Revolutionary Civic Social Media is on the Horizon

Leading social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter are rapidly eroding democracy worldwide. The impact of widespread disinformation and propaganda was felt in the US 2016 presidential election cycle and the UK’s Brexit campaign. People have a growing need for a social media platform designed for the public good. The up-and-coming platform fits the bill perfectly.
Fake News

Megaphone Hand business concept with text Facts versus Fake News, vector illustration © astudio /

April 18, 2024 04:37 EDT

Social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives, but they also pose significant challenges for our society. They have been used to spread disinformation and hate speech, undermining democracy and privacy. This was especially evident during the 2016 United States presidential election and the United Kingdom’s Brexit campaign. Social media can have a seriously negative impact on the public good. How can we harness its power for positive purposes like civic engagement, social justice and education?

The core issue lies with the motive behind social media: corporate profit. The world needs a social media platform that de-emphasizes monetary gain in favor of serving the public interest. Such a platform would be transparent and accountable, providing subscribers control over their own data and content rendering algorithms. It would foster a culture of dialogue and deliberation, encouraging users to engage with diverse perspectives and learn from each other. Its goal would be to support initiatives that improve the wellbeing of individuals and communities, such as campaigns, town halls, fundraisers, educational resources and community events.

Such a platform may sound utopian, but it is not impossible. Some social media platforms like Mastodon, Diaspora and Aether are already trying to achieve these objectives. They are based on the principles of decentralization, federation and peer-to-peer communication, which allow users to have more autonomy over their online interactions. Their features enable users to filter out unwanted content, verify sources of information and collaborate with others on common causes.

However, these platforms face many challenges in terms of scalability, usability and sustainability. They need to attract more users and resources to compete with the dominant players in the market. They must improve their user interface and functionality to appeal to a wider audience. And they have to find ways to generate revenue without compromising their values and mission. could revolutionize civic engagement

Social media can be a force for good when the objective is not subverted by advertisers, marketers or shadowy political operatives., a new platform by the Civic Works team, is founded on this understanding. The emerging social networking site provides a more democratic, inclusive and responsible online space than its contemporaries. Where Meta’s Facebook has captured social interaction and LinkedIn is designed for business interaction, is built for civic interaction.

Civic Works is a non-profit organization. It does not sell user data or display ads, instead relying on recurring subscriptions and supporters who believe in its vision. The site is intended to serve those who care about issues affecting society. Users create or join groups based on their interests, values or location. The site also allows them to follow or interact with organizations dedicated to various societal imperatives, like democracy, justice, climate action, health care, human rights, civil rights, and race and gender issues. empowers users to make a difference in the world. Users can discover opportunities and participate in their communities, such as through volunteering, voting or protesting. They can share their own actions as well, such as petitions, fundraisers or other events.

The Civic Works team is evaluating the integration of news trust rating systems to help prevent the spread of disinformation and propaganda. This is particularly important during election cycles in the US, the UK and EU countries.

Civic Works has signed a joint development agreement with PlaceSpeak Inc., a global leader in online location-based citizen engagement. The two companies aim to merge their respective technology portfolios and extend their functionality toward a comprehensive, privacy-protected, advertising-free network. They seek to bring it to the Internet as well as iOS and Android devices. Beyond this budding partnership, Civic Works seeks to grow through relationships with journalists, media, the academic community and anyone else interested in strengthening democracy. has enormous potential to provide a positive online space and help communities across the globe. If it attracts a sufficient user base, it can blossom into a valuable platform for anyone passionate about civic progress.

[Lee Thompson-Kolar edited this piece.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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