Profiting from the problem, platforms won’t change on their own.

We can’t expect attention-extraction companies like YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter to change, because it’s against their business model.

Platforms would lose money if they solved the problem:

  • Facebook would lose revenue if they blocked advertisers from micro-targeting lies and conspiracies to the people most likely to be persuaded. 
  • Twitter’s stock price would fall if they were to remove the millions of bots on their platform, which academics estimate at 15% of their user base. 
  • Facebook would lose revenue if their tools didn’t allow advertisers to automatically test millions of variations of content — word choices, color, images — to capture the most minds.
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So we have to change the rules of the game.