Lovers of the open internet have long been perplexed by the clear trend to box users in, especially on social networks – drive them into echo chambers thanks to the way information available in their feeds is organized through algorithmic decisions based on extensive data mining.
That technique has proven handy not only in keeping people “happy” in their own bias, but also as useful in perpetuating and reinforcing commercial and political messages aimed at maintaining segregated subsets of users.
But then – there are those for whom even the way Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube consistently constrain the virtual space inhabited by their users, fencing them in and limiting their access to information, isn’t good (or let’s say, bad) enough.
For this type of audience, a new network is emerging, called Telepath. The title of an article that announces it sets out the intent right out the gate: it’s a social network that wants to be “kinder,” and – wouldn’t the internet also play along and somehow get “nicer”?
Some may think this is a parody of some sort, trying to make fun of the whole “woke” and “safe space” overkill we’ve been witnessing in the past few years, especially when the mission statement is worded the way it is from the jump – but that’s not the case.
It’s an actual project, spearheaded, as co-founder, by Marc Bodnick who was previously involved in Quora – a site that’s attracted its share of criticism over the years on a number of diverse points.
Now, this new network has come up with what could be seen as a wholesomely patronizing idea: that certain types of users, namely, women, people of color, and LGBT folk my not be fully capable of participating online and holding their own out there with everybody else – and instead need extra protection in the form of a super safe space social network.
(But at that point, seriously, why not just set up a closed group and chat amongst yourselves? Why line the pockets of any “woke” opportunist praying on what they clearly, bottom line, identify as the internet’s “weak” demographic.)