The Future of Civic Technology Design in Social Media

There is no denying the impact social media has had – and continues to have – on our lives. It has affected the way we interact with each other, the way we build our networks and even the products and services advertised to us. But while social media has some incredible positives, there are also significant disadvantages to current systems that must be addressed.

While we may never create the perfect social media site, looking at the compromises that companies make in more detail is essential. For example, there is a tension between moderating posts and users being able to express themselves in any way they like. On the one hand, over-moderating could stifle valuable free speech but on the other, complete freedom often leads to more extreme posts and content. 

In this podcast, Derek Caelin joins Caroline, Ahmed and Ian to discuss his work in civic technology, particularly his interest in creating and using decentralised social media networks. Derek is currently working as a Project Manager for Tech Matters but he learned the value of tech for good early on in his career. While working with Peach Tech Lab, associated with the US Institute for Peace, his role was to put on workshops in conflict zones, particularly focusing on transparency and accountability. 

Using a host of interesting examples, Derek guides our group through a few decentralised sites that are doing well, exposes a few growing pains and considers what the future might look like for those sites. And, finally, he gives his elevator pitch for why we should all join him on these decentralised platforms. 

Listen to our podcast here: archive.org | direct mp3

Reading list

Watch List

Decentralized Social Networks vs. The Trolls: Peertube | Youtube 

Sites to Visit

Who to Follow

@derekcaelin | @Argus