A Platform Isn’t a Community

PHOTO: Alessio Jacona

What do data security and scalable online moderation have in common? Both are plaguing Facebook right now, and both indicate a profound milestone in the evolution of the Information Age.

For many years, tech companies and consumers alike have been confusing the term “platform” with the term “community.” “Platform,” like its more techie counterpart, “network,” has been a catch-all term for any mechanism that allows members to exchange anything between one another. But a platform does not a community make. The confusion between these words seems like an innocent enough mistake, but is in fact at the root of the…

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