Gregory Manni, on a Minus post wrote:
At least at the start, social media seemed to flatten the hierarchy, made it easier to feel equal. Of course that’s not the way it is now. But at the very least, modern social media allows for some semblance of community and belonging, even if it’s tainted by hijacking our sense of self-worth, and even if the algorithms tend to section off subgroups and radicalize them. So maybe the question is: how do you build a social media that encourages community, discourages power-grabbing, but does not allow you to be siloed off? How do you build a social media that functions like a healthy, diverse, equitable neighborhood?
What does a healthy, diverse, equitable neighborhood look like? Honest question. I know this is just an analogy but the way I see it, it stops being effective as soon as you consider the main characteristic of a physical neighborhood and that is boundaries. A neighbourhood can't scale up indefinitely. The number of people living within one are limited to its physical shape. Sure, people can come and go but the overall size stays the same.
This doesn't happen on social media. The goal on social media is to keep growing, indefinitely if possible. Your social platform quickly stops being a neighbourhood and becomes a town, a city, a metropolis. Once you've reached a certain scale, all your dreams and hopes of having a balanced and well behaved group of people quickly goes out the window.
how do you build a social media that encourages community, discourages power-grabbing, but does not allow you to be siloed off?
To me the answer is you do it by setting hard boundaries. You have to artificially impose margins and hard edges. You have to stop pursuing growth, stop incentivising being popular. Make something unappealing to the masses. Masses don't aim for quality content unfortunately.