Group: 30 || Student: Yanyi Pan (ypan6607) || Tutor: Nipa
Whether online platforms need to be regulated
With the development of networks in recent years, the digital platform has gradually become the most important carrier and classic organizational form of the digital economy. The digital economy has become one of the most valuable resources today, and the competition among platforms also has its own characteristics (Sun, 2021). The rapid development of platforms makes more people who use media platforms contact each other and can communicate and interact with a wider range of people (2018, pp. 1–13). Although this may seem like a utopia, the public is too widely active on various social platforms, which makes the use of the network greatly reduced, and the content on the platform will be lax management and lack of clear boundaries. In order to argue whether content distribution on social networks needs to be regulated, this article uses Terry Flew’s discussion of the regulation of platforms, what the impact might be without regulation, and how the emergence of regulation can help platforms address risks.
“Public Engagement Across Media, Digital Properties & Social Platforms” by David Armano is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
The lack of regulation has allowed many media to circulate widely.
As the public is widely active on various network platforms, insufficient supervision makes a large amount of media information quickly spread to the platform, and it is impossible to conduct comprehensive content supervision. This phenomenon makes the Internet full of various types of content, such as bullying, violence, pornography, etc., that can be posted on the public space. However, according to the study, there are 5.19 billion Internet users in the world, accounting for 64.6% of the global population. The Internet connects billions of people around the world, which means that if the regulatory mechanism for online information release is not well specified, countless illegal pieces of content will be published on public platforms. When some people have no discerning ability, they will be affected by the information and even be misled by the content, which leads them to apply the wrong information to real life. The content audit of digital platforms is very necessary, including the development of audit systems, the implementation of policies, and the use of technology to help network content audit. The purpose of moderation and content screening is to protect everyone who uses the network and reduce the impact they may have on their use of the network. At the same time, it can greatly prevent those who have ulterior motives from spreading false information on the Internet.
Tighter regulation of online content distribution is also a new measure to restore public trust in the media.
The regulation of Internet information is not limited to the publication of false information but also to the investigation of morally questionable content. The reason for this is that, due to the fierce competition among various platforms, many we-media will deliberately release some malicious, disgusting, violent, and plagiarized content to achieve traffic purposes in order to win the attention of the public. Such frequent problems have led some members of the public to become disgusted with certain social platforms and unwilling to participate in them. For those users whose content is plagiarized, repeated infringements make them unfairly treated. Even if they put forward rights protection lawsuits to the platform, many times they can’t get a good response. It is precisely because of the platform’s neglect of management and failure to timely stop vulgar, infringing, and spoof videos circulating on the platform that those publishers can obtain traffic and continue to publish these videos. Such plagiarism is particularly serious on TikTok’s platform in China. Here’s a video from China’s Tiktok where an Internet celebrity is copying wildly from a Singaporean vlogger. They not only copy the theme of other people’s videos but also copy various expressions, body movements, and other reactions, and they can have more than 1 million followers. Only by strengthening the audit of the platform can there be a greater opportunity to ensure the basic rights and interests of each original author and independent design. Only when the rights and interests of original authors are protected can they be more assured to innovate and increase their trust in the platform. This is a long-term relationship between the platform and users to support and help each other.
The frequent occurrence of plagiarism in social media makes it impossible to unify the auditing system.
As more and more countries begin to censor content published by platforms, the fragmentation of the Internet continues to grow, forming separate, fragmented censorship ecosystems (Amanda Hetler, 2022). And such a situation occurs, making the audit work more difficult, which cannot be unified. And why is this happening? We can divide the factors into the following:
- Religious belief
Because countries in different regions have independent and perfect systems, the formulation and standards of the network are different, so each country’s acceptance of the same content is completely different. Take the example of a Thai star who recently went to perform at the Crazy Horse Show in Paris. When the event officials and Lisa herself officially announced that she was going to participate in the show, her fans were directly divided into two very extreme situations. Most fans from South Korea, China, and other Asian countries consider the Mad Horse show to be a seductive, naked, and sexy show designed to please the upper class. And those fans from Europe and the United States think that Lisa is brave to try new performance forms, not afraid of other people’s opinions, which is very worthy of recognition.
- This is from Asian fans’ comments and opinions on lisa’s participation in the Crazy Horse Show:
- This photo shows a very different attitude:
From this point of view, people in different countries will have different views on the same thing because they live in countries with different systems, so their cognition of some things is completely different. The Crazy Horse Show is very popular in Europe and North America, where people even follow the show. This type of show is very offensive to the Chinese system, affecting the public image and even banning nudity. This shows that even if each country has established clear moderation criteria, it is difficult to filter the millions of posts one by one and strike a balance. So, for splinternet to emerge, social platforms must have a global plan for it. As well as being applicable to domestic policies, it can also include those with an international dimension. Even so, the task of reducing the fragmentation of the web is very difficult, but it is also very difficult to protect the needs of each user. Between the freedom of expression of users and the need to ensure that online content is regulated, they are difficult to balance.
Strengthen the review technology and management system of the network platform.
As mentioned above, the system and culture of each country are different, so in order to better manage the content of the social platform, the person in charge of the platform must first ensure consistency and fairness. Ensure that every user can be treated equally when using, and problems can be solved in a timely manner. And reduce the complexity of the platform, for example, the social platform into a domestic and foreign version. It can not only expand the contact users of the social platform and increase the benefits, but also use the corresponding management system in different versions. This is conducive to the protection of users’ rights and to the reduction of violations of the user’s national system. According to the research, most people want social platforms to police themselves or cooperate with the government. Not only can the network department regulate content, but it can also cooperate with the public so that everyone can enjoy the convenience of the network at the same time and also become the supervisor of the network. The platform can conduct regular user satisfaction surveys to understand the main needs of users and the problems that occur during use. Only by protecting the interests of each user can the platform continue to develop for a long time. Let the masses also have the right to conduct content supervision; for example, after finding illegal content to report, there will be a certain reward. When the masses can benefit from it, they will be more willing to carry out the work.
To sum up, it is very necessary for online social platforms to review published content, and good rules and regulations can form a balanced relationship between platforms and users, which is conducive to the long-term development of social platforms. The platform and users help each other to jointly maintain the network order of the platform, reduce the illegal content published on the Internet, prevent those videos from being circulated, and prevent publishers from obtaining benefits. Only when Internet community platforms develop and strictly implement their systems can they increase users’ sense of security and happiness when using the Internet.
Therefore, special supervision and management can not only reduce the egoists who destroy the Internet environment but also protect the freedom of expression and privacy of users, which is a rare thing.
Does the posting of content on online social platforms require special supervision, and how will it be managed? © 2023 by Yanyi Pan is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0
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- Hetler, A. (2022, June 7). The splinternet explained: Everything you need to know. TechTarget. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/feature/The-splinternet-explained-Everything-you-need-to-know
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