Who owns our conversations?


I think we should be trying to support more decentralized platforms. This article talks about how decentralized platforms, yes are just now becoming a thing but has been a thought for a while now. It talks about how in 2018 Activitypub was officially established then. However, it states how the idea of federated platforms is even older. This would give their users more control over their online interactions and would reduce the problem of too many centralized platforms. We could all take steps, including myself, to start supporting more open source projects. And also just informing users on what decentralized platforms are and helping them learn why we should be moving over to that permanently. We could also make it where the rules and regulations are known and established. We could have the government play a role, even though we try to leave the government out of as much as we can. They could be helpful in this aspect. They could help ensure transparency and accountability and make sure everything is fair. What that could look like is developing rules and regulations that address issues like content moderation, data privacy, and algorithmic transparency. We also could implement something that would allow users to move their conversations through different platforms. We could also focus on empowering the users. If society could enforce the formation of user collectives or online communities that could help these centralized platforms. This could honestly look like just showing your support and advocating for thing that promote user empowerment. We also could start by improving digital literacy. This would just help by making sure users can navigate through different platforms and be more critical in what they are looking for in these websites. I know personally I have started to become way more critical of the sites I use. And typically when I see something on a platform that I do not like and it is usually something that everyone is starting to complain about I will stop using the app or if I see a community wide protest because of specific things we don’t like about the platforms I always protest them or just downright delete them. I remember when I started protesting twitter and then I ended up just never using the app again because I became so accustomed to not using it. This just ends up helping them understand the implications of centralized platforms and they can start to make better informed judgements about their online activities. Also, as a society we could invest in educational programs to better equip the users so they know how to engage in the digital world responsibility.  I know personally after taking this course I learned so much more about digital literacy and how I want to start using these platforms differently and more critically but that was something I could have never gotten without doing the extra research and having the privilege to take a course on it. Overall, there are advantages and disadvantages to using these apps and it seems like decentralization is the way to go but it also has room for improvement. When reading this article on some of the drawbacks of decentralized platforms it brought up a very good point about how privacy would be a big issue within decentralized apps. The thought of posting one thing and it being uploaded to 100s of different servers and having no way to remove it from them all seems daunting if you want to make a post. 


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