What if social media were open and connected?

22-05-2018

Social media platforms are often thought of as open and connected spaces, since they allow users to communicate with a wide range of people and organisations. It seems obvious that to have access to a social network it should be necessary to open an account with the platform, and that on closing the account that access would be lost. However, telephone and email networks do not restrict access to their networks depending on which provider or platform is being used, and there are ways in which social media too could be more open and connected, providing greater connectivity and allowing users to change platform without losing access to the network. This could help foster a more competitive market that is more responsive to challenges such as privacy and disinformation.

Social media platforms are often thought of as open and connected spaces, since they allow users to communicate with a wide range of people and organisations. It seems obvious that to have access to a social network it should be necessary to open an account with the platform, and that on closing the account that access would be lost. However, telephone and email networks do not restrict access to their networks depending on which provider or platform is being used, and there are ways in which social media too could be more open and connected, providing greater connectivity and allowing users to change platform without losing access to the network. This could help foster a more competitive market that is more responsive to challenges such as privacy and disinformation.