As Facebook Shows Its Flaws, What Might A Better Social Network Look Like?

Laurel Wamsley, NPR, May 01, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This topic is on my mind a lot as I work through the various permutations of what a learning network might look like. Not like Facebook. Not like Twitter. This article mentions Mastodon, which is one of my current social networks of choice. It's not perfect either but it's better, mostly because it's not centralized and (therefore) not owned by some large corporation intent on monetizing our conversations. But also (as the diagram here shows) you are shown posts organized not by some algorithm but rather by how you are connected to different Mastodon instances. I have long said (and yet people still resist this idea) that people are the AI that should be selecting and filtering posts. That's why RSS was great - you choose who you follow. But that's also why commercial interests have tried to kill RSS, and why it's so hard to sustain a viable alterntive to Facebook and Twitter.

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