How to Fix Social Media

In a provocative new essay in The Atlantis, the wonderful Nicholas Carr takes aim at the social media platforms to try to understand their role and impact, and what should be done to fix them.

I suggest a way forward. It begins by seeing social media companies for what they are. Companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter are engaged in two very different communication businesses. They transmit personal messages between individuals, and they broadcast information to the masses. They’re mailbox, and they’re megaphone. The mailbox business is a common carriage business; the megaphone business is business with a public calling. Disentangling the two businesses opens the way for a two-pronged regulatory approach built on well-established historical precedents.