Le cinéma

Yelling “fire”

With the possible exception of hockey games, there have been few places in our modern lives where public interactions are supposed to be coarse. If (back when we could, and soon when we can again) you go to the theater, a museum, the mall, a restaurant, the library, school, the supermarket, the park, or yes, even to a movie theater, the management does not tolerate or encourage acting like a jerk.

And then social media arrived.

Social media is a place where the business model depends on some percentage of the crowd acting in unpleasant ways. It draws a crowd. And crowds generate profit.

We’ve created a new default, a default where it’s somehow defensible to be a selfish, short-sighted, anonymous troll. At scale.

Civility has always been enforced by culture, and for the last hundred years, amplified by commerce. We shouldn’t accept anything less than kindness, even if the stock price is at stake. DMS has a great point about the algorithm. Once you start prioritizing some voices, you become responsible for the tone and noise and disconnection (or possibility, connection and peace of mind) you’ve caused.