Platforms

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Examples of various platforms

What is a Platform?

Platforms is used as a generalized term to refer to the online information ecosystems created by social media and other tech companies.

This can include operating systems, online games, Virtual Reality worlds with familiar names, messaging systems, email, or any other system that allows large numbers of people to connect and share ideas.

While social media as a concept is likely to be dated within a few years, new platforms will replace them. Therefore, discussions around social media issues, such as Freedom of Speech, will refer to them as Platforms since the same issues around hate speech, trolling, and content moderation that must be addressed.

Lowered Cost of Speech

Lies are Free. The truth costs money. Traditional print and broadcast media had significant production costs. Social media has zero production costs. Very few people would spend money on trolling, but they'll happily spend all day doing it for free.

Newsfeeds

The never-ending scrolling newsfeeds that these platforms offer provide an algorithmically-generated stream of consciousness that supplants your own with the random mix memes, pictures of children, outrage porn, propaganda, and political hate speech.

The promotion of content via AI algorithms designed to maximize the time you spend scrolling down the endless rabbit hole is inherently antithetical to happiness.

Curating Your Feed

Life is an IRL Newsfeed

The experience of consciousness is similar to the never-ending scroll of the newsfeed, as well as the training of Artificial Intelligence. However, your brain is the AI you are training, and everything you see, taste, touch, read, hear, or watch is the content of your feed that forms the training dataset. And just like AI, if your training dataset is full of racism, hate, misogyny, and other terrible ideas, when it comes time for someone to ask you a question you are going to repeat those ideas in your answers.

Have a Nice Internal Monologue

Another part of your feed is the internal monologue. The things you say to yourself have a huge impact on your emotions and beliefs. If you say good things about yourself in your internal monologue, then you will reinforce those beliefs and experience the same emotions that you get when someone else says nice things about you. If you tell yourself that you are stupid, worthless, and incompetent, then you will feel that way as well.

Careful What You Follow

Nurture your brain with ideas that are optimistic, promote wonder and joy, and most importantly, evidence-based. Content producers that regularly promote hyperbolic outrage should be avoided, especially when you agree with their point of view. They are not influencing you or providing useful information, they are using you for clicks. Do not sacrifice your peace of mind for their monetization.

It goes without saying that training your internal AI on misinformation, pseudoscience, superstition, and conspiracy theories will produce output containing massive hallucinations and render it utterly useless for any practical applications.

If you do not curate your newsfeed, in social media, traditional media, and in the social interaction you make part of your life, then you free will be shaped by the corporations, politicians, and grifters who aim to profit from it.

Recognize and Reject Clickbait

The only way to fight the trend towards outrage content that destroys our minds and our democracies is to make it taboo in popular culture. Our brains naturally gravitate towards this kind of content, and extensive A/B testing has proven it to be the case. However, clickbait is modern temptation. It is a snake with an electronic apple, beckoning you to indulge your worst thoughts so you will be more susceptible to grift.

Since the principles of free speech make most regulatory solutions to this problem as untenable as they are undesirable, if people recognize the emotional manipulation of the media and make a conscious choice to ignore it instead of giving in to temptation and outrage, then the incentive to keep producing this content will quickly go away.

Podcasts on Platforms

Some relevant podcast episodes discussing the dangers of social media, how to improve our platforms, developing new social norms regarding Internet usage, and other relevant topics.

Platforms on Platforms

Criticism of social media platforms, published on the very same platforms, for your viewing pleasure.

How Social Media is Destroying Society


We're building a dystopia just to make people click ads


This video does a great job of linking the grift economy to the Enshittification of the Internet.

Bots, Scams, The Internet, And You


The Chainsmokers - #SELFIE