Build understanding of digital media threats and change individual behaviours in response.
Reduce the power of private platforms by:
Building citizen-consumer activism and creating a “sea change in public opinion”. Scholars and theorists suggest that a shift in public attitudes is needed to persuade digital media companies to change, there is however no empirical data to draw upon as to how effective this approach would or would not be.
Address surveillance and data privacy issues by:
Encouraging individuals to employ technical solutions. Such solutions include ad-blockers and ad-tracking browser extensions, private browser options (e.g. Tor), open source platforms and cooperative platform models. “Evidence” supporting the efficacy of these tools and alternatives, however, is typically anecdotal or prescriptive in nature (as opposed to empirical).
Combat fake news by:
Education, particularly around critical thinking. Evidence has emerged in health for this approach.
Reduce hate speech by:
Building Resilience through Support Networks. Developing fast and effective reporting mechanisms and support networks, e.g Advocacy and civil society organisations like All Together Now, have demonstrated some success with building online reporting tools that rely on crowdsourcing to identify – in order to remove - racist hate speech online. A networked approach can effectively combat the effects of hate speech; by building counter-narratives that counteract racism for example.
Coordinating diverse stakeholders to apply pressure to private intermediaries, in ‘long-haul’ campaigns, has also been effective in having hateful content removed from social media. Speed of removal is considered essential to diffusing the power of hate speech and trolling. Pressure from researchers and advocacy groups alike have also encouraged some platforms to design more pro-social tools (i.e., affordances) into their systems.
Improve trust in democracy by:
Civics education. Educating children in schools on “good citizenship” has been positively associated with increased political engagement.