2020 was the year of the 'COVID-19' coronavirus. 2021 is getting ready to be written, and U.S. President Donald Trump has already made headlines.
Following the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol Building, Twitter and other online platforms are hastily banning the President, after years of letting him off the hook.
Trump has enough enjoying his executive privilege to do and say what he wanted to be done and said.
But things shouldn't be limited to just "deplatforming" the President or anyone else for that matter.
According to the Firefox maker Mozilla, people need more than just that.
In a blog post, the FIrefox maker said that:
"But as reprehensible as the actions of Donald Trump are, the rampant use of the internet to foment violence and hate, and reinforce white supremacy is about more than any one personality. Donald Trump is certainly not the first politician to exploit the architecture of the internet in this way, and he won’t be the last. We need solutions that don’t start after untold damage has been done."
"Changing these dangerous dynamics requires more than just the temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms."
Mozilla said that deplatforming isn't enough, and this is why the organization has called for investigations and increased transparency into how websites target users for advertising and content recommendations.
The privacy and security nonprofit behind the Firefox browser, said that it firmly believes that online platforms have big roles in sparking the flames, characterizing the assault on the Capitol Building as "the culmination of a four-year disinformation campaign" by Trump.
This week we saw the culmination of a four-year disinformation campaign orchestrated by the President. We have to acknowledge how the internet was misused to get here.
And we have to change it.https://t.co/gIVZHQPYT4
— Mozilla (@mozilla) January 8, 2021
To be more precise, Mozilla suggested that:
- Companies and organizations that have platforms on the web must reveal who is paying for advertisements, how much do the advertisers pay, and who are the targets.
- Commit to meaningful transparency of platform algorithms so people can know how and what content is being amplified, to whom, and the associated impact.
- Turn on by default the tools to amplify factual voices over disinformation.
- Work with independent researchers to facilitate in-depth studies of the platforms’ impact on people and the societies, and what others can do to improve things.
“The answer is not to do away with the internet, but to build a better one that can withstand and gird against these types of challenges,” Baker wrote.
The demands are difficult to fulfill. But these are some of the main things that are already echoing for years throughout the Silicon Valley and in the tech world in general.
The attack on the U.S. Capitol Building is just one of the many examples where people have weaponized the internet and social media to orchestrate violence and spread disinformation. Companies like Facebook and Twitter have repeatedly come under fire for not doing enough, and this is where Mozilla is trying to change.