The online world really is an integral part of our work, social and private lives.

Technology platforms have levelled the playing field to transform the way information, knowledge and know-how is spread in a quick, efficient and easy manner.

Vast amounts of trust is embedded in technology to ‘do the right thing’ as it knows no boundaries, filters or biases with unprecedented volumes of information being shared to deepen understanding bringing people, communities or countries closer together.

However, trust erodes quickly if products created by these platforms generate fake news, inaccurate information or other asymmetries.

To continue to stimulate free, innovative and creative thinking, a more robust system must now be engineered to generate higher quality, more meaningful and compelling content fostering a more captive, engaged and interactive audience.

A win-win from a commercial perspective too.

Using data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence, content must incorporate a visible rating to highlight suitability for prospective audiences in terms of sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, intolerance or other content.

This way technology platforms continue to match supply with demand but change the way content is produced, distributed or consumed based on preferences.

These content classifications, similar to film ratings, should typically carry recommendations in an advisory or restrictive capacity in lieu of censorship.

Even if the content rating has no legal consequences, countries can still opt to apply existing laws to impose certain certifications.

Upgrading technology platforms in this collaborative way continues to foster openness, freedom of speech and sharing of ideas by being tolerant of others.

Access to new markets, innovative products and a broader consumer base generates the necessary commercial funding streams to support platform improvements.

A Wikipedia type community concept applied to content production to create more universally acceptable standards:

  •      Primary publisher to rate content prior to uploading content (eg a/c suspension)
  •      Passive publisher to carry same liability as primary publisher (eg standard common law principles)
  •     Ratings introduce an additional ability to grant or deny permission to view content (eg settings)
  •     Platforms to collaborate with NGOs to review escalated content (eg ratings clarify standards)
  •     Re-edit functionality to obtain desired rating or produce an alternate version for certain jurisdictions
  •     80/20 rule helps isolate exceptions

The idea here is for technology platforms to be ‘regulated’ in a more de-centralized fashion whilst the ultimate censorship remains with the individual to also entirely opt out of specific technology platforms.

This kind of integrated governance framework ensures technology platforms become more pro-active, positive and trusted hosts without sacrificing scalability, commercials or spirit.

A new balance to more effectively harvest the creative, platform and knowledge economies.

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