Social Media Reset


Social Media Reset. Réinventer l’infrastructure numérique des propagations pour couper les chaines de contagion, (EN:Redesigning the infrastructure of digital propagation to cut the chains of contagion). Policy brief, Chaire Digital, gouvernance, souveraineté, Sciences Po, Juin 2024.

Les processus de propagation à haute fréquence sur les plateformes de réseaux sociaux ont créé un milieu de messages autoréplicants qui deviennent viraux et influencent les types de médias que le public est plus susceptible de consommer et ses capacités d’attention. La « viralité » et le rythme de propagation doivent être au cœur des politiques publiques afin de ralentir toutes les activités de communication. Les régulateurs devraient également prendre en compte le rôle de la conception des interfaces dans la promotion de cette viralité.

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Abstract:

As governments face the tremendous influence of social media on personal relationships and the public sphere, they have developed a series of methods to regulate social media platforms that do not seem to adequately address the high level of disruption they have introduced. In this paper, several reasons for this inability to properly curb these harms are discussed, including a flawed understanding of the effects of platforms on media consumption, referred to in this article as “propagation processes”. High frequency propagation processes on social media platforms have created a milieu of self-replicating messages that “go viral” and influence the types of media people are more likely to consume and their attention capacities. The virality and rhythm of propagation must be a core target of public policies in order to slow down all communication activities. Regulators should also take into account the role of interface design in promoting virality and invite expertise that can define standards to limit the rhythm of propagation on social media platforms. Technically and socially feasible recommendations are presented, contingent on political will to nudge all digital platforms towards legal and social responsibility. Curbing the rhythm of propagation on media platforms can change public media consumption and attention to information, through the design of new interfaces preventing any toxic rhythm of virality.