Social media platforms started hitting their stride on the Internet just over 10 years ago with the emergence of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The original intent of these networks was simple: to connect people. However, it’s clear that there are big challenges facing todays social media…
In 2010, Internet Activist Wael Ghonim anonymously created a Facebook page that sparked the Egyptian Revolution. His belief at the time was, “If you want to liberate a society, all you need is the Internet.” He had a faith and unwavering optimism that the open social media platforms of the Internet would accurately convey truthful information.
He came to realize, however, that social media is equally suited to convey false negative memes which are often consumed without discernment, without fact checking, without challenge.
In his 2015 TED Talk, Let’s Design Social Media The Drives Real Change, Wael outlined five challenges facing today’s social media.
5 Challenges Of Social Media
- Rumors that confirm people’s biases are not only believed, they spread like wildfire to millions of people
- The very nature of social media platforms is that they create echo-chambers that allow us to communicate only with people who have the same worldview as us
- Online discussions quickly turn into angry mobs.
- Once something gets put on the internet, it lives forever, making it hard to change our views, even if new evidence is presented.
- There is a lack of real connection
Today Wael has takes the stance that “If we want to liberate society, we first need to liberate the Internet.” He’s now working on a new media platform that hosts conversations that promote mutual understanding about divisive issues such as race, gun control and the refugee debate.