A Realist’s Take on the Future of the Internet: Can we keep the good but jettison the bad?

by Matthew Burton, Lecturer in Law, University of Bristol Law School

The explosion in social media platforms and their ever-increasing role in our lives since the mid-2000s has forced us to consider deep and important questions about how we interact, how we talk to each other and communicate in the 21st century. There are a litany of charges levelled against social media platforms, including the incitement of hatred and violence (there are credible claims that Facebook enabled a genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.); encouraging polarization and echo chambers; harvesting our data in pursuit of surveillance capitalism and promoting false and harmful lifestyles. Discord, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok. All of them have come under justified fire. (more…)