Alexis Ohanian Says He's A 'techno Optimist,' Despite Social Media's Impact On Society

Alexis Ohanian Says He's A 'techno Optimist,' Despite Social Media's Impact On Society

Does Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian regret its creation? At an event at the University of Virginia, the founder and founder of venture fund Seven Seven Six expressed a rather negative view of the current landscape of social media and the creative industries, a field that he believes everyone needs to "belong to." Well educated and now I'm ready to get likes, support, votes... I wish I was more optimistic but that's what we see. Marc Andreessen, General Partner of 16z, claimed in his recent speech “The Optimist of Technology” that technology is the solution to all our problems.

“I’m guilty,” Ohanian said in an interview with Kara Swisher. “I think the pendulum will swing again. And I think it's happening faster than we think." He believes the war in the Middle East could be a turning point because it is now "very clear" that we need a better way of understanding the world than ours current platforms.

As you may recall, the founder resigned from the Reddit board in 2020 due to disagreements over moderation and his desire to eliminate violent and hateful communities. There was a moment when he thought about what he had presented on stage. At that time he asked to be replaced by a member of the Black Council. The company agreed and appointed its first Black board member, Y Combinator partner Michael Seibel.

Reddit banned a number of toxic communities, including r/Donaldtrup, following the violence at the US Capitol, and Ohanian said the site has "significantly improved" and improved as a company since then.

But when it comes to social media in general, the role Reddit can play “in many ways brings out the worst aspects of our nature,” according to Ohanian. He also expressed concern that people want to get high and gain the status bestowed by the platform, leading to the spread of false information.

“There is now a lot of pressure to be first and UGC (user-generated content) always wins. However, it won't always be right. But it will be the focus of the conversation. And then I “wait for her to do it, and then help me answer?” completed

“We're also very connected to all of these stories, whether it's traditional media or user-generated stories: someone posts on their phone, you know, in a Telegram group. We're tired and overwhelmed, and unfortunately it's "attractive to us." "The worst thing about a lot of us," Ohanian added.

Some questions about the development of social media platforms relate in part to how companies developed in the first place. For example, Ohanian said Reddit grew out of a college discussion forum when he believed the online community was just as real as the offline community. When Reddit became a multibillion-dollar company with hundreds of millions of users, he never imagined how influential the site would one day be. He said the idea was “ridiculous.” He never imagined that his startup would be so successful that it would definitely influence elections and democracy.

Thinking, “Oh my God, I'm going to be so successful, I'm going to have this big of an impact on democracy,” requires a level of enthusiasm that even I don't have easily as a first-time CEO. I did.” Comment “Was there a blind spot? Absolutely,” he admitted.

Another part of the problem is that more people use the Internet today than the technology's early founders thought, Ohanian said. While expanding access to technology is exciting, it also brings with it many complications.

“I don't like the idea that the Internet I miss is an ivory tower,” he says, but then again, he adds, we're all exposed to a lot of people in real time. , more than we can imagine. This can lead to people fighting against each other and their different versions of the truth, even if their truth is believing in something like a flat Earth, Reddit showed the following example. .

Likewise, asking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to verify their accuracy and authenticity is a difficult task, he said. Ohanian described Tik Tok as “an arm of the Chinese government” that is good at giving “what we want, when we want”; In other words, it is not always the source of truth.

Conversely, Ohanian credits Twitter (now called X) with developing the best moderation system to date.

“I personally think community feedback is a good benchmark, the best benchmark I've ever seen,” he said. “Actually, I wish we had thought about it first.”

However, he emphasized the idea that a platform like X could be a city square.

“[The same] public square…has failed. Because what does that mean if it's a public place? City or municipality? If you're in charge, you're the mayor. But there are no democratic elections,” Ohanian said. “You are the CEO. So are you like a king? If you want to bow in the town square, that's fine, take responsibility and say, “Yes, this is the town square. The city and I.” I am the infinite tyrant, the tyrant.

Despite the urgency of social media's issues and impact on society, Ohania believes there is still hope. For example, he pointed out that the founders in which his 776 funds have invested are smarter and more knowledgeable than their peers. Perhaps future platforms will still be addictive, he says, but “in a way that doesn’t disrupt democracy.”

It is also believed that after everything on social media is completely done for us, our mind begins to long for things that are not there. "I think we're going to see a renaissance of in-person, face-to-face meetings... I hope that the silver lining is that this will allow us to get back in touch with our humanity and our things." No amount of AI can bring life into us substitute.

“I want to be optimistic,” Ohanian added. “And I think there’s still a long way to go, but we’re fighting very powerful people. And if we could figure that out, that would be great. That would be great because we know we have more. It's more collective than usual," he said.

Alexis Ohanian: Co-founder of Reddit and CEO of 776

0/Post a Comment/Comments