字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント I was talking to a guy at a party in California about tech platforms and the problems they're creating in society. And he said, "Man, if the CEOs just did more drugs and went to Burning Man, we wouldn't be in this mess." (Laughter) I said, "I'm not sure I agree with you." For one thing, most of the CEOs have already been to Burning Man. (Laughter) But also, I'm just not sure that watching a bunch of half-naked people run around and burn things is really the inspiration they need right now. (Laughter) But I do agree that things are a mess. And so, we're going to come back to this guy, but let's talk about the mess. Our climate's getting hotter and hotter. It's getting harder and harder to tell truth from fiction. And we've got this global migratory crisis. And just at the moment when we really need new tools and new ways of coming together as a society, it feels like social media is kind of tearing at our civic fabric and setting us against each other. We've got viral misinformation on WhatsApp, bullying on Instagram and Russian hackers on Facebook. And I think this conversation that we're having right now about the harms that these platforms are creating is so important. But I also worry that we could be letting a kind of good existential crisis in Silicon Valley go to waste if the bar for success is just that it's a little harder for Macedonian teenagers to publish false news. The big question, I think, is not just what do we want platforms to stop doing, but now that they've effectively taken control of our online public square, what do we need from them for the greater good? To me, this is one of the most important questions of our time. What obligations do tech platforms have to us in exchange for the power we let them hold over our discourse? I think this question is so important, because even if today's platforms go away, we need to answer this question in order to be able to ensure that the new platforms that come back are any better. So for the last year, I've been working with Dr. Talia Stroud at the University of Texas, Austin. We've talked to sociologists and political scientists and philosophers to try to answer this question. And at first we asked, "If you were Twitter or Facebook and trying to rank content for democracy rather than for ad clicks or engagement, what might that look like?" But then we realized, this sort of suggests that this is an information problem or a content problem. And for us, the platform crisis is a people problem. It's a problem about the emergent weird things that happen when large groups of people get together. And so we turned to another, older idea. We asked, "What happens when we think about platforms as spaces?" We know from social psychology that spaces shape behavior. You put the same group of people in a room like this, and they're going to behave really differently than in a room like this. When researchers put softer furniture in classrooms, participation rates rose by 42 percent. And spaces even have political consequences. When researchers looked at neighborhoods with parks versus neighborhoods without, after adjusting for socioeconomic factors, they found that neighborhoods with parks had higher levels of social trust and were better able to advocate for themselves politically. So spaces shape behavior, partly by the way they're designed and partly by the way that they encode certain norms about how to behave. We all know that there are some behaviors that are OK in a bar that are not OK in a library, and maybe vice versa. And this gives us a little bit of a clue, because there are online spaces that encode these same kinds of behavioral norms. So, for example, behavior on LinkedIn seems pretty good. Why? Because it reads as a workplace. And so people follow workplace norms. You can even see it in the way they dress in their profile pictures. (Laughter) So if LinkedIn is a workplace, what is Twitter like? (Laughter) Well, it's like a vast, cavernous expanse, where there are people talking about sports, arguing about politics, yelling at each other, flirting, trying to get a job, all in the same place, with no walls, no divisions, and the owner gets paid more the louder the noise is. (Laughter) No wonder it's a mess. And this raises another thing that become obvious when we think about platforms in terms of physical space. Good physical spaces are almost always structured. They have rules. Silicon Valley is built on this idea that unstructured space is conducive for human behavior. And I actually think there's a reason for this myopia built into the location of Silicon Valley itself. So, Michele Gelfand is a sociologist who studies how norms vary across cultures. And she watches how cultures like Japan -- which she calls "tight" -- is very conformist, very rule-following, and cultures like Brazil are very loose. You can see this even in things like how closely synchronized the clocks are on a city street. So as you can see, the United States is one of the looser countries. And the loosest state in the United States is, you got it, California. And Silicon Valley culture came out of the 1970s Californian counterculture. So, just to recap: the spaces that the world is living in came out of the loosest culture in the loosest state in one of the loosest countries in the world. No wonder they undervalue structure. And I think this really matters, because people need structure. You may have heard this word "anomie." It literally means "a lack of norms" in French. It was coined by Émile Durkheim to describe the vast, overwhelming feeling that people have in spaces without norms. Anomie has political consequences. Because what Gelfand has found is that, when things are too loose, people crave order and structure. And that craving for order and structure correlates really strongly with support for people like these guys. (Laughter) I don't think it's crazy to ask if the structurelessness of online life is actually feeding anxiety that's increasing a responsiveness to authoritarianism. So how might platforms bring people together in a way that creates meaning and helps people understand each other? And this brings me back to our friend from Burning Man. Because listening to him, I realized: it's not just that Burning Man isn't the solution -- it's actually a perfect metaphor for the problem. (Laughter) You know, it's a great place to visit for a week, this amazing art city, rising out of nowhere in the dust. But you wouldn't want to live there. (Laughter) There's no running water, there's no trash pickup. At some point, the hallucinogens run out, and you're stuck with a bunch of wealthy white guys in the dust in the desert. (Laughter) Which, to me, is sometimes how social media feels in 2019. (Laughter) A great, fun, hallucinatory place to visit has become our home. And so, if we look at platforms through the lens of spaces, we can then ask ourselves: Who knows how to structure spaces for the public good? And it turns out, this is a question people have been thinking about for a long time about cities. Cities were the original platforms. Two-sided marketplace? Check. Place to keep up with old friends and distant relatives? Check. Vector for viral sharing? Check. In fact, cities have encountered a lot of the same social and political challenges that platforms are now encountering. They've dealt with massive growth that overwhelmed existing communities and the rise of new business models. They've even had new, frictionless technologies that promised to connect everyone together and that instead deepened existing social and race divides. But because of this history of decay and renewal and segregation and integration, cities are the source of some of our best ideas about how to build functional, thriving communities. Faced with a top-down, car-driven vision of city life, pioneers like Jane Jacobs said, let's instead put human relationships at the center of urban design. Jacobs and her fellow travelers like Holly Whyte, her editor, were these really great observers of what actually happened on the street. They watched: Where did people stop and talk? When did neighbors become friends? And they learned a lot. For example, they noticed that successful public places generally have three different ways that they structure behavior. There's the built environment, you know, that we're going to put a fountain here or a playground there. But then, there's programming, like, let's put a band at seven and get the kids out. And there's this idea of mayors, people who kind of take this informal ownership of a space to keep it welcoming and clean. All three of these things actually have analogues online. But platforms mostly focus on code, on what's physically possible in the space. And they focus much less on these other two softer, social areas. What are people doing there? Who's taking responsibility for it? So like Jane Jacobs did for cities, Talia and I think we need a new design movement for online space, one that considers not just "How do we build products that work for users or consumers?" "How do we make something user-friendly?" but "How do we make products that are public-friendly?" Because we need products that don't serve individuals at the expense of the social fabric on which we all depend. And we need it urgently, because political scientists tell us that healthy democracies need healthy public spaces. So, the public-friendly digital design movement that Talia and I imagine asks this question: What would this interaction be like if it was happening in physical space? And it asks the reverse question: What can we learn from good physical spaces about how to structure behavior in the online world? For example, I grew up in a small town in Maine, and I went to a lot of those town hall meetings that you hear about. And unlike the storybook version, they weren't always nice. Like, people had big conflicts, big feelings ... It was hard sometimes. But because of the way that that space was structured, we managed to land it OK. How? Well, here's one important piece. The downcast glance, the dirty look, the raised eyebrow, the cough ... When people went on too long or lost the crowd, they didn't get banned or blocked or hauled out by the police, they just got this soft, negative social feedback. And that was actually very powerful. I think Facebook and Twitter could build this, something like this.