Against this backdrop of the illusion of meritocracy, contrary to what Best said in the interview, I argue that Substack does not free journalists from the need to game the social media algorithms. Instead, Substack primarily serves those who have already successfully “gamed” the algorithms — those that have already been rewarded with attention, fame and popularity on existing social media platforms, particularly Twitter.
At its best, LinkedIn succeeds in its mission of, well, linking us in with professional contacts who can prove to be valuable sources of information or mentorship. At its worst, LinkedIn is a kind of professional cult composed of one part autofill inspirational stories, one part humble bragging, and one part career FOMO.
With only a few months left until the highly anticipated 2020 Presidential Election, voters are beginning to request their absentee ballots and presidential candidates are revving up their (virtual) campaign trails. Facebook is preparing as well; CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that the social media platform will not be running any new political ads the week before Election Day, in conjunction with attempting to add more context to misinformed posts on their site. Now, what obligations do large tech companies like Facebook and Google have to shut down misinformation? Is it their responsibility to monitor what people upload onto the internet via their service, which is pledged to be a free and open space? If Prometheus gave fire to mankind, should he have given them an instruction manual and a set of rules to go along with it, or was he right to let humans run rampant with their new toy, albeit one that could burn down the world if used incorrectly?
“I think [China] uses its censorship to nefarious ends, but the American version is also not all that appealing,” said Friedman. “It’s not to say that there should be no controls, but the political content of our speech should at least be protected on the Internet.”