What's worst about social media comes not from the platform itself but the advertiser model. Algorithms are a way to drive engagement for advertisers. The longer you stay on the site, the more ads you see. The more ads you see, the more money the platform makes.

On a subscriber model, there's an entirely different incentive. They want you to be happy enough to keep your subscription, of course, but beyond that, they have no particular incentive to keep the load high on their servers.

So, is the problem social media? Or, is the problem our unwillingness to pay for it? Seems to me "you get what you pay for" generally applies.

So, too, in journalism. Are we really surprised at the quality of "free" news, where nothing is behind a paywall?

Note, this is different than the problem in science publication. Scientists are not funded by readers, if we don't pay for a paper, science suffers. This is why the science publication market is such a corporate scam, especially where they're charging for access to research funded by taxpayers.


Science does *not* suffer, did you mean to say? Elsevier does not fund science. Science does not suffer if the pimp is not paid for papers: see arXiv. Services like Elsevier used to be value added; now they are rent-seeking.

Papers written by researchers on publicly funded projects should not be paywalled. Again, see arXiv. Embargoed data from publicly funded research is a nuanced topic, because big projects often consume an entire career, and there have to be rewards sufficient.


@seachanged Ah, that's a typo. There's a "where" missing before the if.

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