What is a 'protocol-based mechanism' that solves the problems surrounding freedom of speech?

In recent years, there have been calls for discriminatory or radical restrictions on online platforms, but on the other hand, the question is how to protect people's 'free speech.' Mike Maznick, founder of digital media

Techdirt , proposes a ' protocol , not platform' -based mechanism to solve the problems surrounding online freedom of speech.

Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech | Knight First Amendment Institute

Maznick points out that while social media was once expected to 'make more speech possible and improve the market for ideas,' the view of social media has changed dramatically over the past few years. .. There are complaints such as 'social media is a hotbed of hate and discrimination' and 'the platform is overly cracking down on speech and the speech is effectively censored.' In addition, the company that operates SNS collects user information, and there are concerns about privacy.

Many social media operators are hiring more moderators and improving machine learning content filters to increase content monitoring. However, according to Maznick, these measures often do not work well, do not solve the underlying problem, and even cause new problems. So Maznick proposed 'building a protocol, not a platform,' as an approach to minimizing the negative effects of online hate and misinformation while preserving freedom of speech and even solving privacy-related issues. I have.

Maznick's 'protocol' is SMTP used to exchange emails, IRC used to chat between clients, NNTP used to post and subscribe to net news, and to access websites from a browser. Refers to something like HTTP used for. By using these protocols, companies and individuals can build various compatible services.

Although the early Internet was dominated by a set of protocols, it had the problem of few easy-to-use interfaces for users. For example, Usenet provided by NNTP is a system very similar to Reddit on overseas bulletin boards. However, Usenet was difficult for beginners to access and was less flexible than Reddit, which is controlled by a single company, so it was rarely used at the time of writing.

In recent years, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, etc. have emerged, and protocol-based systems have been replaced by platforms operated by a single company. Serving as a platform has made it easier for operators to collect user information and monetize it through advertising, while raising concerns about the protection of user data.

In addition, there is increasing pressure on platform operators to monitor content, which is a headache for operators. Increasing content scrutiny in line with the belief that harmful content should be removed creates a 'too strict' backlash from some users who want to share the deleted content. Therefore, it is unclear whether all users will be satisfied with the content monitoring, and it is unlikely that it will be improved soon.

As a solution to minimize social media problems, Maznick advocates 'introducing protocols common to different types of online platforms, and each company develops and provides a protocol-based interface.' It is a mechanism. The common protocol can be called the 'social network protocol', and all content exchanged by the underlying protocol and participating user accounts can be accessed using the interface provided by each company. This mechanism makes it easy for users to switch from one interface to another.

An ecosystem of protocol-based interfaces, as Maznick claims, is already being found in the email space. Email is built on protocols such as SMTP,

POP3 , and IMAP, and there are a variety of clients such as Yahoo! Mail , Outlook.com , and Gmail .

Each client is built on a common protocol and is extremely compatible. You can use a non-Gmail email address in the Gmail interface, or use a Gmail account in Outlook, so users can easily switch to another client. Maznick advocates this kind of compatibility between interfaces on social media as well.

At the time of writing, even if Twitter users try to move to Facebook, they will not be able to take over the statements and followers that they made with their traditional account on Facebook. However, by building different social media interfaces based on a common protocol, users can easily move from one interface to another.

'There is a limit to the moderation of centralized content,' Maznick cites as a reason for advocating 'a system in which each company provides an interface based on a common protocol.' In the current situation of being divided by platform, there is one standard of 'free speech' on one platform, and all participating users must follow it. With this method, it is almost impossible to form a satisfactory consensus for all users participating in the platform.

However, protocol-based social media systems only play extremely malicious posts that are clearly known to be involved in a crime at the protocol stage. Instead, we have different criteria and filters for each interface that delivers posted content to users. This will allow users to select an interface that is appropriate for them to moderate and ingest content shared by the underlying protocol.

For example, suppose you have an avid conspiracy theorist account, an interface called 'A' excludes content posted by this account, and another interface called 'B' allows content. Users who do not want to see conspiracy theory can use the 'A' interface, and users who are interested in conspiracy theory can use the 'B' interface, so that individual users can enjoy the moderation that suits them. That's why.

It also has the benefit of giving users more control over their data by moving away from a centralized platform. Maznick proposes a system where users store their data on an encrypted cloud server and provide the data at the request of the interface. With this method, the 'interface that does not collect user data so much' will have an advantage, and the interface that is too greedy for data collection will be eliminated.

Maznick believes that protocol-based mechanisms will solve many problems, but he also points out that migration from existing platforms will not be so easy. For example, 'protocol-based mechanisms are too complex for users,' 'existing platforms are already too large,' ' filter bubbles and echo chambers occur, creating an interface that attracts radical users.' Mr. Maznick lists.

However, Maznick points out that the ease of use of the interface can be eliminated by the development of technology, and even existing platforms that are spending a lot of money on moderation will benefit from migrating to a protocol-based interface. .. He added that there are already places for radical people banished from Twitter and Facebook to gather, and that such services have never grown so large that they affect the general public.

'Move to protocols rather than platforms is a 21st century approach to freedom of speech.' 'Protocols lead to the ideal place where freedom of speech exists while minimizing the impact of malicious people.' It's possible, 'Maznick said, arguing that protocol-based mechanics should be seriously considered.

in Web Service, Posted by log1h_ik