So what is a better way to solve these problems from a design perspective?
This problem is one of the reasons why we established the research institute, because we have actually tried some things in this field and achieved varying degrees of success, but a lot of knowledge exists in small teams within the company and has not been widely disseminated. .
One of my favorite examples I keep mentioning is the Google search quality team and the work they did until at least around 2015. Google has developed search quality guidelines. Everything is objective; they are not qualitatively evaluating content, they are just looking for objective standards. Many are actually just basic media literacy checks. For example, when all conditions are the same, it is better for the publisher or creator of the content to be transparent about their identity. The other is a variety of methods to assess how much effort has been put into content, because under all conditions, putting in more effort will be better. The lowest quality signal here is, is the content copied from elsewhere?
However, at this point, regarding the metric for determining quality, on the one hand, it seems: Well, of course, the platform should try to show users the good, not the bad. But it seems that they avoid this, at least in the case of Facebook, because they are afraid of being seen as playing with collections, especially in user-generated content.
Many of the social media companies that stepped out of the Internet era in the 2000s had many mission statements and values to give everyone a voice. YouTube’s mission statement is “Let everyone have a say and show them the world.” Twitter’s mission statement is that I completely forgot—
“Let everyone create and share ideas and information immediately without barriers.”
“There are no obstacles immediately,” yes. Facebook’s early mission statement was like “connecting everyone in the world”.
All these mission statements are very similar, “Let everyone speak, show everyone everything, put everyone together”, and these do not obey any objective definition of quality, saying what content we want to be successful is like on the platform.
And they are very suitable for growth. We shouldn’t be surprised at all that the big platforms that have survived the first or second generation of social media companies are those that prioritize growth. These platforms think that the bigger you are, the more useful you are, so you must do everything possible. Get bigger quickly.
This has a pessimistic meaning, that is, Facebook and other dominant platforms make a lot of money doing things the way they do. However, one thing the Facebook paper reveals is that it is as dominant as Facebook—Or yuan——In the market, they are still very afraid of potential competitors like TikTok.Therefore, if you propose to make changes that may sacrifice some short-term direct participation, you would imagine that the leaders of these companies think they can’t risk some boring children to open TikTok because Facebook is trying to get them to read. New Yorker article. So, are we even naive when talking about platforms changing course in this way?