The weird magic of online social networks was to combine personal interactions with mass communication. Now this amalgam is splitting in two again. Status updates from friends have given way to videos from strangers that resemble a hyperactive tV. Public posting is increasingly migrating to closed groups, rather like email.
The striking feature of the new social media is that they are no longer very social. Inspired by TikTok, apps like Facebook increasingly serve a diet of clips selected by artificial intelligence according to a user’s viewing behaviour, not their social connections. Meanwhile, people are posting less
Yet this new world of social-media brings its own problems. Messaging apps are largely unmoderated [... ]Politicians in India have used WhatsApp to spread lies that would surely have been removed from an open network like Facebook.