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“How Storify And Pinterest Are Cultivating The Wild Web, And Why Social Media Will Civilize The Internet” is an interesting article by E.D. Kain in Forbes online that presents two movements in social media evolution that I think will complement the development of a more human online experience — one that reflects our educational goals of digital citizenship which we preach in all our mentoring around safety in the online world.
At the heart of this civilizing movement is the personalising of our stories, self-created searching beyond bots, eliminating anonymity, and the sharing of more rather than less of who we are.
The article suggests social media could help nurture a much more human web world through exposure and openness that drowns the trolls, creeps, racists, etc. in their exposure.
First, Kain argues the search driven experiences are becoming more participatory and personalised — filtered by us rather than bots through mediums such as Storify, Pinterest, paper li, Zite and more. Why go to Google images when you can now search Pinterest for hand pick images by people you follow?
The second interesting development is somwhat ironic for some I’m sure who have witnessed the challenges of Facebook for teens; but, say what you will about Facebook, one thing is certain: you cannot hide. You have a profile. Your comments are linked to it. The experiment of the LA Times is a case in point where a shift to using Facebook for comments, and the subsequent elimination of anonymity, led to a dramatic change in posts that became much more civilized in tone.
‘Trolls don’t want their friends knowing who they are trolls’ and with Facebook you have a profile all will see. Often those who ask for privacy online
While I respect the need for freedoms and rights online and the advantages that come with anonymity, especially in the activism world, the greater loss of anonymity via social media will help fight the uncivil and dark side of the web — from porn, to trolls, to neo-Nazis. The loss of anonymity is a much needed development.
While lack of privacy is a concern to be managed in certain online realms, I think in terms of developing good digital citizens the challenges may, paradoxically, lie in the scope of privacy given online.