Fixing social networks to fix fake news (a modest proposal)

a modest proposal in two (plus one) provisions:

  1. limit the number of friends a non-paying user can have: let’s say 100. do you want more friends ? you have to pay something: paying not only introduces friction but implies verifiability of identity of influences in case of suspicion of a crime. multiple (quasi) identical posts by different accounts (e.g. bots) would be easily spotted.
  2. limit the level of posts re-sharing. let’s say friends of friends. This would limit the reach of a non paying user to maximum 10.000 persons.
  3. (eventually) introduce latency in the visibility of re-shared posts. Let’s say 8 hours. This would allow up to 16 hours to react to fake news posting (content moderation)

the above proposal would not negatively impact social network revenues (nor costs) and would not imply any editorial responsibility for the social network.

just came to my mind.

I’d like to read some comments!

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2 thoughts on “Fixing social networks to fix fake news (a modest proposal)”

  1. Eugenio Castellani

    I have some doubts:

    1) who and how fixes the pricing?

    2) the one who doesn’t pay gots less visibility. So the first effect would be a) lower common people opportunities and b) a social network would be a step nearer to search engine’s advertisement policies..

    But all mainly depends on pricing.. I mean, what about competition? Free market?

    Maybe could be a good step just having customers identified via a credit card association to the account.. just as iTunes… well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this just as an option.

    Maybe FB (just e.g.) could launch the upgrade to “pro” for paying users that could became able to choose the level of ads and posts they wanna receive..

    1. Stefano Quintarelli

      the SN defines its pricing
      yes, it indeed would lower the virality of average joe’s posts
      directly identify all persons ? brrr…

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