Mark Pellegrino: Accountability is a Marketable Commodity

When Mark discussed The Guardian Project with Rucka on an episode of The Daily Objective, he explained how his project’s take on anonymity would be better than the government getting involved with regulating big tech.

I’m doing it this way to keep the government out of it. I think that’s an incentive for social media to say, ‘oh look, here’s a guy trying to come in and help us make adjustments in the private sector. We don’t need Senator Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz telling us what to do, and what to think.’

We don’t want the government to be privy to information about our tastes, the products we buy, and the books we read.

~ Mark Pellegrino [edited]

Mark knows some people may feel strange about validating their social media identity, but sees it as an extension of shopping online.

Almost all of us have our personal information out online because we buy things virtually now. You have to be a legitimate human being registered with these companies in order to do any business with them online. It would be no different than that. It would just prevent you from signing up to multiple accounts simultaneously. You’d have your own account, and that’s it.

~ Mark Pellegrino [edited]

Some social media platforms (e.g. YouTube) already have monetisation features that depend on users associating a credit card — and, therefore, their real identity — to support content creators, so this would be a small step forward that could offer huge benefits.

The Guardia Project aims to introduce identity verification by influencing tech companies and the market rather than through legislation.

I think we can influence the market by influencing preferences, and people want accountability. There are too many victims out there, and accountability is a marketable commodity.

I think it’s just about changing the normative behaviour by education and appealing to people’s better sense. We don’t have to get a whole bureaucracy saying this is now the standard; the standard will establish itself in the market.

~ Mark Pellegrino [edited]

Offering social media companies a viable way to increase the authenticity of online interaction and make social media a better place could be one of The Guardian Project’s key selling points. And the time to act is now — before government interference forces platforms down a path that restricts innovation.

Follow @MarkRPellegrino to keep up-to-date with the latest on The Guardian Project.

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