Unpost is an early app concept from my thesis project, Teambuilding America, addressing the role that social media plays in contributing to social and political polarization.
Unpost is a drafting app for social media—imagine Grammarly meets Buffer meets Snopes.
As my interviewee Chris Renner pointed out, social media rewards content that gets reactions; it does not matter if those reactions are positive or negative, and it de-incentivizes posts that actually seek to engage or persuade. Most of my interviewees had concerns about the effect social media is having on polarization. Another one of my interviewees, the Chief Innovation Officer at a Texas political think tank, said that the first next step to save the country should be deleting Twitter.
In response to these concerns, I created Unpost.
Let's pretend that Representative Steve King had typed this tweet, about the October 2018 synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, into the app before he posted it. Unpost would have called out inflammatory language and conspiracy theory, which it would have recognized through natural language processing and data gathered from user-reported content on various online platforms. King would have then been invited to revise his post with assistance from the app, in order to make it more engaging, respectful, and productive.
Because it is perhaps unrealistic that users (particularly those who need it) will type into the app before posting, Unpost also exists as a plug-in for Facebook, Twitter, and browsers like Chrome. For users who have been repeatedly flagged for content online, this could become a default feature.
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