"Our digital public sphere has been failing ... [but] History offers a proven template for how to build healthier public spaces."
Filter Bubble author Pariser hearkens back to Walt Whitman's creation of NY's Green Park, when "New York City had no public parks ...only walled commercial pleasure gardens for those who could afford". He saw American democracy needed "spaces to celebrate individuality and build collective identity... help weave a greater, more egalitarian “we”... Functional public spaces ... allow us to assemble, to share common experiences, and to demonstrate that ... individual struggles are actually the result of unjust systems".
Today we use social media platforms, but they "weren't designed to serve as public spaces. They were designed to monetize attention... [and] make poor quasi-public spaces for three reasons:"
The article doesn't call for today's platforms to be dismantled, but "it’s unreasonable to expect for-profit corporations ... to accommodate every digital need... [we need] digital public infrastructure... parks, libraries, and truly public squares on the internet".
Which means meeting 3 challenges: money, ideally from a tax on targeted advertising, talent and willpower.
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