Friday, 13 April 2012
The BBC Radio 4 programme, The Moral Maze, has as a subject "Morality and Social Networks". Amongst other issues the panelists discuss Trolls, mobs, taking offence, freedom of speech, incitement to violence, identity and anonymity. All subjects pertinent to Interactive Democracy.
ID has some differences to the social media we are familiar with: Identity is clearly defined and audited by the government yet comments are anonymous (apart from MP's). This facilitates sanctions against individuals for abusive behaviour, which may be detected by the web master or flagged up by other users. Penalties would be prescribed in law and could range from temporary bans to custodial sentences (for incitement to violence, for example). The anonymity of citizens on the site would concentrate discourse on the subject matter and avoid many of the problems of personal abuse which proliferate on other social sites. The design of the site should also encourage fair and structured debate, collating points of view and counter arguments; and encouraging reference to relevant sources of information.
Other commercially available social networks with other rules may also enhance the diversity of views and forms of discussion available in society.