In 2021, 41% of Americans experienced online harassment,2 81% of Americans feel that platforms don't take enough action to address online hate,3 and a third of Canadian Internet users between 18-34 either witnessed or experienced online harassment.4
Social media platforms are engines designed to churn out content. For them, success means having the algorithm keep your attention on a constant stream of immediate, viral content.5,6 Our safety is an afterthought at best; features that protect users are often implemented to clean up only AFTER the damage is done.7,8
We need a combination of public accountability, transparency, and oversight. The first step is equipping users with the tools to regulate abusive content for themselves. Even with their teams of world-class engineers, product designers, and analysts, these platforms still haven't put in the work to protect you; it's time we take matters into our own hands.
You should feel empowered to decide what protective measures fit your needs and be able to take action before abuse spreads. Platforms must give us tools to control our online experience – we need user-friendly privacy settings, dashboards to filter content, and trusted allies to remove abusive content.
This is an obvious fix; we must hold Big Tech accountable for its inaction. A free and open Internet allows you to feel safe expressing yourself without harm.