The Wall Street Journal praised online “safe spaces” as an “answer to the ever-more-hostile internet” in an article on Sunday.
In the article, Wall Street Journal columnist Christopher Mims listed several apps and platforms that can help users hide behind “safe spaces” online.
“America is finally waking up to the fact that the internet is an increasingly hostile and unsafe place to do business, hang out or share with friends,” Mims proclaimed. “The epicenter of the problem tends to be at social media networks—specifically Twitter, YouTube and Facebook —where Russian bots, fake news, creepy ad tracking, political polarization, sketchy videos and oh so many internet trolls can be found.”
“A new breed of apps and services takes this to heart,” he wrote. “Having learned from the tech giants’ mistakes, they are emerging as islands in the internet storm—I call them ‘safe spaces.’ They filter content without asking for personal data and without lulling us into the cycle of mindless engagement that mostly rewards advertisers. Smaller in scope, they are teams of people assisted by algorithms—not the other way around.”
Snapchat and NPR One were both included in the list, which also featured smaller apps, including one for young children, that utilize human censors.
“Whether these safe spaces can stay in business, let alone challenge Big Tech, depends on their ability to attract users,” Mims concluded. “Will people choose to spend time in safe spaces, rather than in the addictive, endlessly scrolling services that currently dominate? That will require not more technology, but a potentially slow and difficult cultural transformation.”