Mozilla CEO: ‘We need more than deplatforming’

Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla Mitchell Baker said in a statement that the internet needs “more than deplatforming” and that change “requires more than just the temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms.”

Baker, who began as CEO in April, issued a post on the company’s blog calling for different solutions to be taken that “don’t start after untold damage has been done.”

“There is no question that social media played a role in the siege and take-over of the US Capitol on January 6,” the CEO wrote. “The rampant use of the internet to foment violence and hate, and reinforce white supremacy is about more than any one personality. Donald Trump is certainly not the first politician to exploit the architecture of the internet in this way, and he won’t be the last.”

Baker called for actions to be taken beyond “temporary silencing or permanent removal of bad actors from social media platforms.” Instead, she proposed four ideas.

First, it should be revealed who is paying for advertisements and who is being targeted by the ad.

Next, she proposes that unsaid entities should “commit to meaningful transparency of platform algorithms so we know how and what content is being amplified, to whom, and the associated impact.”

Tools should be utilized that prioritize facts over disinformation, as well.

Lastly, a focus should be put on “Work[ing] with independent researchers to facilitate in-depth studies of the platforms’ impact on people and our societies, and what we can do to improve things.”

The solution is not to change the internet or get rid of it but rather “to build a better one that can withstand and gird against these types of challenges,” the statement says.

These proposals should be committed to by “platforms” so that mistakes like allowing the President of the United States to practice his/her first amendment right is never made again.

You can follow Ben Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson