Presidential candidate Nikki Haley emphasizes the urgency for social media companies to be transparent.
Meanwhile, the lack of openness concerning their algorithms has become detrimental to the American population.
In an interview with Fox News, "Haley," the presidential candidate, stressed the importance of allowing citizens to understand why certain content is being promoted and pushed.
Addressing Anonymity and National Security
Nikki Haley expresses concerns over the growing prevalence of anonymous social media accounts.
She firmly believes that verifying the identity of every individual using social media is essential as it serves as a national security threat. Requiring users to disclose their true identity effectively eliminates malicious accounts.
Meanwhile, this move towards transparency, Haley asserts, will promote civility and accountability.
Senator Josh Hawley echoes Haley's sentiments, advocating for a ban on TikTok due to an influx of pro-Hamas content.
However, Hawley highlights that young users treat TikTok as a news aggregator and notes the alarming volume of pro-genocidal content trending on the platform.
Such issues emphasize the need for proactive measures to ensure social media platforms remain safe and reliable sources of information for users.
Treating social media as a consumer product
It's important to view social media as a consumer product that comes with certain risks, especially as it exposes users to brutality and misinformation.
Recent events highlighted the severe consequences of unsafe product design, such as the deliberate use of social media to amplify a terrorist attack.
Elon Musk's dismantling of safety systems within Twitter, along with extensive layoffs of trust and safety staff, has further highlighted the vulnerabilities of these platforms.
To prioritize user safety, social media companies must develop product safety standards. Achieving this requires increased transparency regarding algorithms and platform operations, which is a good idea.
However, the bipartisan Platform Accountability and Transparency Act proposes sharing vital information with users, empowering them to make informed decisions while opening avenues for researchers to develop practical product safety standards.
Meanwhile, the negative impact of algorithms designed to maximize attention extends beyond terrorism. The dangers faced by teenagers, especially girls with developing minds, are alarming.
Social media's "dark patterns," designed to prolong usage, contribute to overuse among young users, leading to eating disorders and suicidal ideation. Implementation of regulations is necessary to mitigate such risks.
Transparency and safety regulations in social media are necessary to protect Americans. Considering social media as a consumer product subject to safety standards can foster a responsible and secure environment for all users.