When you think about banned accounts, you think about egomania, misinformation, psychopathic behavior and threats to people and institutions. But if you have an account stalked by a major group of people, the reports made by them could suspend you very easily. Stalking, for the Instagram economy, is sexy. But they’re not about that, openly. They’re about real friends… or is it Snapchat? No, wait, Snapchat is the sexy one. But have you been banned?
Social media lost track of what’s acceptable or not, in a dangerous trend. After seeing so many ignorant people posting comments and presenting that as a linguistic database for accelerated scientific research, anything goes, really. Needless to say, people are just lazy, and there’s no scientific research going on. But everyone seems to have an opinion. Is it because they’ve read it somewhere else?
The lack of original content that’s not in the category of entertainment is difficult to even look away from when you put it on a scale. Ancient philosophy had an explanation about original content: the muses, a connection with the Gods, inspired creators. Who are the muses of 2023? People who say they will not control us and we will be victorious? That’s a little outdated.
Meta is a scandal of a company, and they must have a big banned accounts department. Headquartered on Hacker Lane, from the beginning they do what they’re not supposed to. But how do they market this idea? A place for friends and family? It’s free, and will always be? How much advertising dollars have content creators given to Meta and its platforms, along with data, only to fall into scams and tricks by algorithmic manipulation that leads them to a failed campaign? Who doesn’t have a feelings something’s not right with metaverse investing? Reason, anyone?
The academics pushing for AR and VR are excited about improvements in Medicine, not your masturbation experience or your freaking Minecraft. I know that for a fact, thanks to the UNSW in Australia. But if I wanted to copy the Coursera platform’s model and offer courses on demand, nothing would change much. The transition to video isn’t so relevant when you have relevant study materials at hand and the help of a teacher. But this isn’t a defense of my business model.
The fact that we’ve trusted so much on algorithms is astounding. Reports are coming up on Mastodon that the chronological order of content is disappearing, and so narratives from “the top” are seeing a push. We didn’t pay enough attention to the meme economy. If we had, we’d know that our posts have to be special to be liked — that is, of course, if we want to avoid objectification on the web.
A banned account can downgrade to banned for reasons that go from your hater list’s misunderstandings of decades ago with you to the CEO’s advantage point. And we’ve seen a lot of the latter. People need to start to realize that social media is, indeed, powerful. But not if we can’t control it. Then it works against us.
How do you market banned accounts? They’re banned! Your marketing will not run. Your post will mean nothing. Nobody will read you, let alone share. Maybe we have to think about how to convince people of what’s happening on social media. That requires educating people on social media movements that took place in the last decade.
From the Arab Spring to Black Lives Matter to March for our Lives to School Strike for Climate, then looking at Tumblr and Twitter’s demise, the Big Four hearing, the price of drugs in America, unionizing and representation issues, it all should deserve a chapter. But these are big stories already. Who’s pushing for the unknowns to be known, in a time when journalists get banned from the widest public platform in the world, owned by a billionaire who avoided court because he stutters and is full of shit? Of course, if you say that, add yourself to the banned accounts list.
Public people have to take a moment of pause and make themselves available for questioning. You don’t see Kara Swisher as a victim (besides when people call her annoying), but you see her attacking. Julie Sweet, on the other hand, has all the tools at her disposal to change the entire web, a place that Leif K-Brooks might have envisioned as something else, until regulators came in. Remember Christopher Poole? He worked on Maps, while Snapchat grew and got hacked by Meta. And Sheryl Sandberg quit, but so did Marissa Mayer. And we think Taylor Lorenz and Emily Chang are comparable figures in tech journalism.
Another guy who’s full of good intentions is Adam Mosseri. An enthusiast who’s not very enthusiastic about the creator economy, on his TED talk, he avoids metaverse debate and thinks about a way to compensate creators simply because TikTok was offering people money. What about the people at 9Count, did they remove spam yet? What about Boo, Walk Safe and Udemy? These are all great initiatives. But we’re already on the cringe level. Best chance we get is make a squirting joke by filming a cat sprayed with water and posting it with a slow motion reaction that turns into a song. Reverse engineering?