Driving test and speed bump: how to save our social media by treating it as a city

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The work of the integrity team provides different solutions. We may be in the spotlight now, but we have a long history in this industry. We learned a lot from methods of fighting spam in email or search engines, and we borrowed a lot of concepts from computer security.

One of the best integrity strategies we have found is to bring some real-world friction back into online interactions. I will focus on two examples to help explain this, but there are more such mechanisms, such as restrictions on group size, causality or reputation systems (such as Google’s PageRank), “neighbors you come from” indicators, good The structured dialogue, and the weaker sharing button. Now, let’s talk about two ideas proposed by integrity workers: we call them driving tests and speed bumps.

First, we need to make it harder for people to have fake accounts. Imagine if, after being arrested for a crime, anyone could get out of prison and completely pretend to be a brand new person. Imagine if you can’t tell if you are talking to a group of people or someone who is quickly changing your disguise. This lack of trust is bad. At the same time, we need to remember that anonymous accounts are not always a bad thing. Perhaps the person behind the pseudonym is a gay teenager who does not go out with his family, or a human rights activist living under an authoritarian regime. We don’t need to ban all fake accounts. But we can increase their costs.

One solution is similar to that in many countries, you cannot drive a car until you learn how to drive a car under supervision and pass the driving test. Likewise, the new account should not have immediate access to all functions of the application. In order to unlock features that are more likely to be abused (spam, harassment, etc.), an account may require some time and effort. Maybe it just takes time to “mature”. Maybe it needs to accumulate enough goodwill in some karmic system. Maybe it needs to do something that is difficult to automate. Only after the account has passed this “driving test” will it be trusted to access the rest of the application.

Of course, spammers can skip these traps. In fact, we want them to do this. After all, we don’t want to make it too difficult for legitimate users of fake accounts. However, by requiring some effort to create a new “camouflage”, we are reintroducing some physics into the equation. Three fake accounts can be managed. But hundreds or thousands will become difficult to achieve.

Online, the worst injuries are almost always From super userThis is easy to understand-social applications usually encourage their members to post as many posts as possible. Compared to real life, advanced users can perform this action on different audiences more frequently, and can perform this action more simultaneously. In traditional cities, the cost of harm caused by a person is limited by the physical needs of any particular person to talk to one audience at a time. This is not true online.

On the Internet, some behaviors are completely reasonable if they are carried out in moderation, but they become suspicious if they are carried out in large numbers. Think about creating two dozen groups at once, or commenting on a thousand videos per hour, or posting once every minute throughout the day. When we see people using a feature too much, we think they may be doing something similar to driving at an unsafe speed. We have a solution: speed bumps. They are temporarily prohibited from doing that. There is no value judgment here-this is not a punishment, but a safety function. These measures will be a simple way to make everyone’s life safer, and at the same time will only cause inconvenience to a small number of people.

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