I've thought a great deal about social networks, and about how (now that this technology exists and is likely not going anywhere) it could/should be regulated in the future. I am not a lawmaker nor a person of any "sway" or "influence" in society, so none of this will hold much water, but here's how I would go about it:
- regulate social networks (or anything considered social networkING) to where it is illegal for a centralized service to accept a sign-up for someone (anyone) under the age of 21
- remove algorithmic manipulations of content or/and advertising - or better yet, remove algorithms nearly all together on centralized services
- make advertisements that are there much more obvious and outright - no more sneaking in Tweets that look like they are just naturally shown/promoted through an algorithm - have a watermark stating "Advertisement" (the whole word, as the word "Ad" is far too small). Same for embedded status' on Facebook, and so on
- encourage, or advise, centralized services to offer a free and open source option for their platform. A decentralized Facebook (where people already on Facebook(.com) can easily migrate to, and not lose "precious followers/friends"), that can be self-hosted, and the same for Twitter, and other social networks, as well
So, those are four simple bullet points, ideas, suggestions, that I think could actually help those who still use social media. If one doesn't like the way the current (centralized) platforms (Twitter, FB, Snapchat, etc.) curate content when all they (the end-user) wants to do is keep up with others, then there are easier (and better?) ways of doing so staying in contact (as listed above). We are not there, yet, however - but I think what is listed above are some fairly decent ideas.