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By ELI PARISER and DANIELLE ALLEN
January 5, 2021 in Politico.
As Biden looks to rebuild America’s infrastructure and bring the country back together, he should consider a visionary project that could do both: the reinvention of the digital public squares currently hosted in private platforms like Facebook and Twitter... we spend our online time largely in rule-less spaces that reward our worst impulses, trap us in bubbles of like-minded opinion, and leave us susceptible to harassment, lies and misinformation. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube each took first steps to rein in the worst behavior on their platforms in the heat of the election, but none have confronted how their spaces were structured to become ideal venues for outrage and incitement...
How can we change our digital spaces so that they bring us together instead of tear us apart?
we need public spaces and institutions to weave and maintain our social fabric. In physical communities, parks and libraries aren’t just places for exercise or book-borrowing — they also create social connections, a sense of community identity, and a venue in which differences and inequalities can be surfaced and addressed. Public spaces provide access to essential resources for people who couldn’t otherwise access them — whether it’s an outdoor workout station, basketball court, or books in a library — but they are some of the few spaces in a community where we get a glimpse of each other’s lives and help us see ourselves as part of a pluralistic but cohesive society.
These kinds of public spaces mostly don’t exist online...
we need are not just information services with a mission-driven agenda, but spaces where people can talk, share and relate without those relationships being distorted and shaped by profit-seeking incentive structures... One model is Vermont’s Front Porch Forum.
-=-=-=-=-=- Jayne Cravens Author, The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook
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