Where is social media heading in the years to come?
Here are some predictions from the social media experts and futurists. It is a good place to start.
Historically predictions such as these are overly generalized and in hindsight, often turn out to be wrong.
Here are some predictions from little more realistic viewpoint.
Monitoring of social media sites will increase. By both various government agencies and the social media companies themselves. Every click, like, comment, post and link followed will be logged and analyzed.
The “cancel culture” will continue and grow. If you post something that is counter to the group think you will be publicly shamed, mocked and humiliated. Your post will be removed and if this behavior persists you will be de-platformed.
Google, Facebook, Twitter and their ilk will move to squelch any dissenting opinions. Other startups will try to take up the users who leave theses platforms but they will be crushed or bought out by the existing platforms. Competition will not be allowed.
What started out as a means to bring people together has become what divides and separates us.
Eventually the only people posting anything will be a cadre of like-minded sycophants who spend their time harassing people who don’t agree with them rather than learning anything new. I give you the “Hive Mind”. We are the Borg, resistance is futile.
Some people make the argument that these are private companies and they can censor whatever they like. While they may be private companies, they use the public airwaves like television and radio stations and they should be subject to the same rules.
What can be done? Well, not much. Some politicians talk about changing the law. Specifically, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act states that, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider". The bloggers don’t edit content so that makes sense. But once someone start editing content, deciding what appears and what doesn’t then they are publishers and should be held liable like any television or new publication.
The courts should consider these social media as publishers using the public airwaves and treat them accordingly. Will they do that? What do you think?
And remember — always back it up!