Should Facebook Take Responsibility For US Election Results?
If you are like me, you have probably spent a lot of time this week trying to recalibrate your understanding of the global economy following President Trump's win.
Facebook, among other social networks, has been under fire for "echo chambers", which are silos of information where you only hear the opinions of your friends.
The problem is that most of your friends have opinions similar to yours. These "echoes" reinforce your beliefs regardless of whether or not they are true.
Several months before the election a Wired article predicted Facebook's changes would only increase the echo effect.
But echoes aren't only appearing on Facebook and other social media.
Every news network in the country had it wrong. Reporters and anchors alike lived in their own echo chambers. Whether you voted Hillary or Trump, one thing is certain...today's news is severely lacking in credibility.
Credibility in the news is hard to manage. Mainstream media relies on ratings. Social networks rely on engagement.
Sure, Mark Zuckerberg may say this "is a pretty crazy idea" but the more you think it through the less crazy it sounds.
What if money didn't come from ratings? Or algorithms didn't promote only on engagement?
What would you share if you were rewarded for credibility?
Earlier this year, Microsoft demonstrated how social networks promote controversy with engagement metrics when their "artificial intelligence", a Twitter bot, went rogue.
We are suffering from lack of credibility in our news. We need access to media that allows us to verify the trustworthiness of the news source, a network founded on credibility.
A blockchain based social media network could achieve this level of accountability.
By giving every account a credibility rating.
This would measure the trustworthiness of your account based on the feedback of other users. Not only that, it would also be able to monitor the trustworthiness of your feedback on other's posts.
What would happen to a politician's social media account if you were able to submit photo or video evidence to lower their credibility rating?
This simple change, maybe a button or reporting feature, would revolutionize every social media platform and media network on the planet.
From a technical perspective, We have everything we need to make this happen. A blockchain network requires 3 critical components. Trust, Verification and Incentive.
Take bitcoin for example It is a currency, much like any other foreign currency you know. It's also the only FinTech blockchain many people have heard of. The power of Bitcoin is the security it provides by incentivizing stewardship in a community of 'bitcoin miners'.
This is big business. What started as a few hundred spare computers in basements across the world is now a haven for trust. Germany has declared it a form of currency...now they can tax it.
A few months ago, US Federal Judge Amos Mazzant ruled bitcoin was a 'currency'. So far, the IRS hasn't noticed...
Bitcoin's power comes from rewarding the network for maintaining the trust of the information they input. Users are rewarded for being stewards of trust. Those who are not trustworthy are removed by the network.
Imagine what this could do for information posted on your social media? How far would a politician get if the data didn't support their lying?
The impacts go way beyond simple fact checking...
What would you share if your smartphone could make you money just for reporting honestly?
What would an insurance company pay for access to your photo of a car crash. Or a news network for your video of a riot?
The recent election results left me frustrated by the inaccuracies of modern media, both social and mainstream. Forget the left wing and right wing spin, we all have biases we aren't aware of.
In the wake of the Alberta election, the Brexit vote or now, the US election I don't care if I get my news from social media, blogs or mainstream media.
I am asking only one thing of my news source....give me accurate information.
Like this article? Trying sharing it outside your echo chamber...