Rappler Talk: The Social Dilemma’s Tristan Harris on fixing social media

Rappler Talk: The Social Dilemma’s Tristan Harris on fixing social media
From the Netflix documentary 'The Social Dilemma,' Harris talks to Rappler, and discusses possible fixes to a broken information ecosystem

Tristan Harris is one of the co-founders of the American nonprofit Center For Humane Technology.

A former design ethicist at Google, Harris saw the damage that current social media platforms – based on a business model of keeping people hooked – are doing. Through his organization, he has advocated for a rethinking of the core design of current digital platforms.

Perhaps the most impactful move yet from Harris is the release of the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, which among its achievements, visualized successfully how the digital platforms form a data model out of people, and how algorithms know our triggers, and how they use them for profit. (READ: In social media’s battle for our attention, real connection becomes the casualty)

Thirty-eight million households or about 50 million people watched the documentary in its first 28 days of availability – a Netflix record, Harris says.

In this episode of Rappler Talk, Harris discusses once again the current state of social media, its ills, and most importantly, what the fixes may be.

Harris notes that they wanted the documentary to come out before the US elections to make people aware of just how their thoughts are being affected or manipulated online.

It’s this awareness that Harris believes is one of the most important things that must continue to spread if social media, as we currently know it, will change – to better highlight the good part of humans rather than preying on their emotions.

Watch the episode as Harris defines this social media dilemma, and offers cautious optimism and solutions to the broken information ecosystem. – Rappler.com