming

As organizations such as Mozilla and the Electronic Frontier Foundation lead on suggestions for how to bring the principles of open democracy to social media platforms — continuing to maintain freedom of expression while tempering political vitriol and violence incitement — we can only hope the companies that run these communities begin to quickly and proactively follow their recommendation.

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About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at luke@govfresh.com.

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