This is about information: who controls its flow, who uses it, and who watches you when you use it.
This is about you. Because you access information — or content — on the internet, and because you probably create it as well.
Will someone have the power to tell you what content is and is not appropriate? Who controls what happens to the content you publish? Will someone use your content to deceive or mislead?
Just this month, 3 news stories have brought these questions into sharper focus. Will we, as writing professionals, have good answers? We’d better, because I don’t know if anyone else will.
When is content inappropriate? Who decides?
On March 1, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey promised to start measuring the platform’s “health” as a first step to freeing users from trolls and propaganda. (Josh Bernoff does a great job of breaking down the announcement.) Admitting that “we didn’t fully predict or understand the real-world negative consequences” of Twitter’s free-for-all format, Dorsey promises to get busy and fix the problem.
Can he fix it? Can he put the lid back on Pandora’s box? It strikes me as too little, too late. Continue reading