Why the CBC Should Build Its Own Social Media Platform
People can’t stop talking about Bill C-18 and how Meta is the evil villain behind it all.
Of course, this is a false narrative.
Legacy media companies like Post Media want us to believe their ‘poor us, we lost traffic to efficient tech companies’.
The summary of that article: relying on Facebook to get your news is like relying on dog food companies to replace your car tires.
Go to Canadian government sites and radio channels for news and information about Canadian emergencies.
We pay for them so we should rely on them.
It’s about time we consider a very real solution to this whole crisis that traditional media created for Canadians: we get the CBC to build our own made-in-Canada social media platform.
When radio became a ‘thing’ about 100 years ago, Canada responded with our own version of it in 1936. Same with television in 1952.
Policy makers at the time made a correct decision to ensure a Canadian voice in environments that would be quickly filled with propaganda and bias from outside our country.
This is the very essence of why there are so many disinformation campaigns being pushed by the alt-right and the Cons.
There will be issues:
- Complaints from non-Canadian tech companies
- Filtering and limiting hate-speech
- Questions about international access
That said, building a social media platform is actually much more straight-forward than people might think. I’m sure I’m grossly overexaggerating the requirements needed, but the technology is out there and brilliant programmers are probably dying for an opportunity to shine with something like this.
This would be the most ideal option. Farming it out to a third-party (most likely American company) would be a mistake.
That said, governments being the way they are (read: overspending on projects that don’t deliver), here’s an alternative: partner with the new platform Mastodon. Or an even smaller one that has yet to develop a name for itself.
I’m not the only to suggest this: The Conversation (a great independent online publisher) has also suggested that the CBC should strike back with their own social media partner (Mastodon) until they figure it out for themselves.
It’s time to get real with this discussion. Canadians deserve access to Canadian information, regardless of the tools or the media format.
So, CBC, get on it!