Three simple rules could change Facebook for the better
Anson Au says there is no cause for alarm over news that sites like Facebook may affect mood or induce addiction, and offers three guidelines to regulate the provision and use of social media, and make it a positive force
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Their famously opaque data collection and manipulation methodologies must be publicised, and they must be liable to penalties if guidelines are broken or ignored.
Mapping the direction of tech development will require greater collaboration with policymakers, health care workers, independent researchers, and other sectors.
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That would improve corporate accountability, help forecast problems like the ones we’re now seeing, and broaden technological applications to meet existing needs. In health care, for instance, suicide hotlines use social media, but must make greater inroads into detecting potential crises.
When books were invented, soothsayers lamented the loss of social networking, as people chose solitude instead of each other. That hasn’t happened. Change is constant, as are its critics.
What we need today with social media is not to stop change, but to participate in collaborative efforts to leverage it for the greatest good.
Anson Au is a visiting researcher in the Department of Sociology at the Hong Kong Baptist University