A Twitter thread by Naval.

Social media makes it easier to organize people, so the motivated people are organizing digital mobs.


Digital mobs are implacable, unaccountable, and leaderless. Targets are isolated and torn apart by an intolerant and numerous minority, with no single participant responsible for the killing blow.

Every successful digital mob strike narrows the Overton Window, softly suffocating speech online.

Today there is no cost to joining a digital mob. Over time, there will be tools that identify and expose the easily and perpetually outraged.

Armchair generals can make a living and gain social status inciting digital mobs, sometimes even as members of the media.

Loyal members of digital mobs are so oblivious that they don't even see the problem, as long as they're on the winning side.

The best defense against a digital mob is to avoid being targeted. Most people will keep their heads down, a brave few will speak out, but honesty now hides behind anonymity.

The best accounts on social media are anonymous. The worst accounts on social media are anonymous.

The social media platforms themselves live in fear and have begun to wield the heavy hand of censorship to placate the digital mob.

The people designing the algorithms to shape online debate are now the most powerful people in the world.

Once a social media platform demonstrates its true power, its days as a free entity are numbered. If a platform has the power to appoint rulers, then the platform's rulers must be appointed.

The smart social media platforms will hand the tools to the people or hide them behind inscrutable algorithms. Publish / subscribe of spam and block lists can clean up discussions in a decentralized way.

Oblivious platforms will remain heavy handed and eventually be regulated and nationalized once they are properly classified as information monopolies.

On the distant horizon are trustless, decentralized, and easy-to-use blockchain-based social apps. They can't break existing network effects, but they can wait for a platform to stumble.

Digital privacy is more important than ever, because as it goes, so does the freedom to speak.