Connect with us


Will the Capitol Riots Prompt a Re-Think as to How Social Platforms Address Free Speech?



will the capitol riots prompt a re think as to how social platforms address free speech

Will the events of this week mark a turning point for social media platforms and their approach to content moderation and censorship, particularly around dangerous movements and politically motivated debate?

Following the riots at the Capitol building on Wednesday, which had been instigated, at least in part, by US President Donald Trump, who had called on his supporters to mobilize, and even fight for him, in a last-ditch attempt to overturn the election result, all of the major social platforms took action against the President and his avid supporters, in varying ways.

Many believe that these actions were long overdue, given Trump’s history of using social media as a megaphone for his divisive agenda, but others have rightly noted that this was the first time that the resulting violence could be directly tied to social media itself.

There’s been a range of previous movements, like QAnon, which have been linked to criminal acts, but the actual role that social media has played in facilitating such has been up for debate. That’s somewhat similar to Russian interference in the 2016 US Election – we know now that Russian-based groups did seek to interfere, and influence voter actions in the lead up to the poll. But did those efforts actually work? Did people really change their voting behavior as a result? The actual impact is difficult to accurately measure.

This week’s Capitol riots, however, can be clearly and directly linked to social media activity

As explained by ProPublica:

For weeks, the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump railed on social media that the election had been stolen. They openly discussed the idea of violent protest on the day Congress met to certify the result.”

The specific details of their planned action are also tied into Trump’s social posts – for example, after Trump tweeted:

Trump tweet about Pence

The focus of the protesters turned to VP Pence, with various reports suggesting that they intended to kidnap or hold Pence hostage in order to force Congress to reinstate the President.

This was the first time where the full plan of action, from inception to outcome, was traceable via social posts and activity, with the President actively playing a part in provoking and inciting the mob. Which is why the platforms moved to stronger mitigation efforts in response – but does that mean they’ll look to change how they view similar incidents in future?

In many ways, Trump himself is an anomaly, a hugely popular celebrity turned politician, who then used his celebrity status to share his messaging via social platforms. Having a well-known personality become a politician is not uncommon, so it’s not an entirely new approach, but the way Trump weaponized his social media following was different to what we’ve ever seen.

As Trump himself told Fox Business in 2017:

I doubt I would be here if it weren’t for social media, to be honest with you. […] When somebody says something about me, I’m able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it. The other way, I would never be get the word out.”

In this way, Trump essentially used social platforms as his own propaganda outlet, deriding any stories negative of him and his administration as being ‘fake news’, while any positive coverage was 100% accurate. This lead to various contradictions – one week, The New York Times was ‘the enemy of the people’, publishing false information at will, then the next, when it posted a poll in his favor, it was acceptable once again. 

Yet, despite these inconsistencies, Trump’s supporters lapped it up, and over time, he’s been able to use his social media presence to build a cult-like empire, which eventually lead to him being able to effectively incite a coup in an attempt to keep himself in power. This is despite there being no solid evidence to support his claims of massive voter fraud, which, in Trump’s view, invalidates the election result.

Trump’s approach is been different to what we’ve seen in the past – but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen again. And if it does, will the social platforms look to take a tougher stand earlier on? Will they now see that the end result of taking a more ‘hands-off’ approach is more dangerous than actually addressing such issues in their initial stages?

A key example here is QAnon – as far back as 2016, various experts had warned Facebook about the dangers posed by the ‘pizzagate’ conspiracy movement, which had been gaining momentum and support across its platforms. Facebook refused to take action, citing its ‘free speech’ ethos, and that initial seed then evolved into a more organized movement, which then morphed into the QAnon group. An internal investigation conducted by Facebook last year found that the platform had provided a home for thousands of QAnon groups and Pages, with millions of members and followers. And as threats of violence and dangerous activity were increasingly linked to the group, Facebook finally chose to act, first cracking down on QAnon groups in August last year, before announcing a full ban on QAnon-related content in October.

Facebook will argue that it acted based on the evidence it saw, and in line with its evolving approach to such. But it does seem likely that, had Facebook sought to take a stronger stance in those initial stages, QAnon may not have ever been able to develop the momentum that it did. And while QAnon was only one of the many groups at play in the Capitol riot, you could argue that the situation could have been avoided had there been a more concentrated effort to draw a line on misinformation and dangerous speech much earlier in the piece.

Yet at the same time, Facebook has been calling for a more comprehensive approach to such – as noted by Instagram chief Adam Mosseri this week:

“We, at Facebook and Instagram, have been clear for years that we believe regulation around harmful content would be a good thing. That gets tricky when elected officials start violating rules, but is still an idea worth pursuing.”

Facebook itself has implemented its own, independent Oversight Board to assist with content decisions, a team of experts from a range of fields that will help the company implement better approaches to content moderation, and rulings on what should and should not be allowed on its platforms.

The Oversight Board has only just begun, and it’s still an experiment in many respects, and we don’t know what sort of impact it’ll end up having. But Facebook sees this as a micro-example of what the entire industry should be seeking.

Again from Mosseri:

“We’ve suggested third-party bodies to set standards for harmful content and to measure companies against those standards. Regulation could set baselines for what’s allowed and require companies to build systems accordingly.”

In Facebook’s view, it shouldn’t be up to the platforms themselves to rule on what’s allowed in this respect, it should come down to a panel of independent experts to establish parameters for all platforms, in order to ensure uniformity in approach, and lessen the burden of censorship on private organizations – which clearly have different motivations based on business strategy. 

In some ways, this means that Facebook is agreeing with critics that it hasn’t adequately addressed such concerns, because it’s working to balance different goals, while it’s also learning as it goes in many respects. No company has ever been in Facebook’s situation before, serving over 2.7 billion users, in virtually every region of the world, and when you’re working to monitor the actions of so many people, in so many different places, with so many different concerns, inevitably, things are going to slip through the cracks.

But at that scale, when things do slip, the consequences, as we’ve seen, can be significant. And many also overlook, or are unaware of the impacts that Facebook has had in smaller Asian and African regions, where it’s also seen as a major influential factor in local politics, elections, unrest, etc.

Maybe now, however, with the scenes playing out on the doorstep of American democracy, with Senators locked in their offices to avoid the violence. Maybe now, there’ll be an increased push for change, and to implement more stringent rules around what action needs to be taken to stamp out concerning movements before they can take root.

Whether that comes from the platforms themselves, or via increased external regulation, the Capitol riots could be a turning point for social media more broadly.

Of course, there will always be those who seek to push the limits, no matter where those limits are set, and there will always be elements that ride the line, and could easily veer into more dangerous territory. But it seems clear now that something must be done, with the weaponization of social media posing major risks. 

Will that spark a new debate around the limits of free speech, and the responsibility of big tech? It seems like now is the time to ask the big questions.

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024



Make money blogging


Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.


Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?




Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach



Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading