Commentary: #DeleteFacebook Is Just the Beginning. Here’s the Movement We Could See Next – 评论:《删除书》才刚刚开始。下面是我们接下来能看到的动作


Henry Timms

and Jeremy Heimans

April 16, 2018

2018年4月16日Henry Timms和Jeremy Heimans

A few years ago, you may remember seeing Facebook (FB) posts like this dotting your newsfeed.

“Today, November 30, 2014 in response to the Facebook guidelines and under articles L.111, 112 and 113 of the code of intellectual property, I declare that my rights are attached to all my personal data, drawings, paintings, photos, texts etc… published on my profile. For commercial use of the foregoing my written consent is required at all times… The violation of my privacy is punished by the law (UCC 1 1-308 – 308 1 – 103 and the Rome Statute).”

The posts were based on an urban myth. The Rome Statute in fact covers crimes against humanity, not Facebook’s relationship with its users. But the popularity of such posts remind us that the #DeleteFacebook movement we have seen in recent days has much deeper roots.

Every now and then on Facebook’s long journey to platform hegemony, a much-hyped “Facebook Killer” has come along—a new platform that might provide a viable alternative, built on better principles. First there was “Diaspora,” which began as a viral crowd-funding campaign to create a non-profit, user-owned, decentralized alternative to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg even chipped in—a solid indication that he regarded Diaspora as little more than a charming experiment. Then, in 2016, the social network Ello came to life with a powerful sales pitch: “Facebook’s real mission isn’t to make you happy. It isn’t to connect you with old friends, or to facilitate interesting conversations. You (the humble Facebook user) are not the customer … The people who buy [your] data are the real customers, and that’s to whom Facebook’s business is oriented.” This promise was seductive enough that at one point, its founder claimed that 31,000 people an hour were signing up to the new platform. (Though in time, these users fell away, with the clunky product not living up to the sexy hype.)

You might even have been one of the less than a million users who took part in Facebook’s attempt at direct democracy on the platform. In 2012, it offered users the chance to vote to ratify changes to its privacy policy, but there was one catch: For the vote to be binding, 30% of Facebook users had to participate. As CNN put it at the time: “Voting closes on Facebook policy changes, only 299 million votes short.”

These are all preludes to the current moment. What we are seeing, in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, is the emergence of a much broader political consciousness in regards to the platform. This opportunity ahead is for all of us users not simply to “win” occasional concessions from Facebook, but to start to re-imagine the social (and financial and political) contract that we have entered into with the platform.

Far from the organic, free-roaming paradise the early Internet pioneers imagined, there is a growing sense that we are now living in a world of participation farms, where a small number of big platforms have fenced, and harvest for their own gain, the daily activities of billions. This has a real price. In a Guardian poll in 2017, less than one-third of Americans agreed that Facebook was good for the world, and a paltry 26% believed that Facebook cared about its users.

So the big question ahead is: How might things be structurally different? How might we create models that don’t merely offer the vanilla “power to share” that Facebook touts, but actually share value and governance decisions, along with delivering greater transparency and freedom?

The promise of “platform co-ops”

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Nathan Schneider is one of the leaders of a growing (but still quite academic) movement that is championing what he calls “platform co-ops,” democratically run and governed cooperatives reimagined for a world of peer-based technology platforms, not just farms and factories. This movement wants to turn the participation farm into something that looks more like a digital kibbutz.

Schneider points to models in more traditional industries that run along these lines, like the U.K. department store chain John Lewis, which in 1929 was put into a trust owned by its employees, who share in the retail chain’s profits and elect representatives to its governing board. For new power platforms, he argues, it is their millions of users, not just those on the payroll, who should share in the value created, have a say in big decisions, and be represented in the governance of these platforms. He has proposed that Twitter’s (TWTR) users try to buy it back, arguing that it serves an essential public function. In his mind, for all its challenges, the problem isn’t that Twitter isn’t working for its users—he cites the powerful justice movements that rely on it as evidence that it is. The problem is that “Wall Street’s economy has become Twitter’s economy.”

The #BuyTwitter movement championed by Schneider and others was significant enough that it ended up as one of the five proposals on the table at Twitter’s 2017 annual general meeting. It made a strong case for a Twitter that would function very differently.

A community-owned Twitter could result in new and reliable revenue streams, since we, as users, could buy in as co-owners, with a stake in the platform’s success. Without the short-term pressure of the stock markets, we can realize Twitter’s potential value, which the current business model has struggled to do for many years. We could set more transparent, accountable rules for handling abuse. We could re-open the platform’s data to spur innovation. Overall, we’d all be invested in Twitter’s success and sustainability. Such a conversion could also ensure a fairer return for the company’s existing investors than other options.

This motion was not embraced by Twitter Inc. And it would be very tough to flip Twitter into a co-op in this way. But it points to a compelling alternative vision, for us as participants and for the next generation of platform creators.

In fact, companies with this cooperative-inspired philosophy and model are beginning to emerge. The photo-sharing co-op Stocksy brings together photographers and filmmakers, giving them an opportunity to license their work. They are a proud platform co-op but also a serious and growing multimillion-dollar business. As they put it: “(Think more artist respect and support, less patchouli.) We believe in creative integrity, fair profit sharing, and co-ownership, with every voice being heard.”

For platform co-ops and similar ideas to succeed, governments will have to make it easier to raise money to scale without relying on big investors or the traditional capital markets. There is also a real engineering challenge in ensuring that these types of models move beyond the artisanal to the mainstream. But if the technical piece can be cracked, it’s not hard to see the moral (and financial) appeal to users and content creators. Especially given Facebook’s increasingly strained relationship with its users, a rival that offered a similar user experience but a much fairer deal, might easily attract defectors.

Free-range platforms

A decade ago, none other than the father of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, saw the dangers of participation farms like Facebook looming.

In 2008, almost 20 years after laying out his original vision, he rallied for the building of “decentralized social networks” that would reclaim his beloved web from increasingly centralizing sites. He saw a big prize in a more fluid and pluralistic world of platforms in which “online social networking will be more immune to censorship, monopoly, regulation, and other exercise of central authority.”

Today, he is hard at work on a project to address that very issue, a plan to radically alter the way web applications work, one that would divorce all our personal data and content from the apps and platforms that now—often literally—own it. Berners-Lee’s Solid project would allow us to own our own data as part of a personal secure “pod” in which we would carry around our digital lives. So imagine that, rather than having all your data on a third-party platform, you now take it with you. (This is what geeks call “interoperability.”) You walk around with your photos, friends, health histories, a map of all the places you have traveled, a list of all your purchases—even the online reputation you have built up in various platforms, an especially powerful commodity. You are liberated to decide what access you would like to grant—and on what terms—to whom. Solid is much more than a different kind of technology; it is a different philosophy. With Solid, your data “reports to you.”

Another solution to the same problem comes in the great—and much-hyped—hope of the Blockchain. The Blockchain is a distributed public ledger that allows everyone to record and see what transactions have taken place. Unlike a centralized secret ledger—such as those of banks—it is transparent. And transactions are verified not by a central force, but as a distributed process. You might know the Blockchain from its most famous (and controversial) application to date: It is the underlying technology upon which the virtual currency Bitcoin is built on.

For non-technologists—even those who have spent hours trying to get their heads around this—the way this actually works can be hard to grasp. But the most important things to understand are the potential human applications. As The Economist puts it, “It offers a way for people who do not know or trust each other to create a record of who owns what that will compel the assent of everyone concerned. It is a way of making and preserving truths.”

The potential of this is as huge as the hype (although, like all technologies, Blockchain remains vulnerable to co-optation and capture). It opens up a world where users might exchange value directly without an extractive middleman. We can easily imagine real estate contracts or financial transactions living on the Blockchain. But we might imagine, too, the intermediaries being removed from the mega-platforms of the world—our Facebooks, Ubers, or Airbnbs—when users, drivers, and riders, or hosts and guests, work out ways to collaborate and exchange directly with each other.

As we look to the future, there is no shortage of predictions about the next participatory technologies and ideas that will transform our lives. Whether it be virtual reality, augmented reality, or blockchains, platforms as we know them today will likely end up feeling rather quaint. But however things turn out, we need to cling to, and build for, a set of principles that ensure the worlds we will live in are less monopolistic, more transparent, and much more attuned to their broader impact.


A public-interest algorithm

To truly reimagine a platform like Facebook, we need to reimagine its algorithm. As Facebook has shown us, social media sites have huge power to alter our consumer preferences, spur or hinder extremism, and sway our emotions with tweaks of code. But today their algorithms function as secret recipes that serve private interests.

So let’s consider how a “public interest algorithm” might work instead. What might a formula designed to favor the interests of platform participants and society at large—instead of just their owners, advertisers, and investors—look like?

It would need three key features. First, the inputs into the algorithm, which shape what content we see and what gets priority, would be fully transparent to the user, including the criteria used by the platform to moderate offensive content or hate speech. Second, every user would have a range of dials that allowed them to alter their world. They could choose to engage with more content they disagreed with. They could “filter in” perspectives and views from those well outside their bubbles. They could reduce sensationalism. Third, the default settings of the algorithm would apply a public interest test, considering how the platform can better serve our broader society. This might operate like an updated version of public broadcasting, bringing to the surface content proven to reduce social tension and extremism and bolster civic discourse, promoting pluralism, and showcasing unserved and underserved communities. This would not come without its challenges—legitimate debates would need to be had around whether, how, and how much a platform should “tip the scales” in this way—but it is a greater moral challenge than an engineering one.

To advance solutions like these, we, as the participants on the participation farms, need to do more than just lament our fates. It will take inspired and dedicated effort—by technologists, entrepreneurs, the platforms themselves, and all of us—to renegotiate the contract with which we participate.

#DeleteFacebook is just the start. We need to go deeper. In the coming months, we may see #ReformFacebook, #RegulateFacebook, and even #ReplaceFacebook take off.

Henry Timms is president and CEO of 92nd Street Y. Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and CEO of Purpose. This article was adapted from the book NEW POWER by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms.

几年前,你可能记得看到脸谱网(FB)这样的帖子点播你的新闻稿。“今天,11月30日,响应脸谱网指南和《知识产权法典》第111、112和113条,我声明我的权利附在我个人资料上发布的所有个人数据、图纸、绘画、照片、文本ETCWPA603015QTE。对于上述商业用途,我的书面同意在任何时候都是必须的……侵犯我的隐私受到法律制裁(UC1308–30301WPA603011QTE103和罗马规约)。神话。事实上,《罗马规约》涵盖了反人类罪,而不是脸谱网与它的用户的关系。但这些帖子的流行提醒我们,最近几天我们所看到的“绝版脸书”运动有着更深层次的根源。脸谱网在通往平台霸权的漫长旅程中,时不时地出现一个备受鼓舞的“脸谱网杀手”——一个新的平台,它可能提供一个可行的替代方案,建立在更好的原则之上。首先是“散居者”,它开始作为一种病毒人群筹资活动来创建一个非盈利的、用户拥有的、分散的脸谱网替代品。马克·扎克伯格甚至在一个坚实的迹象表明,他认为散居只是一个迷人的实验。然后,在2016年,社交网络埃罗以强大的销售音量来到了生活中:“脸谱网的真正使命不是让你快乐。它不是连接你与老朋友,或促进有趣的谈话。你(谦逊的脸谱网用户)不是客户……购买你的数据的人是真正的客户,而这正是脸谱网的业务所在。“这个承诺是诱人的,以至于在某个时候,它的创始人声称每小时有3.1万人注册到新的PL。阿特形式。(虽然及时,这些用户掉队了,而笨拙的产品却没有达到性感的炒作。)你甚至可能是参加FACEB的不到百万的用户之一。奥克试图在平台上进行直接民主。2012年,它为用户提供了投票批准其隐私政策改变的机会,但有一点值得注意:因为投票具有约束力,30%的脸谱网用户不得不参与。正如美国有线电视新闻网当时所说:“投票结束脸谱网的政策变化,只有2.99亿张选票短。”这些都是当前时刻的前奏。鉴于剑桥分析丑闻,我们看到的是一个更广泛的政治意识出现在这个平台上。未来的机会是,我们所有的用户不仅仅是“赢得”脸谱网偶尔的让步,而是开始重新想象我们已经进入平台的社会(和金融和政治)合同。远离早期的互联网先驱们想象的有机、自由的漫游天堂,我们越来越感觉到我们现在生活在一个参与农场的世界里,在那里,一小部分大平台已经被围住,并为自己的利益而收获,数十亿美元的日常活动。这是实价。在2017年的一次监护人调查中,不到三分之一的美国人认为脸谱网对世界有利,微不足道的百分之二十六相信脸谱网关心它的用户。所以未来最大的问题是:事物在结构上会有什么不同?我们怎样才能创造出既不提供脸谱网所倡导的香草“分享力量”的模式,又能分享价值和治理决策,以及提供更大的透明度和自由?“平台公司OPS”的承诺,科罗拉多大学博尔德的Nathan Schneider是一个正在增长(但仍然相当学术)运动的领导人之一,他倡导的是他所谓的“平台公司OPS”,民主运行和治理。ED合作社为一个基于同行的技术平台而不仅仅是农场和工厂而重新设想。这场运动希望把参与农场变成一个更像数字KiBuz的东西。Schneider指出,传统的行业中的模式是沿着这条线运行的,比如英国百货连锁店John Lewis,这家公司在1929被纳入了其员工所拥有的一个信托机构,他们分享零售连锁店的利润,并选出董事会的代表。他认为,对于新的电力平台来说,他们的数百万用户,而不仅仅是那些在工资上的人,他们应该分享创造的价值,在大的决策中有发言权,并在这些平台的治理中表现出来。他建议Twitter(TWTR)的用户尝试购买它,认为它是一个必不可少的公共功能。在他的心目中,尽管所有的挑战,问题并不在于Twitter对用户不起作用,他引用了依赖于它的强有力的司法运动作为证据。问题是“华尔街的经济已经变成了Twitter的经济”Schneider和其他人所倡导的“推布提”运动非常重要,以至于它最终结束了。这是Twitter 2017年股东大会上的5项提案之一。它为Twitter提供了一个强有力的例子,它将起到非常不同的作用。一个社区拥有的Twitter可能会带来新的可靠的收入来源,因为我们作为用户可以以共同拥有者的身份购买该平台的成功。没有股票市场的短期压力,我们可以实现Twitter的潜在价值,这是当前商业模式多年来一直难以做到的。我们可以为处理虐待行为制定更加透明、负责的规则。我们可以重新打开平台的数据来刺激创新。总的来说,我们都会投资于Twitter的成功和可持续性。这种转换也可以确保公司现有投资者比其他期权更公平的回报。Twitter公司没有采纳这一动议,用这种方式将Twitter变成合作伙伴是非常困难的。但它指向了一个令人信服的替代愿景,对我们来说,作为参与者和下一代平台创建者。事实上,具有这种合作灵感的哲学和模式的公司正开始出现。照片共享合作社Stuthy汇集了摄影师和电影制作者,给他们一个机会许可他们的工作。他们是一个自豪的平台公司OP,但也是一个严重的和越来越多的数百万美元的业务。正如他们所说:“(认为更多的艺术家尊重和支持,少广藿香)。我们相信创造性的诚信,公平的利润分享,共有,每一个声音被听到。”对于平台公司OPS和类似的想法要成功,政府将不得不更容易提高MO。在不依赖大投资者或传统资本市场的情况下,纽约证券交易所将进行规模扩张。还有一个真正的工程挑战,确保这些类型的模型超越手工到主流。但是,如果技术片段可以被破解,就不难看到用户和内容创建者对道德(和金融)的吸引力。尤其是考虑到脸谱网与用户的关系越来越紧张,竞争对手提供了类似的用户体验,但更公平的交易,可能很容易吸引叛逃者。十年前的自由活动平台,除了万维网之父Tim Berners Lee之外,还看到了像脸谱网这样的农场出现的危险。2008年,在他发表自己的最初愿景将近二十年后,他重新开始建立“分散的社交网络”,从日益集中的网站中恢复他心爱的网络。他在一个更为流畅和多元化的平台上看到了一个巨大的奖项:“在线社交网络将更不受审查、垄断、监管和其他中央权力机构的影响。”今天,他正在努力研究一个项目来解决这个问题。从根本上改变了Web应用程序的工作方式,它将把我们所有的个人数据和内容从现在经常拥有的应用程序和平台中分离出来。Berners Lee的坚实计划将允许我们拥有我们自己的数据作为个人安全的“POD”的一部分,我们将围绕我们的数字生活。因此,想象一下,与其把所有数据都放在第三方平台上,不如现在就把它带上。(这是GEEKS称之为“互操作性”)。你带着你的照片、朋友、健康历史、你去过的所有地方的地图、你所有购买的清单,甚至你在各种平台上建立起来的网上信誉,一个特别强大的商品。你被解放来决定你想要什么样的机会,什么样的条件。固体不仅仅是一种不同的技术,它是一种不同的哲学。用固体,你的数据“向你报告。”同样的问题的另一个解决方案是在巨大的和极大的希望链链。BooStand是一个分布式的公共分类帐,允许每个人记录并查看发生了什么交易。不像集中式秘密分类账,例如银行的分类账,它是透明的。事务不是由中心力验证的,而是作为分布式过程来验证的。你可能知道B


Commentary: #DeleteFacebook Is Just the Beginning. Here’s the Movement We Could See Next - 评论:《删除书》才刚刚开始。下面是我们接下来能看到的动作

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