PublicSpaces / Conference

Escape the Social Media Trap

Talk & Workshop - How can journalism become independent from disinformation networks and political bias?

June 06 15:20 - 16:20 @

Language: English. šŸŒ¶ļø

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In the last years, media outlets have invested more and more resources in distributing their content via platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok or Twitter. In a time of dwindling income from subscriptions and adverts, this is not only a painful shift away from traditional distribution channels. Also, to be successful on monolithic platforms, media outlets have to follow the rules of these platform companies, especially with regard to algorithmic distribution. If today Facebook prefers 90-second videos, media outlets have to accept this even if this policy changes again tomorrow. Also, other preferences and guidelines have to be followed in order to enhance the chances of reaching a wide audience. This results in a paradigm shift and corrupts journalistic processes.

The 'Platformisation' of journalism endangers our societies and corrupts election outcomes. The time to act is now! The technical possibilities of forming alternative distribution infrastructure and digital rooms for debate are already available. For the first time since its birth, internet protocols like ActivityPub shine a light on the possibilities of a decentralised, democratised communications network. More and more companies shift their output to the Fediverse with Flipboard or Tumblr following the ActivityPub protocol. As we have learned from the early years of the internet, free and open protocols lay the ground for successful innovation.

In our talk and workshop, we would like to explain this idea and discuss how regulation and funding can also help form the framework for democracy-enhancing communication platforms.