EFFECT SOCIAL MEDIA POLICy and Procedure
Perhaps one of the most upsetting revelations to come out of recent Congressional hearings and interviews is just how removed the policy makers at major social media platforms are from the experiences of actual users. Executive after executive described how they were blindsided by the level of hate and harassment spread on their platform. For the hundreds of thousands of victims, forced to report hate, harassment, revenge porn, etc. through an online form with little possibility of more than an automated confirmation of receipt followed by complete inaction, this head-in-the-sand response is crushing.
Current reporting procedures for online harassment, hate, and violence are so convoluted and confusing that many reports aren’t addressed for days or weeks, if ever, resulting in the victim being forced to endure the attacks over and over. This can damage, even destroy a victim’s reputation and result in loss of employment, conflict within families, and even injury or death in mobbing and suicide cases. Additionally, many social media platforms outsource their reporting to countries where values are not consistent with our own, resulting the anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, homophobic, and abusive content being affirmed.
However, historically, any effort by the general public or special interest groups to effect policy or procedure change has been largely ignored. Email campaigns and complaint pages or posts on the particular social media’s platforms have had limited effect. Why? Just as in a traditional bricks and mortar business, the CEO isn’t handling customer service calls or answering complaints, so your email or post has almost zero chance of ever reaching those that can make a difference. Even with all of the news coverage and thousands of reports and emails, it took YEARS for executives at Facebook and other social media platforms to take notice of the constant harassment and hate posted about the Pozner family and other Sandy Hook victims.
But there are things that we can do that can bring awareness of online harassment and hate to those who can effect change, in dramatic ways.