Headline, June 06 2022/ OPINION : ''' '' SOCIAL MEDIA REFORM '' '''



AS SANDY HOOK'S STILL-GRIEVING PARENTS, like Leonard Pozner, note, big social media  platforms like Facebook, did the bare minimum to stop such dreck.

CAN SOCIAL MEDIA REFORM itself after this rampage : It's almost impossible to comprehend what to do in the wake of mass shootings like the one that killed 19 schoolchildren & two teachers.

JUST 10 DAYS before the shootings in Uvalde, Texas, a gunman broadcast himself live on social media killing 10 Black people in a Buffalo supermarket after posting a racist screed online. It's become a demon's playbook - that gunman, the police say, was emulating the moves of another mass murderer in New Zealand, and praised him a sick inspiration for the mayhem.

Social Media has made such performative acts amazingly simple and attractive, allowing the evil to be amplified across the globe, as it was in the 18-year-old Texas gunman's posting photos of his semiautomatic weapons.

This time, though, investigators have found no twisted map of motivations or, thankfully, live videos from the classroom where the gunman holed up.

However, it appears he sent private Facebook messages to someone ticking off his crimes, from shooting his grandmother to heading to the school to murder children.

Sadly [ and predictably ] government officials opposed to any new restrictions on gun accessibility -namely Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas - have seized on the gunman's use of Facebook to attempt to shift accountability onto social media.

But any honest accounting shows that more of the blame for these senseless rampages lays at the feet of bought-and-paid for politicians who have blocked any reasonable gun control measures in order to retain their hold on power.

It's often the case that the toxic misinformation that flows freely across social media like sewage has been bad for society.

But this time there was virtually nothing Facebook could have done to prevent the real-life carnage beyond peering into monitoring in real time all sorts of its users private communications, a privacy line it would cross at great peril. Facebook can only examine the killer's messages in hindsight to help law enforcement.

Some may want to hold tech responsible in this case, but we just cannot legitimately do so, even as Facebook and others are moving toward -end-to-end- encryption for private messaging.

That's sure to frustrate investigator's who will find it's extremely difficult to scrutinize as much information as possible after another such horror, inevitably, happens again.

Still, there's hope in an increasing number of artificial intelligence solutions used to monitor public postings for potential violence and to warn officials. The Washington Post noted that the Uvalde school district previously used an artificial intelligence-backed program to scan social media posts for potential threats years before the attack.

But A.I. brings its own challenges and, unfortunately, no amount of monitoring in such a tight frame would have been helpful.

There is, however, a crucial action that Big Tech can take in the wake of the Uvalde shootings. Awful as these murders are - and those at Sandy Hook Elementary were a decade ago - it further victimizes the families when online postings and new websites quickly spread from those who try to paint the crimes as hoaxes. I'll say it again, tech companies should stop the misinformation.

There are lessons in the leisurely pace with which Facebook and other tech platforms acted to shut down malevolent characters like Alex Jones who preyed on the Sandy Hook children's deaths.

Rather than acting decisively, the platform let his vile content remain visible under the banner of free speech, a constantly shifting value depending upon who's in charge.

''The focus for all of these platforms is growth and expansion,'' said Mr. Pozner in our discussion. ''They really don't want to deal with cleanup at all. And for as long as they can avoid having to do that, they did.''

They were not interested in fixing it,'' he said of Facebook. Uvalde is another opportunity for digital leaders to do the right thing after years of doing the wrong things. Which means : Fix it.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Social Media, and Reforms, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Kara Swisher for her opinion.

With respectful dedication to the Policy Makers, Big Tech, Social Media, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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